More than a hundred athletes will cross the Algarve from one end to the other in four days during the fifth edition of the Algarviana Ultra Trail (ALUT), the longest race in Portugal.
The race, which stretches over 300 kilometers, starts on November 24 at the most south-westerly point in Europe, Cabo de São Vicente, in Sagres (Vila do Bispo). From there, the participants will rush to the inland municipality of Alcoutim at the other end of the region, where they are expected to arrive on the 27th.
According to the Algarve Trail Running organization, 96 solo athletes and five teams of four athletes have registered for the event so far.
In a statement, the organization revealed that this year the route, which follows the Great Route (GR) 13 – Via Algarviana, will again be run in the opposite direction of the first editions, from Cabo de São Vicente to Alcoutim.
“Athletes have asked, and since this is a race for athletes, the ALUT organization has decided to run the course for two consecutive years in each direction. So we can diversify the challenge and have two records to break,” they explained.
The course can be run solo, but also in a team, which “brings an additional challenge with logistics and synchronism for the various elements”, the organization specifies.
“There must always be an athlete in the competition, and exchanges can only take place in the places intended for this purpose. Therefore, our real-time monitoring system plays a leading role here,” they pointed out.
According to the same source, the real-time athlete tracking system allows the organization to maintain security since the race is not scheduled. It also allows those watching the event to “know to the second” where the participants are.
“In a competition of this size, it is important to support the participants to keep them motivated. […] Therefore, the ALUT organization invites everyone to come and spend the weekend in the Algarve and support the brave participants”.
GR13 – Via Algarviana is a major pedestrian route connecting Alcoutim with Cabo de São Vicente, whose management and maintenance is the responsibility of Associação Almargem.
The approximately 300 kilometers of the route cross the three mountains of the Algarve (Caldeirão, Monchique and Espinhaço de Cão), the baroque and part of the natural park Sudoeste Alentejano and Costa Vicentina.
One of the objectives of Via Algarviana is to promote low-density areas and create an alternative to sun and sea tourism in the region, contributing to the economic revitalization of these areas.