On our first day in Porto we walked down to the riverfront in Vila Nova de Gaia to watch the Porto half-marathon. It’s a major event in the running calendar, attracting elite athletes from all over the world. The course winds along the river on the Porto side, crosses the Dom Luis bridge, continues along the Gaia riverfront, then turns back on itself. The distance is 21km, or 13 miles. East Africans have won every mens and womens race since the competition began in 2007 and this year’s winner was Daniel Rotich of Uganda in 61 minutes. Nao Isaka of Japan won the women’s section in 72 minutes, finally breaking the East African stranglehold.  The leaders came past us at a staggering speed, averaging 21 kmph for a full hour.

Part of the course on both banks of the River Douro

Part of the course on both banks of the River Douro

Vila Nova de Gaia riverfront with Dom Luis Bridge