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Lisbon, Portugal is home to possibly the world’s most gorgeous marathon. Journey from the seaside village of Cascais, run along the banks of the Tagus River and pass World Heritage sites. The half marathon provides stunning views from its epic start on the Vasco da Gama Bridge. Feel the excitement … MORE
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    HalfSpeedQueen FIRST-TIMER '17

    This was a poorly organized race, from start to finish. The race day weather and lack of course support lead to very dangerous running conditions. The Rock n Roll organization … MORE

    This was a poorly organized race, from start to finish. The race day weather and lack of course support lead to very dangerous running conditions. The Rock n Roll organization should reconsider associating their name with this production.
    1. To start, the pre-race expo was held in a location too small for the turnout. The line to get inside the building for bib pick-up was over 2-hours long and on an unshaded concrete terrace. On an 80+ degree day, this led to sunburn and heat issues for all even before the race started.
    2. Bibs were handed out without safety pins. This made for an interesting opportunity to scour Lisbon stores for something to attach our bibs to our shirts.
    3. Inside the expo, there were a few crowded (uninterested) vendors before I was pushed towards your t-shirt and exit. I luckily received one of the last few shirts available, although not in my size and unwearably small. They completely ran out of race shirts for participants later that afternoon.
    4. On race day, we had to wait in another >1-hr line to board a bus for transport to the starting point on the bridge. Once there, we had to wait another hour for the race to start. There was no shade or water during any of these waits. Unfortunately, the staff only allowed racers to use toilets in their own tightly controlled corrals. I could see empty toilets in the corral behind me, but was prevented from using them by security. Despite waiting over an hour, I still had not gotten through the line for the toilet when the race began and my corral emptied out.
    5. Water/aid stations were not located at the miles indicated at the expo. This meant that the first aid station did not happen until well-past the 3-mile mark. While this may not be a big deal normally, the long pre-race wait times, lack of shade, and late start time (10:30am) on a day that climbed near 90oF meant I was very thirsty and would have appreciated an earlier water break.
    6. At the height of the race, when temperatures were at their worst, the aid stations ran out of water and liquids. By mile 8, the tables were empty and support staff were gone. Racers were digging through discarded water bottles on the ground for any drops they could get. A first aid station handed out some water, but had to reserve most of their supply for the health emergencies that began rolling in. I should mention that I finished well within the time constraints of this race and this lack of water/aid affected a large portion of the runners.
    7. They ran out of post-race snacks/ drinks. On a large concrete, unshaded plaza, after miles of no course support in 90-degree weather, I was greeted by empty-handed staff. After begging, I was eventually provided a small carton of warm chocolate milk, but was denied a second by security.

    After the race, the Lisbon staff took to social media to congratulate themselves on a record-number of runners. They seemed to overlook the fact that their poor management of the race put runners’ health at risk. If you have a race that runs through mid-day heat with no shade, then you need water. It’s that simple.

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