lisbon half marathon

Posted: March 23rd, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

since i can’t race bikes here, or more accurately, since i don’t even have a bike here, i’ve started to run. i only run 3 times a week maximum and on average 4-5 miles…7 miles had been my longest run. I didn’t know about the half marathon until a week before the race. i saw an ad for it in the metro, checked the weather to make sure rain wasn’t forecasted, and signed up.

the run itself got a little boring at times so i took some photos, the photo below is about halfway through. but the big highlight (other than not having to run anymore once i crossed the finish line) was running over the april 25th bridge. it was completely closed to traffic and there were at least 10,000 people running across it (there was a 7k run that started with us).

the funny parts of the experience were the pre- and post- portions of the race. to get to the race everyone takes a train and then they have to walk 10 min to the start on the freeway, which sounds easy. the train ride was 100% tokyo-style shove everyone into the train like sardines. good thing it was only an 8 min ride. then on the walk to the start, everyone, and i mean thousands of people, have to funnel onto these 2 sidewalks that access the freeway. and it’s not all runners, there are families with strollers doing the 7k run/walk over the bridge. so there is a giant bottleneck with a massive pile of people all trying to get to the sidewalk. and after the sidewalk herding, there is another huge swarm of people by the toll booths and it turns out that the 21k people get to go through the toll booths to the left and the 7k people have to go through on the right. but there is no sign or any information, so there is just another huge mass of people inching forward trying to get somewhere. and when you get to the front, a police officer looks at your number and lets you go through the toll to the half marathon side. it was all awesome portuguese style, because it all works out, but with massive confusion up until the end.

the other weird aspect was the finish. you cross the line, they give you a radical medal that you obviously wear around your neck for the rest of the day, and then you find out that you are fenced in and to leave you have to sardine yourself with people again because they have set up a 7 foot wide corridor for everyone to funnel through. and guess what was right before the exit… ice cream. everyone wanted ice cream, and i mean everyone, all of the people that did the run/walk, the grandmas, the kids, and the runners… finally i made it out, and ate my ice cream.

Leave a Reply