Lucky for some, number 13, wins the Monchique Hiking Marathon

André CabritaAndré Cabrita (40) from Faro with starting number 13 was the winner of the 1st Monchique Mountain Marathon, which took place on Saturday, 30th December and hat a cumulative elevation of 1,521 metres. Participants from five countries – Austria, Namibia, Germany, Spain and Portugal – took part in this popular sporting event. They met at the start in Caldas de Monchique at 6 a.m. During the eight- kilometre-long first leg to Fornalha near Alferce, the sun began to rise. The flora and fauna came to life with the sunrise at 7.47 and the participants were able to turn off their head lamps. All the marathon participants were delighted about the sunny hiking weather following four days of rain. After passing the first refreshment table, the climb to the peak of Picota (776 m) – also eight kilometres long – started, which João Pedro Ribeiro (29) from Lisbon with his dog Zumba reached first. At that point, Thomas Martin (aged 50) from Austria was still in third place. But as the overall classification comprised the marathon, archery and the completion of a thematic questionnaire, 49-year-old Alexandra Speiser with her dog Fizzy from Monchique later moved into third place. In the adventure park close to the highest peak of Fóia (902m), the archery began at 11.25 after covering 25 kilometres, under the direction of hiking guide Lúcio Feio. Once reinforced by a hot stew prepared by cook Monique Volkers, the participants in a breakaway group set off on the second part of the hiking marathon, the 17.6-kilometre-long descent to Caldas 250 metres below. The circuit covered a total of 42.6 kilometres and led past the five wind-powered generators in the direction of Marmelete. In Almarjão, all the participants did an about-turn and set off back to Caldas via Barranco de Silvestre, Casais and Nave. Before the sun set at 17.30, the first members of the breakaway group with João Pedro Ribeira, André Cabrita, Alexandra Speiser, Rena Schulte and Thomas Martin arrived at the finish back in Caldas de Monchique. Hike guide Jürgen Kahlisch (aged 60) from the Portuguese hiking association ACaminPor formed the so-called “sweeping troop” with a second group so that no participants got lost in the dark. In summary, all the participants reached the finish in one piece and happy, one female participant gave up after 35 kilometres with knee problems. All the participants want to take part in the competition again in 2018; next year the race will be run in the opposite direction, including some surprises. For people wanting to make a note of the date, it will take place on Sunday, 30th December.

Winner:

1° André Cabrita (Faro, 12/18 pontos)

2° João Pedro Ribeira (Lisboa, 11/18 pontos)

2° Alexandra Speiser (Monchique, 11/18 pontos)

3° Rena Schulte (Berlim, 9/18 pontos)

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Monchique Mountain Marathon

Monchique Mountain Marathon

on Saturday, 30th December 2017

Monchique Mountain MarathonCaldas de Monchique is the starting and finishing point for the Monchique Mountain Marathon 2017. The first stage leads to Fornalha and from there it goes uphill to Corte Pequena and to Picota (776m). There, the second stage ends and leads downhill via Ginjeira to Monchique (455m) into the third stage, which ends at the Óxálá tea house near the town hall. At the end of each stage, as well as drinks and snacks, an envelope will be waiting for each participant. This envelope will contain a question that has to be answered and will count towards the score. From Monchique, the path leads uphill for a long way, past the convent in the direction of Fóia (902m), and to Penedo de Buraco, the Adventure Park. There, another sporting surprise will await all the participants: archery, which will also be included in the scoring. Grab lunch and continue with the fifth stage past the wind park in the direction of Marmelete. Near Almarjão, the sixth table will be waiting with hot and cold drinks as well as tips about the way back as darkness begins to fall. Crossing of the Vale Figueiras, Casais (seventh table near the bakery) and Castelo de Nave. Now it’s no longer far to the finish in Caldas de Monchique, where the circular route of the marathon ends. The whole route is 42.6 km long.

Start of the hike: 6:00 a.m. • End of the hike: approximately 8:00 p.m.
Participation fee: 30 € + 25 € for a marathon kit:
Including marathon set with safety vest, water bottle, head lamp and plasters for blisters, as well as lunch, drinks and power snacks.

The winners of the marathon will receive gift baskets with local products worth 1,000 euros.

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