Sesimbra Trail – where the mountains meet the sea

A trail run in June? Well, as I love Sesimbra, I could not say “no”. I love Sesimbra, for the sea, the mountains, the seafood, the nice alleys, everything! I had already raced in the Serra da Arrábida, but the Sesimbra Trail would be my first race with a start and finish in Sesimbra.

The Sesimbra Trail of 2019 had three races: 43 km, 22 km and 15 km running or walking. We gathered a group of 22Ks: Francisco, Christiaan, Diogo, Luis and me. We usually train together every Monday around the hills of Lisbon’s city center. Now it was time to get dirty!

Welcome to Sesimbra!

A day of great heat was expected, so we prepared with plenty of sunscreen, caps and water. However, the heat was so strong, that it was simply impossible to “fight” against it. Especially me, I suffered quite a lot.

From the moment of the registration, you could immediately feel it was a well-organized race by O Mundo da Corrida. The BIB number pick-up and check-in, on the same day as the race, flowed perfectly. The starting and finishing zone of the three distances was in the iconic Praça da California, with its tropical palm trees and almost on the beach. The atmosphere was fantastic! Although we were a “team” of 5, we decided to each go at their pace.

The start is flat and along the beach

For me, 700m D + and over 30ºC would be challenging. The first climb caused a brief  “traffic jam” that served as an opportunity for the immense amount of photos we took in that incredible landscape.

Until the second climb, I felt good. I drank water regularly and wet my cap. So, despite the few shadowed trails Arrábida’s vegetation provided, I could control my temperature. However, as soon as I reached the ascent to the Castle, I broke. I thought several times about sitting down, but then I resisted, afraid I would not be able to get up again. At the top, upon arriving at the castle, one member of the organization helped me control my breathing and wet my cap. I was able to recover a bit and gain strength, because “now it was going to be easier.”

You can take incredible pictures!

From the Castle (km 13) to the top of the last ascent (km 18), I had a tough time. Fortunately, the spirit of the trail, with super empathic people, was pushing me and giving me strength. Of course, every time I saw the sea, I also got a boost of energy! From km 18, it was 4 km downhill. Then, I started to feel the joy of running again. Yes, I do like this. Even with 30 degrees! You can see my Strava here.

The famous Castle of Sesimbra

The mountains, the sea, the fish and the radiant sun of Sesimbra create a picturesque scenery that is unique and make this race well worth it. The organization was flawless with improvised water points and a “party” at the finish line. And is there be anything better than a swim in Sesimbra beach after some hours in the mountain?

That moment crossing the finish line

See you next year, Sesimbra!