Lisbon Half Marathon - March: 22 March 2009
Overcast for the first half hour with the sun breaking out for the next 50 minutes or so. Temperatures around 21°C and still (iaaf race report says there were strong winds but I didn’t notice!).
Course is completely flat in the main with the first 3km or so downhill with a very brief uphill as you come off the Ponte 25 de Abril. 2 sharp U turns at 7.6km and 17km. 90° left turn into home straight. There’s not a huge crowd along the route but there is always someone to cheer you on.
There is a Mini Marathon (7.2km) and wheelchair half marathon as well with other events on the previous day. Famous people run including the Prime Minister of Portugal, Jose Socrates. 35,000 participants over the 3 main events.
The beauty of running this half, and the Portugal half in September, is that you get to run on Lisbon’s bridges which are usually closed to pedestrians. The dark side would be the impenetrable crush to get to the start of the Lisbon Half at Pragal and again at the finish at Belém if you’re not right at the front or back.
Pre and post race goody bags, competitor medals and an ice lolly at the end. There are also several decent eateries near the finish after you’ve recovered on the front lawn of the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos.
Report by Sarah Knox
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