Lisbon Eco Marathon: running in a natural park in the middle of the city

21 May 2013 03:23
Jean-Loup Fenaux
Focus on a race Interview


Hello, on July 6th 2013, you’ll be organizing the Lisbon Eco Marathon. Can you tell us where it is located?

It’ll be held in Monsanto. Monsanto is a natural park that covers around 25% of Lisbon.
Just the last 4 kilometers will be in the city, but fortunately participants will run on a bicycle path, not on the main roads!
We can call it an “easy mountain marathon”, with great views!

How old is the race and why was it created in the first place?

This is the first edition. It’s based on a previous marathon we organized that was invitational.
Now it’s open to all runners in the world.

What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?

This is neither a flat run nor a trail. You can run using your regular running shoes. There are neither big hills nor plain roads.
Our challenge was to set up a race where you can enjoy a natural park inside a city, where you don’t need an extreme preparation, as the course is fun and beautiful.

Logo 2013
Credit : Lisbon Eco Marathon

How many runners do you expect on Saturday evening? What type of runners do you plan to attract?

We expect to have 1,000 runners spread between the marathon and the 19K race we also organize.
We expect all kinds of runners, as the time limit is 8 hours.

Do you organize other races during the Weekend? If so, on what distances?
Yes, as I mentioned previously, we also have a 19K race.

At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?

July is hot in Lisbon, but as the race is being run inside the park and during the evening, the runner should not suffer too much from the heat. The temperatures should be 16-22ºC (60-71°F) between the trees. Keep in mind that 60% of the time will be night.

Have you planned festivities around the marathon?

This is an Eco race; we’ll have people in some parts of course and a party at end.

Parque de Monsanto
Credit : Manuelvbotelho

The race finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Lisbon before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?

The race finishes in Marques de Pombal, in the middle of the city, a great place to start discovering Lisbon.
There are many good and nice restaurants around. I suggest visiting Bairro Alto and Alfama.

In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Lisbon Eco Marathon?

First of all, you’ll run for charity.
This is not a race where some portion of money is for charity: 100% is for charity, all support to runners is provided by the social institutions that will receive the profit.
Another reason is that this marathon in unique, in a mountain, between the trees … in a middle of European Capital.
The last reason is that Lisbon, today, is a top destination. Don’t miss this chance, help, run and have fun!

Interview with Luís Milagres e Sousa, Race Director. Luís is 48 year old and has been running marathons for 30 years. He has already run more than 100 races in 6 continents, including some ultras (100 miles) and Ironman events.
He has also been involved in race organization for the past 25 years.