EDP Lisbon Half Marathonis an annual internationalhalf marathoncompetition which is contested every March inLisbon,Portugal. It carries World Athletics Gold Label Road Racestatus. The men's course record of 57:31 was set byJacob Kiplimoin 2021, which was the world record at the time.
Kenyanrunners have been very successful in the competition, accounting for over half of the total winners, withTegla Loroupetaking the honours in the women's race on six separate occasions. The Lisbon Half Marathon is not to be confused with LusoPortugal Half Marathon, another prominent half marathon race which is also held in Lisbon in October.
The Lisbon Half Marathon grew from the desire of a small group to see Lisbon invaded by people who, by crossing the Bridge in 25th April, would discover and enjoy places usually monopolized by cars in a totally different way. It was a huge challenge for the time.
Looking at the big bridge, impressive in its steel structure and giant feet plunging into the Tagus River, the idea arose in the mind of Carlos Móia in a restaurant.
This had already been done abroad, but in Portugal, a country of conservative habits, the challenge would have to overcome many barriers. “I remember crossing the bridge on foot was a dangerous idea. As the subject had to pass through government, I soon realized this would be a long, bureaucratic process.
I spoke to my friend and companion of other adventures, Francisco Lucas Pires, who knew which paths to follow to execute this ‘crazy’ idea. He scheduled a hearing with the President of the Republic at the time, Mário Soares, who then took the matter to the Minister of Public Works, Ferreira do Amaral.
From there on came many days of silence. I didn’t give up, so I asked a hearing to the Minister, who told me to wait for an opinion by the office responsible for constructing the bridge in the United States, whether the structure could cope with an event such as this. Impossible without it! I thought there was no political will and felt disappointed, but I didn’t quit and insisted so much that the Minister eventually told me he would give his authorization if, as a replacement for the request opinion, I assumed responsibility for it. I obviously didn’t. I admit fear was greater than the desire to advance. If the Minister himself felt the need to request a technical opinion to the Eiffel company that built it, who was I to assume such responsibility?
“The information I longed for arrived soon: there was no danger, the bridge deck could cope with the challenge without problems. I assembled the team in a lightning quick operation: Mário Machado, Rafael Marques, Reinaldo Gomes were the mainstays, others joined in.”
After the bridge crossing was approved, it was time to get support from the Mayor of Lisbon, Jorge Sampaio. “He was a safe haven,” recalls Carlos Móia, “soon realizing the importance the event could have in projecting the city and always believing in the Half Marathon’s potential over the years”. And so it went, Sampaio was linked to the start of the event that, years later, he would participate in as President of the Republic.
On March 17th, 1991, began the official history of the Half Marathon, as the Minister of Education, Roberto Carneiro, who also oversaw sports, was in the first group of people ever to walk across the Bridge 25th of April.
|2nd Male||1:01:00||HUSEYIDIN MOHAMED||ESA|
|3rd Male||1:01:03||ELVIS KIPCHOGE||KEN|
|4th Male||1:01:06||KIPKEMBOI KIPRONO||KEN|
|2nd Female||1:06:46||BRIGID KOSGEI||KEN|
|3rd Female||1:07:11||GOTYTOM GEBRESELASIE||ETH|
|4th Female||1:08:33||LONAH SALPETER||IRS|
The course was judged as non-permissible for records until 2008, in which year the organisers changed the elite course to allow for records. The new course begins atsea levelon the north side of the river Tagus, a change which made the course entirely flat. The course for the mass participation race, which has attracted almost 30,000 runners in previous years, remained unchanged and begins by crossing the Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge before linking up with the new elite course. Since 2008 a 50,000 Euros bonus has been set aside for either a man or woman who sets a world record.
The course race was measured officially by approved measurers of AIMS and IAAF and has an official distance of 21, 097 MTS.