This visit was our third to Portugal so far. We were in the Portuguese capital Lisbon for a work event in May 2018 and had the pleasure to run the Lisbon marathon in 2016.
We flew out of Brussels International Airport for Porto on Saturday, November 3, 2018 at 2:45 PM and landed at 4:10 PM.
From the airport, we took Metro E to Trindade and changed to Metro D to Sao Bento. The train ride took only 38 minutes. We bought Andante Cards for multiple journeys on public transportation. The 24 hour card cost 7 euros each.
Hotel Pestana Vintage Porto was only 800 meters away. The luxury hotel is also a World Heritage building and located right on the bank of the Duoro River.
After checking in, we decided to walk along the main street to the race expo, Centro de Congressos de Alfandega do Porto located less than a kilometer away. The race expo was open from 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM. I picked up my bib which I prepaid for 55 euros.
We walked back to the hotel along the river bank this time, pausing for Richard to take photos of the beautiful night scene.
We had dinner at one of the nearby restaurants overlooking the river before calling it a night.
We woke up early to get ready. I skipped hotel breakfast since it did not start until 7:30 AM. I ate a sandwich we bought for the trip and got ready. Richard wished me luck before getting on a cab to the start and finish line at Parque da Cidade do Porto. The cab ride was only 10 euros.
Richard had a great breakfast cooked to order with champagne to boot!
The race started at 9:00 AM in fairly cool weather.
A few volunteers were handing out EDP neck buffs.
The race course paralleled both sides of the Duoro River. We got to run on the Ponte Luis I bridge to get to the opposite side of the riverbank.
We ran by the hotel where Richard took some photos of me.
He also walked around and took some more photos of the Old Town, including the breathtaking photo of the Old Town from Ponte Luis I bridge.
It started raining hard on the second half the course, with the wind ramping up by the last 10K. I was so cold by the time I finished in 5:25:25. The race had a six hour time limit.
It was a comedy of errors after that. We planned to meet at the finish line but Richard had a hard time getting a cab. He was already walking when it rained, stranding him. I had to walk for a while and approached a man selling chestnuts. My phone had died so I used the man’s phone to call Richard and tell him to just turn back. Richard was already more than half way to the finish line.
The man did not speak English but he took pity on me and hailed a passing police car to help me get home. The policemen called a taxi service who picked me up where I was. Just as we were cruising along the street, I spotted my poor Richard drenched and walking in the rain trying to get to me. Ah. . . my love! I was so happy to see him! We got to the hotel without further incident.
We both warmed up in the hotel. It was another early night before we caught our flight back to Brussels early Monday morning.