Running Rock’n’Roll Lisbon Marathon on 5th of October 2014 was different from all other marathons. It was the first time I went to the city to run a marathon on my own. My family and friends were supporting me, however not at the side of the course, but from home in Lithuania, US and London – on my own but certainly not alone.
Soon after checking into my Airbnb flat in the old-town of Lisbon I went to get my bib number. In addition to the regular goodie bag, I also received the World Rocker medal for doing two Rock’n’Roll races (together with Rock’n’Roll Madrid Marathon) in the same year. It is a rare occasion you get a medal before the race. Never the less, it was a nice incentive to run even faster on Sunday.
Early Sunday morning I was set and ready to travel to the start of the marathon at Cascais, Lisbon. To my and a few others’ surprise, there were no trains on Sunday for another 30 minutes. Let alone waiting for the train, when it arrived, there was no tickets officer who could let us in through the gate. Not the stress you want before the marathon. When we finally arrived to Cascais, there was another challenge – finding the start line. I only hoped that people far ahead of me knew it better where to go.
In the end I made it to the start of Rock’n’Roll Lisbon Marathon just as it was about to start. Left my bag, did a quick warm up and went of to run my 7th marathon. Rock’n’Roll Lisbon Marathon was windy, hilly and definitely not easy, but incredibly beautiful coastal race. Running outside of the city also meant that during the majority of the run, there was little support, only scarce numbers of people and intersections or car parking spots along the course. It was better when we entered the city centre at around 31st kilometre. As it got more crowded at places it also became difficult to follow the course. There were no course directions or marshals to point to the right way.
One more thing that did not help at the race, was the merge of the half marathon course to the full one. It was much harder to keep up the pace when you see people still fresh and much faster than you, regardless that they only ran half the distance. As I was approaching the finish line, the crowds and cheers grew bigger. I was happy to finish this course of Rock’n’Roll Lisbon Marathon in 3 hours 47 minutes and 28 seconds.
No matter the good finish time, fantastic city and beautiful course I would not recommend running the Rock’n’Roll Lisbon Marathon, because of lack of organisation, lack of information and lack of directions.