5 Reasons To Run The Lisbon Marathon

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Every year, there are thousands of marathons to choose from.

While almost every marathon has its merits—and there isn’t necessarily a “best marathon in the world” for everyone—one destination race that has caught our eye recently is the Lisbon Marathon.

There are many things to love about the Lisbon Marathon, from the race course itself to the wonderful location. 

Keep reading to learn why you should consider running the 2023 Lisbon Marathon.

lisbon marathon runners
Credit: Lisbon Marathon

2023 Lisbon Marathon Race Information

Here are the fast facts about the 2023 Lisbon Marathon:

  • Date: Sunday, October 8, 2023
  • Starting time: 8:00 AM
  • Course record: 2:05:45
  • Start: Cascais center 
  • Finish: Praça do Comércio – Lisboa
  • Finish time cut-off: 6 hours
  • Pacers offered: 3h00, 3h15, 3h30, 3h45, 4h00, 4h30, 5h00.
  • Transportation to and from the race: All the city public transportation (bus, subway, and train) are free for runners until 5 PM
  • Aid stations: 5k, 10k, 15k, 20k, 22,5k, 25k, 27,5k, 30k, 32,5k, 35k, 37,5k, 40k, 42k, Finish line
  • Race packet pickup: Thursday, Friday, or Saturday at the Sports Expo (Note that there are no bibs delivered on the race day).
  • Free swag for runners: Official technical t-shirt, personalized BIB with timing chip, exclusive medal for finishers, participation diploma (PDF), and other offers from sponsors and partners
lisbon marathon runners
Credit: Lisbon Marathon

5 Reasons to Run the EDP Lisbon Marathon

Here are 5 great reasons to run the Lisbon Marathon:

#1: Amazing Race Course and Experience

The EDP Lisbon Marathon is one of the most popular marathons in Portugal – and in the world, drawing around 5,000 international runners from over 100 different countries and many native Portuguese participants.

The EDP Lisbon Marathon course winds its way through three historical cities: Cascais, Oeiras, and Lisbon.

Runners are given a unique “insider’s view” of these historic towns, old buildings, monuments, and quaint neighborhoods.

The race course is stunning—all 26.2 miles travel along the sea and/or river.

Runners finish at the iconic Praça do Comércio square, where the Portuguese navigators departed from in the fifteenth century on their way to discover the world .

Although there are a few small hills, the Lisbon Marathon course is mostly flat, which is reflected in the fast course record of just two hours, five minutes, and 45 seconds.

If you want to run a personal best while enjoying a mix of historic towns and beautiful seascapes, the Lisbon Marathon race course perfectly fits the bill.

#2: An Unforgettable City

Another major draw for the Lisbon Marathon is that it is a great destination race for runners from all over the world.

Lisbon is a city with over 900 years of storied history. This unique city combines the charm of history and culture with a modern and active lifestyle. 

When you decide to run the Lisbon Marathon, you will not only have a great race experience, but will also get to enjoy everything that the city and surrounding region of Portugal has to offer; including delicious food, historical monuments and museums, and memorable cultural traditions such as Fado (the emotional Portuguese music style admired all over the world).

It is also relatively easy to make the Lisbon Marathon a destination race with an extended trip around other parts of the region, like Sintra or Costa da Caparica, or more to the south the world-famous Algarve coast, which is a relatively short drive from the city.

There are many beautiful historic towns and villages to the north and cliff towns known for sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean, as well as plenty of surfing just west of Lisbon.

lisbon marathon runners

#3: Great People

Although the running community is generally a warm, welcoming group, the same cannot be said for the people in the cities and where every marathon occurs worldwide.

Portuguese people are known for their warm welcome, openness to different cultures, and goodwill in helping others. 

Even if you are traveling to Lisbon alone for the Lisbon Marathon, you will find fast friends, eager locals happy to help answer questions, and an embracing city happy to welcome you as you are. 

lisbon marathon runners

#4: Easy Travel and Accommodation

Another benefit of running the Lisbon Marathon is that Lisbon is a tourism hub with tremendous infrastructure to support travel.

Lisbon offers multiple direct flights to its airport, and it is easy to get to and from the airport and city center. 

With hundreds of hotels and thousands of Airbnb offers, it’s very easy to travel to and stay in Lisbon. 

Moreover, relative to many other popular European city destinations, Lisbon is quite affordable and offers competitive rates on accommodations, top-notch gastronomy, and other expenses that travelers will incur.

#5: Perfect Running Weather

There’s nothing worse than training for several months to run the best marathon of your life only to arrive on race day and find that it is exceedingly rainy, windy, hot, cold, or have some other untoward weather conditions for running.

Fortunately, Lisbon has over 300 sunny days a year and mild weather even during the coldest seasons because of its insular location between the Atlantic Ocean and the Tejo River.

Although the average temperature in October (when the Lisbon Marathon takes place) is around 60 to 75°F, due to the course’s proximity to the sea/river, race temperatures are much closer to 50 to 60°F, which is perfect for marathon running.

As a personal anecdote, I had the opportunity to run a race in Lisbon several years ago. Sadly, it wasn’t the Lisbon Marathon; it was the Cascais Oeiras Lisboa Classic 20Km.

That said, there was a lot of overlap in the course with the Lisbon Marathon, and coming from the United States, I can vouch that it’s a truly stunning place to run.

lisbon marathon runners
My 20k race finish in Lisbon

Plus, Lisbon is an incredible city—for both running and visiting. I would highly recommend adding the 2023 Lisbon Marathon to your race calendar.

For more information about what to expect during the Lisbon Marathon weekend of events, check out the Lisbon Marathon summary video here.

Ready for the race experience you won’t forget?

Sign up for the 2023 Lisbon Marathon here.

Photo of author
Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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