Lisbon Half Marathon

Lisbon Half Marathon

The mass race begins by crossing the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge
Date Mid-March
Location Lisbon, Portugal
Event type Road
Distance Half marathon
Established 1991
Official site Lisbon Half Marathon

Lisbon Half Marathon is an annual international half marathon competition which is contested every March in Lisbon, Portugal. It carries IAAF Gold Label Road Race status.[1] The men's course record, set by Zersenay Tadese in 2010, is also the world record for the half marathon distance.[2] Kenyan runners have been very successful in the competition, accounting for over half of the total winners, with Tegla Loroupe taking the honours in the women's race on six separate occasions.[3] The Lisbon Half Marathon is not to be confused with Portugal Half Marathon, another prominent half marathon race which is also held in Lisbon in September.


The south-facing facade of the Jerónimos Monastery
The Belém Tower from the north-east side
The course passes the Jerónimos Monastery (left) and the Belém Tower

First held in 1991, the race has consistently delivered fast winning times. However, many of these times have been unratifiable for record purposes due to factors including: the course being too short (1991–93), excessive tailwinds, as well as there being an excessive drop in altitude, which boosted athletes' performances (1996, 1998, 2000-01, 2004, and 2006).[3][4]

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 at sea level on 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.[5][6]

The current elite course of the half marathon begins in a small town on the north bank of the Tagus, no longer crossing the bridge,[7] and the course is wide and flat from there on. Heading eastwards towards the city centre, the course passes the docks and traces a route alongside much of the city's historical architecture, including the Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery.[6]

From 2008 onwards, the organisers set aside a €50,000 prize pot for any athlete breaking the world record over the half marathon distance. This led to the participation of a number of prominent athletes, with marathon world record holder Haile Gebrselassie winning the 2008 edition, while Charles Kamathi and Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot followed behind.[8] Another strong field was assembled in 2010 and Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea broke both the 20 kilometres and half marathon world records in his winning run.[2]

The competition also hosts a mini marathon race, which has featured many prominent Portuguese citizens, including the former President of Portugal Jorge Sampaio, and José Socrates, the Portuguese Prime Minister.[4] Energias de Portugal has sponsored the competition for a number of years.[8][4]


Zersenay Tadese broke the world record in 2010.
Kara Goucher won the women's race in 2009.[9]

Key:   Course record   Short or assisted course

Year Men's winner Nationality Time
Women's winner Nationality Time
2016 Sammy Kitwara  Kenya 59:47 Ruti Aga  Ethiopia 1:09:16
2015 Mo Farah  United Kingdom 59:32 Rose Chelimo  Kenya 1:08:22
2014 Bedan Karoki  Kenya 59:58 Worknesh Degefa  Ethiopia 1:08:46
2013 Bernard Koech  Kenya 59:54 Edna Kiplagat  Kenya 1:08:48
2012 Zersenay Tadese  Eritrea 59:34 Shalane Flanagan  United States 1:08:52
2011 Zersenay Tadese  Eritrea 58:30 Aberu Kebede  Ethiopia 1:08:28
2010 Zersenay Tadese  Eritrea 58:23 WR Peninah Arusei  Kenya 1:08:38
2009 Martin Lel  Kenya 59:56 Kara Goucher  United States 1:08:30
2008 Haile Gebrselassie  Ethiopia 59:15 Salina Kosgei  Kenya 1:09:57
2007 Robert Kipchumba  Kenya 1:00:31 Rita Jeptoo  Kenya 1:07:05
2006 Martin Lel  Kenya 59:30 Salina Kosgei  Kenya 1:07:52
2005 Paul Tergat  Kenya 59:10 Susan Chepkemei  Kenya 1:08:49
2004 Rodgers Rop  Kenya 59:49 Joyce Chepchumba  Kenya 1:08:11
2003 Martin Lel  Kenya 1:00:10 Derartu Tulu  Ethiopia 1:09:20
2002 Haile Gebrselassie  Ethiopia 59:41 Susan Chepkemei  Kenya 1:08:23
2001 Hendrick Ramaala  South Africa 1:00:26 Susan Chepkemei  Kenya 1:05:44
2000 Paul Tergat  Kenya 59:06 Tegla Loroupe  Kenya 1:07:23
1999 Japhet Kosgei  Kenya 1:00:01 Tegla Loroupe  Kenya 1:07:52
1998 António Pinto  Portugal 59:43 Catherina McKiernan  Ireland 1:07:50
1997 Mohammed Mourhit  Belgium 1:01:17 Tegla Loroupe  Kenya 1:09:01
1996 Clement Kiprotich  Kenya 1:01:15 Tegla Loroupe  Kenya 1:07:12
1995 Simon Lopuyet  Kenya 1:00:26 Tegla Loroupe  Kenya 1:08:21
1994 Andrés Espinosa  Mexico 1:01:34 Tegla Loroupe  Kenya 1:09:27
1993 Sammy Lelei  Kenya 59:24 Nadezhda Ilyina  Russia 1:09:47
1992 Tendai Chimusasa  Zimbabwe 1:01:17 Heléna Barócsi  Hungary 1:10:01
1991 Paul Evans  England 1:01:44 Rosa Mota  Portugal 1:09:52


Martin Lel (right) is historically the most successful male runner of the competition
Tegla Loroupe is a six-time winner of the race.

Winners by country

Country Men's race Women's race Total
 Kenya 13 16 29
 Eritrea 3 0 3
 Ethiopia 2 1 3
 Portugal 1 1 2
 United States 0 2 2
 Belgium 1 0 1
 England 1 0 1
 Hungary 0 1 1
 Ireland 0 1 1
 Mexico 1 0 1
 Russia 0 1 1
 South Africa 1 0 1
 Zimbabwe 1 0 1
 United Kingdom 1 0 1

Multiple winners

Athlete Country Wins Years
Tegla Loroupe  Kenya 6 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000
Susan Chepkemei  Kenya 3 2001, 2002, 2005
Martin Lel  Kenya 3 2003, 2006, 2009
Paul Tergat  Kenya 3 2000, 2002, 2005
Zersenay Tadese  Eritrea 3 2010, 2011, 2012
Haile Gebrselassie  Ethiopia 2 2002, 2008
Salina Kosgei  Kenya 2 2006, 2008

See also


  1. Fernandes, Antonio Manuel (2009-03-22). Lel and Goucher win in Lisbon. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-03-22.
  2. 1 2 Fernandes, Antonio Manuel (2010-03-21). Scorching 58:23 World Half Marathon record by Tadese in Lisbon! - UPDATED. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-03-22.
  3. 1 2 Krol, Maarten (2009-03-29). Lisbon International Half Marathon. Association of Road Racing Statisticians. Retrieved on 2010-03-22.
  4. 1 2 3 Moreira, Cristina & Costa, Paulo (2005-03-13). Tergat runs 59:10 in Lisbon Half Marathon. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-03-22.
  5. Fernandes, Antonio Manuel (2008-03-14). New course, new bonus and amazing fields for EDP Lisbon Half Marathon - PREVIEW. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-03-22.
  6. 1 2 Dixon, Andy (2009-05-06). Lisbon Half-Marathon. Runner's World. Retrieved on 2010-03-22.
  7. Fernandes, Antonio Manuel (2009-03-20). Wanjiru, Lel and Cheruiyot top strong fields at Lisbon Half Marathon. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-03-22.
  8. 1 2 Fernandes, Antonio Manuel (2008-03-16). In largely solo run, Gebrselassie takes Lisbon Half Marathon. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-03-22.
  9. Retrieved 11 October 2013. Missing or empty |title= (help)
List of winners

External links

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