Course OK, Weather Good, Certified??? (about: 2005)|
R. H. from London, England (12/7/05)
6-10 previous marathons
| 1 Lisbon International Marathon
Lisbon is a very easy town to get around via public transportation. We stayed in a very nice 4 star hotel (cheap via hotels.com) that included breakfast and was on the bus route from the airport and close to two metro stops and El Corte de Ingles!
The expo is laughable; maybe 5 vendors and I don't think they spoke English very well. The people passing out the race packets were nice and we didn't even have to have a medical certificate or the confirmation letter, just an ID. The expo was down by the start, kind of, and that was a very nice area to walk around. They really do a lot of Christmas decorating in town. The pasta party was just spaghetti and some kind of tomato sauce with tuna or something I am not sure. That was down by the futbol (soccer) stadium, and there were no signs showing the way to get there from the Metro. There was no bread, but they did have plenty of water and tea and (of course) alcohol for purchase. They also had fruit for dessert.
They ran the marathon and half together and it wasn't a true chip time as there was no time at the start (buzzing rug). They did have the rugs at all the major turns though. Water was only every 5K, and I didn't see any at the start. They passed out bananas and oranges after 15 miles. The worst thing was that there were only FOUR porta-loos at the start for about 2000 people (marathoners/half, Fun Runners and spectators). That was maddening. There were no more porta-loos until about 23 kilometers and then again at about 33 kilometers. I recommend every 10K at the least. There wasn't any place to hide either for the modest runners with temperamental tummies. There was one spot where they had music blaring. All the water stops were bottled water that you had to turn the cap to get off; they didn't open them up unless you motioned for it way ahead of time. The course itself had a couple of long gradual inclines - nothing to really be concerned about. Overall, mostly flat though. They tried to have the route so you ran by all the major stuff, if you were so inclined to look around. The course looped a lot, so you could see the frontrunners at least 3 times. They did have apples and bananas at the end if you finished in under 3.5 hours, otherwise you just got water and Isostar (Powerade-type drink).
I am not sure if it was a certified course as there was no blue line to follow.