Association of International Marathons and Distance Races

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Race previews Funchal Marathon

29 June 2020, 7am

Extraordinary setting for Madeira’s biggest running event

An Atlantic winter escape

Funchal Marathon
Sun 24 January 2021

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The Funchal Marathon held every January is one of Madeira’s biggest sporting events. It involves hundreds of local athletes and hundreds of foreign runners who choose this event for the quality of the route and for the good weather (averaging 20C during January). Runners should take advantage of their visit to discover the island that has been, for several years, named as the best island destination in the world (according to ‘World Travel Awards’).

At a time when the world is struggling with the Covid-19 pandemic, the archipelago of Madeira guarantees unique health conditions for visitors. Hotel units in the capital receive the highest praise of visitors from the four corners of the world.

Demand for race entries is high. Including the half marathon and mini marathon there are always more than a thousand participants.

The Madeira Athletics Association has over two decades of experience in organising the event, evidenced by the quality of the races, including having staged numerous national and international championship events.

The Funchal Marathon is more than just a sporting event: it involves the whole community who spill out onto the streets to support the runners. It brings together the families of athletes in moments of leisure and fun that contribute to the event’s international recognition.

Specialities of the event include live music along the course and provision for food and drink which gives a unique atmosphere for all who attend, especially for those who travel to Madeira to accompany the runners.

Expectations are high for 2021. Madeira calls out to you and guarantees you one of the best possible marathon experiences. The archipelago also offers historical monuments, traditional markets, the Lido promenade, and various gardens and parks. There are also the smaller islands to explore, including the nature reserves of the uninhabited islands.

The Madeira Archipelago was discovered in 1419 during a push to expand Portuguese territory, spread the Catholic faith and develop the kingdom’s economy. Settlers began to arrive soon after, producing and exporting wheat, sugar and wine. Economic development of the archipelago centred on agricultural production and the island’s role as a convenient port of call on trade routes. The islands continue to offer unique products in an extraordinary setting, which has made Madeira the excellent tourist destination it is today.

Several airlines fly direct to the island from European airports. The Aeroporto de Madeira lies the east of Funchal at Santa Cruz. Taxis into town take around 15–20 minutes and fares are metered. Buses are cheaper but take much longer.

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