I *LOVE* Lisbon, I really do, and that made this half marathon/short holiday break utterly brilliant!
Running a half-marathon in Portugal was one of my best running decisions yet! I wasn’t fully aware of this when I committed to it though, and only came to realise how brilliant an idea it had been when I hugged my family at the finish line. There’s something about having them there that elevated my achievement to something way beyond those 21.3 km!
Sunday 5 October was a hot sunny day in Lisbon. For the first time ever, I wore a cap and am so glad they gave us one! The race started at 10:30 and by then the sun was high in the sky, burning my shoulder blades and demanding I drank more per km than in my whole training sessions back in Oxford. And yet I loved it all!
Lisbon has a great atmosphere and that translated into the race. There was such a great feeling about it all, 22000 runners spread between three events, blue skies, live bands, and plenty plenty of water, energy drinks and fruit.
I felt quite relaxed before the race and from the moment I crossed the start line on Vasco da Gama bridge, I focused. Running this race, finishing this race, was going to be about clearing my head and focusing. I soaked up the atmosphere and the sun and the water. I soaked up seeing my family cheering me on. I soaked up having the BEST running partner ever – Nicky. And I soaked up the peace of mind that only a challenge like a half marathon could give me.
Ice cream. There’s nothing quite like having ice cream at the end of a race! After the hugs, of course, I love those finish line hugs!