What is better than one half? Three halfs! Or at least that is how many half marathons I could find for the next year taking place in Lisbon… All seem to have quite a different flavour – and routes, so it shouldn’t be boring going for all three…. Here is a quick overview:
Lisbon Rock ‘n Roll Half (and Full-) Marathon – 02. October 2016
This is the next (in terms of time) race I could find. It starts in the east of Lisbon (for the half), right on the massive Vasco da Gama Bridge at the Parque das Nações. The run then goes almost into the centre of town, towards the Alfama along the Tagus/Tejo river. Just before reaching the Terreiro do Praço, the run turns around – and goes back to the Expo area.
Discoveries Half Marathon – 04. December 2016
This must be pretty much the last race of the season… mind you, December can still be reasonably nice in Lisbon by comparison. This race starts in the west of Lisbon, and turns at the Terreiro do Praço before heading out again… or in other words, it doesn’t go towards the east like the Rock ‘n Roll one – but it does pass pretty much all the big sights in the west: Jerónimos Monastery, the Belém tower, the 25th of April Bridge … and, of course, Terreiro do Praço.
Meia Maratona de Lisboa – 19. March 2017
Pretty much “the big one”, I guess from the pictures. The main attraction here seems to be running not just along the Tagus/Tejo river, but actually running over the 25th of April Bridge… so the start of this race is on the south-side, it then takes you over the bridge, and, on the Lisbon side, along the river first to Cais do Sodré – and then back out again to Belém. In some ways, that makes it similar to the Discoveries one, minus the Terreiro do Praço loop,… but including running over the bridge.
As for myself, I decided to give the Rock ‘n Roll one a go first… It seems to me the other two are more scenic, but that is simply the first one. At least that will give me a goal to keep training over the summer. And realistically, a bit more than 4 months should be more than enough to get back into the game. I’ll see how it goes and then join the other two, all being well with the October one (injuries can be a real downer … as I painfully had to figure out for the last few months!!).
I haven’t looked for other events outside of Lisbon for the time being… but if you have any experience with halfs in Portugal, it would be great to hear from you!