There are races to suit all tastes: marathons, mini marathons, on the road, in the city and even for kids. All About Portugal has created the "obligatory" agenda for amateur as well as professional athletes – there are plenty of competitions from north to south, including the islands, so just pick your race, have a look at the calendar and outline your workout plan. Even if running is not for you, you can sign up and just walk, because you'll get a chance to enjoy some of the country's most emblematic natural and urban landscapes. Ready, set, go!
Sintra: End of Europe Race
Nothing like starting the year in one of the most beautiful places in the country. The "End of Europe" race runs through the impressive Serra de Sintra, traditionally on the last weekend of January, and ends at the westernmost point of continental Europe, the Cape Roca. In total, the route reaches almost 17 kilometres.
Cascais: Half Marathon
Cascais is the stage chosen on the weekend of Carnival, with a race that begins and ends in the Bay of Cascais. The race has a course of about 21 kilometres, and there is also a course for children, with distances appropriate for each age. Considering the time of year, you can embrace the spirit of Carnival and wear a mask or a costume.
Lisbon: Half Marathon
It is one of the most remarkable races in the country, especially as it crosses the iconic, and usually crowded, 25 de Abril Bridge. From Almada to the Jeronimos Monastery, on the shores of Lisbon, this is a 21 kilometres course, a test only within the reach of the toughest. There is also a 7 km Mini Marathon.
Mafra: Bells Race
Before heading north, there's one more stop to make, in Mafra. There, you can choose to participate in the 15 Km "Corrida dos Sinos", or in the 6 Km "Prova dos Sininhos", if you only feel like walking. Since the 80s that the race crosses the locality, with a stop at the Convent of Mafra, one of the great icons of Portuguese literature, immortalized in José Saramago's masterpiece "Memorial do Convento".
Douro Vinhateiro Half Marathon in Peso da Régua
Region well-known for the Port Wine, it is the perfect landscape in the middle of spring. In addition to the popular half-marathon, there is also an inclusive race for wheelchair participants, and a 6-kilometre Mini Marathon. The route is mostly flat, crossing National Main Road 222, considered one of the most beautiful in the world.
Lisbon: St. Anthony's Run
June is the month when most races happen in Portugal. One of the most emblematic is the Santo António race, allusive to the Popular Saints, and with departure from and arrival at Rossio, right in the centre of the capital. Surround yourself with the scent of bush basil and sardines and leave for the Tagus, for this 10 Km course.
Vila Nova de Gaia: St. John's Race
Popular Saints are also run further north, with the race of St. John, which embellishes the Gaia pier and has a privileged view of the Douro and Porto. There is a 15 Km race and a 7 Km hike, for those who prefer the tour version. Afterwards, enjoy the proximity to the river to cool off and chill for a bit.
Race of the Bonfires in Peniche
All roads lead to Peniche on the last Saturday of June. The "Race of the Bonfires" is one of the most popular night courses, with a total distance of 15 kilometres. You can also opt for the 5-kilometre race, called "Race of the Small Fire". The race takes place by the sea, with bonfires lighting the way - hence the name - and a sardine barbecue at the end.
Oeiras: Marginal at Night
The night of Avenida Marginal, which connects Cascais to Lisbon, gets a new brightness once a year, with this recurring course of 8 kilometres. Given the time it takes place, it should provide you with a luxurious view over the illuminated surrounding towns and Tagus river. The starting point is the same as the arrival, the beach of Santo Amaro.
Cascais: Line Race
The summer heat is an obstacle to physical efforts, but you can take advantage of the first days of September to set the pace, with the Line Race in Cascais. But that does not mean you have to say goodbye to the beaches. Long sought after during good weather, the Cascais Railway Line is the perfect stage for this 10 Km course, that you can complete by running or walking along the beaches that mark this landscape.
Oeiras: Tejo Race
In the opposite direction, the Tagus Race departs from Algés towards Oeiras, more concretely to the Fort of São Julião da Barra. It is a road course, following the river to the known line of beaches of Greater Lisbon. Once again, the Marginal Road is a protagonist for these 10 kilometres, and individual or team registration is possible.
Greater Lisbon draws attention to itself, once more. After shorter runs, it is time for Cascais and the capital to finally connect, through the Lisbon Marathon, which crosses the line of beaches and ends, parallel to the Tagus River, in the Terreiro do Paço. If 42 Km is too ambitious a challenge, you can sign up for the Half or the Mini Marathon, with departure from the Vasco da Gama Bridge.
Back in the North, there are races to suit all tastes. In addition to the great race, the Porto Marathon includes a 15-kilometre "Family Race" and a "Fun Race" of 6 Km. For those who do not want to run but enjoy photography, the organization has promoted a photographic competition that aims to reward the best "flashes" of the Marathon. The passages along the Douro river will certainly provide incredible snapshots.
Almeirim: 20K Run
Had its first edition in 1986, and has managed to become one of the region's best-known races over the years. Crossing through some of the "ex libris" of the locality, it culminates with the traditional "sopa da pedra" (stone soup), at the finish line. In the summer, the same Association organizes a "Colour Run" and the curious "Tomatada", where you will have to run as fast as you can, if you want to escape the tomatoes that are thrown.
Nazaré: Half Marathon
The first Half Marathon in Portugal was ran in 1975, and, in the 80s, the race consolidated its position a world-renowned event. The times are different, but the Marginal of Nazaré continues to be the scenery of this pioneering competition in November. For those not venturing into the main race, there is a shorter 10 Km course, and a 6 Km hike.
Lisbon: Christmas Race
Get in the holiday spirit early in December and take part in the Christmas Grand Prix, one of the most historic Portuguese races. The starting line is in Benfica and the finish line is in the Restauradores, right in the centre of Lisbon, in this 10 km course. You can also participate in the 1, 2 and 4-kilometre courses, as well as in the walking events.
Lisbon: São Silvestre Race
In the last days of the year, and after the characteristic indulgences of the festive season, the São Silvestre races are a good way to burn calories. Beginning and ending at Praça dos Restauradores, this course traverses a distance of 10 kilometres. Children can participate in "São Silvestre da Pequenada", a trial with appropriate distances for the little ones.
Porto: São Silvestre Race
São Silvestre is also run farther north, with a departure from Avenida dos Aliados. The route goes through several noble points of Porto, well lit in the height of festivities, such as the Rotunda da Boavista, São Bento Station or Praça da República. In addition to the 10-kilometre main event, you can change the speed of the tour and sign up for the 5-kilometre walk.
Funchal (Madeira): São Silvestre Race
One of the most traditional races in the islands, São Silvestre do Funchal, in Madeira, combines sport with a very characteristic party atmosphere. There are different rhythms and routes for all tastes, where you can simply walk and enjoy the holiday lighting. The race has a distance of 5,850 meters, with shorter courses for the little ones.
Amadora: São Silvestre Race
Traditionally, on the last day of the year, São Silvestre da Amadora offers a different farewell to the "old year". With departure and arrival next to the Amadora-Este Metro Station, the race has a course of 10 kilometres, while the children's race is divided by steps, with a maximum distance of 1 Km. This is the oldest São Silvestre race in the country.