Saint Silvester's Race Around the World
Originally from Brazil, Saint Silvester’s Road Race is nowadays one of the most famous and traditional races around the world.
If you’re in Lisbon, in Madeira’s island, in the Algarve or in São Paulo, put on your best trainning shoes and join one of the most expected events of the year !!
Saint Silvester’s Race origins
At the beginning of the 20th century, Cásper Líbero, a famous journalist and lawyer from São Paulo, came back to his home town from a trip to Paris with a enormous desire: to create a night race around town.
A sports lover decided to promote a similar event in Brazil, he started a night race that would take place on the last day of the year of 1925. Saint Silvester’s Race had officially began, and it was named in honour to the Saint of the day — Saint Silvester.
Saint Silvester’s Race in São Paulo
Taking place on the streets and avenues of São Paulo, its actual route is 15 quilometers long and passes by some of the most important avenues in town — including Paulista Avenue, where the priviledged L’Hotel PortoBay São Paulo stands.
The race is already on its 91th edition. There are generations and generations of runners that are waiting the entire year to take this route around town !!
The biggest male winner is the Kenyan Paul Tergat, with 5 consecutive victories. Among the feminine runners, the Portuguese Rosa Mota has 6 consecutive victories and is the biggest over-all winner of the race !!
It was first imagined by Júlio Deodoro, who used to write for the Brazilian newspaper Gazeta Desportiva. In 1944, the small version of Saint Silvester’s race was officially open to boys and girls with ages between 6 and 15 years old.
The distance to run is much smaller but the enthusiasm and the joy of participating on the race is the same for kids and grown ups !!
Saint Silvester’s in Lisbon
Year after year, on the 26th of December, Liberdade’s Avenue is transformed into an athletics track to receive about 12.000 athletes that have participated on the 8th edition of the race in Lisbon.
On this case, PortoBay Liberdade is no mandatory stop but it sure has a very privileged view to watch the enthusiasm of Portuguese and Internacional runners !!
Just like São Silvestrinha in São Paulo, the little runners with ages between 5 and 13 could also practice their sports skills and had the chance to run distances from 300 meters at "Corrida de São Silvestre da Pequenada”. There was a lot of fun and will to cross the line !!
Saint Silvester’s in Funchal
According to tradition for over 57 editions on the island, the Athletics Association of Madeira organized, on the last 28th of December, one more edition of one of the oldest events in Portugal and in Europe.
The capital of Madeira’s island was packed with the adrenaline of the runners and everybody couldn’t wait for one more 6 quilometers long route through Funchal’s streets.
Besides being one of the most important anual events — right after the Reveillon — all the money raised is given to a solidarity institution. A race that is good for your body’s health and your heart !!
Saint Silvester’s in the Algarve
It took place on the 26th of December and it’s the 5th year in a row that the race is organized on the south of the country, in Quarteira (right next to Vilamoura and Albufeira).
On this more adapted version of the original race, the runners can choose to go on the 10 quilometers route or on the 5 quilometers one.
If you’re feeling a little out of shape after Christmas, you can also sign up for the walks and join the celebration !!