Marathons and Running Events in Spain

In the last few years, running has experienced a huge boom in popularity due to the recent fitness zeitgeist which has taken over social media and much of popular culture.

Marathons, half-marathons, races and obstacle courses of all types are popping up all over the world and more and more people are taking part. Spain is swiftly following suit and has some great international scale events across both the mainland and the islands.

Most of these races pass through Spain’s breathtaking natural landscapes, which, paired with the temperate climate of the winter, spring and autumn months, make this environment perfect for running.

Would you like to join in? Stay in Spain and discover the best marathons and races of the year.

Valencia Marathon

1. EDP Bilbao Night Marathon

The unique EDP Bilbao Night Marathon takes place in October in the Basque Country. Participants can test their skills across the huge spread of Bilbao and at the same time, see its most prominent landmarks. In 2019, the number of attendees was at an all-time high with a total of runners of close to 12,000 from 54 different countries.

The EDP Bilbao Night Marathon is part of the Royal Spanish Athletics Federation’s (RFEA) official calendar and as is the biggest marathon to be held at night, the finish is particularly spectacular with celebrations and a firework display.

Bilbao Night Marathon
The Bilbao Night Marathon offers runners three different difficulty levels: the full marathon, the half marathon and a 10km race called the “Pirate Race” which is aimed at the general public. The run offers competitors of all levels the chance to discover a new and unique perspective of the city.

2. Menorca Cami de Cavalls Epic 360º Trail

Menorca Camí de Cavals Trail

At the beginning of November, the Menorca Epic 360º Trail takes places, a long-distance team event divided into three stages. Each stage of the race (open to both trail runners and mountain bikers) passes through different stretches of both coastal and inland Menorca, allowing runners to enjoy the beauty and variety of the natural landscapes on this island.
Menorca Cami de Cavals Trail

The Compressport Menorca Camí de Cavalls Trail is one of the longest and hardest races in Europe. Runners can test their abilities as well as their limits whilst traversing the coast of this beautiful Mediterranean island. Along its route, you will pass paradisaical beaches, beautiful panoramas and incredible ravines.

3. Canarias InfinityXtreme

The InfinityXtreme race takes place in Los Realejos, a town located just 10km west of Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife. This sporting event, one of the hardest in the Canary Islands, consists of two tough obstacle course style races and is reserved only for the strong and the brave.

This race consists of two difficulty levels: the InfinityXtreme Sprint, which requires runners to complete one lap of a 4km obstacle course in less than an hour and the InfinityXtreme Radical, where runners complete two laps of the same circuit (8km in total) in two hours or less.

There is space for a maximum of 800 participants so if you’d like to take part, it's important to register as soon as possible. Due to the international popularity of this race, there’s also an additional programme of activities which attracts a huge audience.

InfinityXtreme Tenerife

4. The Valencia-Trinidad Alfonso EDP Marathon

The Valencia Marathon first took place in 1981 and has been held every year without fail since then. The mainly flat route and mild December temperatures create optimum running conditions and make this race extremely popular with runners of all abilities.

Both the starting and finishing points of the marathon are located in the spectacular City of Arts and Sciences, undoubtedly a unique location to enjoy the race and all the activities that are organised for the occasion. The last few metres of the race passes over the footbridge which crosses the outside pools and is a pleasant way for tired runners to end the race.

Valencia Marathon

5. Ibiza Full and Half Marathons

In April, the fourth edition of the Ibiza Marathon will be held. The race will begin in the afternoon, in the city of Ibiza and will pass through some of the most interesting locations on the island, until it reaches its endpoint in Santa Eularia des Riu.

It is expected that around 3000 runners from multiple nationalities will participate, attracted by the optimal island conditions and environment. In order to cater to a wider audience, there will also be a sports fair called Touribisport and a shorter-distance race going on at the same time.

Runners can decide to participate in three different races: 21K+21K relay, 20K or 12K run. The first is a new concept of race, where two people run half of the distance of a normal marathon each. The 20K runs along the classic distance for a half marathon, while the 12k is dedicated to athletes used to running shorter distances. Registration is already open.

In May, the Ibiza Half Marathon will be held, starting inland in San Jose with the finish by the coast in the city of Ibiza. The registration for the half marathon is already open.

Running in the Balearic Islands

6. Ultra Run Sierra Nevada

The Ultra Run Sierra Nevada race, uaually taking place in April, draws thousands of runners from all over the world who want to test their endurance in the Spanish mountains. The starting point could not be better situated than in the historic centre of Granada under the gaze of the Alhambra, the route then weaves through the mountain range to the Pradollano ski resort. The Ultra Run Sierra Nevada has three different divisions: the 100km Ultra, the 62km Trail and the 40km Marathon.

Ultra Run Sierra Nevada

7. The Fornells Half Marathon, Menorca

This race is perfect for competitors to discover the incredible nature of Menorca in a different way. The dates are to be confirmed.

The Half Marathon is 21 kilometres, leaves from Es Mercadal and crosses El Camino de la Tramuntana before ending in the village of Fornells. The whole route offers fantastic views and the gentle Mediterranean breeze surely eases the way. To get to Es Mercadal, special connecting buses are set up from Fornells and bus tickets can be reserved when race tickets are purchased online.

There is also a shorter, urban circuit of 10 kilometres which starts and ends in the beautiful fishing village of Fornells.

8. The Malaga Marathon

In December, the starting gunshot of the Malaga Marathon will be fired, considered by many to be one of the best marathons in Spain. Its route is quite flat and straight and passes through the main points of the city: the historic centre as well as the port and promenade.

Many runners praise the work of the marathon organisers. Each year, improvements to the race and its facilities are made, according to the opinions and suggestions of both runners and spectators. The Malaga Marathon has a number of food stalls, five of them with medical assistance, which appears more frequently as runners near the finish line.

Malaga Marathon

9. Tenerife Blue trail

The Tenerife Bluetrail is the highest mountain race in Spain and one of the hardest in Europe. There must be something particularly special about this race because, within the first three weeks of registration in 2019, 2000 of the 2700 places were already reserved.
Tenerife Bluetrail
Perhaps its popularity is due to the fact that this unique race starts at sea level, then rises up 3500 metres and crosses beautiful volcanic landscapes, until it reaches the highest peak of Spain, Mount Teide. Or perhaps it’s because Tenerife’s night sky has been awarded the Starlight certification for its quality, offering runners a wonderful and unique panorama of the universe.
Tenerife Bluetrail

The Tenerife Bluetrail is held on 4th of June and has four different divisions: the 101.5km Ultra, the 71km Trail, the 44km Marathon and the 20km Half Marathon. For athletes with reduced mobility, three shorter routes have been created: 1.2km, 3.7km and 8km. Full information about the Tenerife Bluetrail on the official website.

10. EDP Rock 'n' Roll Madrid Full and Half Marathons

In September, the Madrid Marathon returns, better known as the EDP Rock 'n' Roll Madrid Marathon. The route crosses the main monuments of the city, including the Puerta del Sol, the new stadium for Atletico Madrid and finally ending at Fuente de Neptuno next to El Parque de El Retiro. Along the way, runners will pass stalls stocked with various supplies as well as live music, which makes this marathon one of the most vibrant in Spain.

EDP Rock´n´Roll Madrid

There are three different divisions: the 42km Marathon (maximum capacity: 15,000 participants), the 21km Half Marathon (maximum capacity: 17,000) and a shorter race of 10km (maximum capacity: 7000).

11. The Sherry Marathon, Jerez de la Frontera

If running is your passion, but you also wish to discover and enjoy other cultures while on a racing trip, then this event is for you. The Sherry Marathon held in Jerez de la Frontera in Andalusia offers the interesting opportunity to combine sport with visits to the numerous ancient bodegas that tell the story of the sherry wine region's capital, and its rural traditions. 

For the first few kilometres, the route runs through the city streets and will then take you through Jerez's impressive countryside, a landscape made of sweet slopes and infinite vineyards soaked by the warm Andalusian sun. To let you delve even more into the wine culture that impregnates this land, you will also be given the possibility to choose between water and a glass of sherry during the race's stops!

In addition to the marathon programme, there are several activities encouraging participants to discover other attractions in Jerez.

Sherry Marathon - Jerez de la Frontera

As you can see, in Spain there are running events to suit all tastes and abilities, from mountain races and coastal trails to urban circuits and obstacle courses. Runners can push their personal limits whilst discovering the beauty of Spain's cities, countryside, mountains and beaches.

If you want to run, be a part of the excitement, explore Spain and break your own records do not hesitate to register as soon as possible.

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