I had designated 2018 to be my year of running. I wanted to run a marathon and set my goals to run the Vienna Marathon and the Copenhagen Marathon in the first half of the year. For preparation, I started looking towards a few races to run as training races and found this one in Lisbon. The Lisbon Marathon is remarkable in that you get to run across the bridge which looks an awful lot like the Golden Gate Bridge.
I went with some friends to Lisbon and arrived Friday evening. After some walking around in the dark, we saved our strength for the sightseeing the day after. We went on a city walk which was great. Except that we showed up at where the city walk ended instead of where it started. After a bit of running, we did catch up with the group. The city walk was super informative as it was framed around the time of Portugal’s imperialistic dreams and subsequent fall when it was devastated by earthquakes and war. Apart from the history, it was also a short introduction in the psyche of the Portuguese which I found quite interesting.
After the city walk, we went to Belem where we checked out the monuments down there as well as picked up our race numbers. The race was to finish here. Due to the severe weather that Lisbon had seen the past few days, the race committee decided to move the start line to somewhere else and avoid having runners on the bridge. This was a bit of a disappointment as I had specifically chosen this race ahead of the Rome Half Marathon as it would cross the bridge. Following some more great Portuguese food, we went to the aquarium which is really good. Very big, well presented and lots of marine wildlife. We opted not to stay up long and instead go to bed early in preparation for the run.
- What? Lisbon Half Marathon
- When? March 11th, 2018
- How far? 21.1 kilometers
- Where? Lisbon, Portugal
- Strava activity
I picked up the training again after the Verona half marathon but still didn’t get the volume needed to be efficient
Carbed up with some Portuguese pastry. We had to pack up in our Airbnb as well and get our luggage into storage so it wasn’t the most relaxing of pre-race preparations. We did make it in time and got to the starting line in good time although all that time was spent waiting in line for the toilets.
The race start was plainly a disaster. The race was for both half marathon and 7K distance both of which started at the same time. The start split the 7K and half marathon. This meant that people who signed up for the 7K, many of whom were walking the distance, were taking the space from the half marathon runners. Additionally there was no corrals but it was simply a first come first served situation where the fastest runners could start at the end simply because they showed up later.
The horrible start also meant that I couldn’t really start running until 2/3K into the race when I had finally passed many of the people walking the 7K. After which the race improved. I ran slowly and the route was really nice as it went up and down the coastline which was flat and straight. The water stations were spaced apart nicely and the weather held up until halfway in the race when a 15-minute heavy shower passed. When I finally got dry, another heavy rain shower passed by so safe to say, I was not too impressed by the weather.
I ran comfortably into the finish area and finished with a nice sprint.
After stretching we went to the food market for some great food. I had to get some Portuguese pasteis but otherwise, it was back to pick up the luggage and then make our way to the airport.
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