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Get your skates on - it’s running season in Catalonia

Here is a rundown (pun intended) of races in Catalonia over the coming months


26 September 2019 02:55 PM


Oliver Little | Barcelona

Whilst some use the prospect of hot weather and summer beaches as motivation to get fit and flaunt those washboard abs, obviously you did not.

After a few too many summer pints and parties, there is no shame in looking in the mirror and getting that same feeling in the pit of your stomach that opposition benches in the House of Commons presumably get every time Boris Johnson is at the despatch box rambling on about not wanting dither and delay. 

Do not fear however. Even Lionel Messi is currently lacking fitness, so why can’t you? Plus, it’s running season in Catalonia. Here’s a list of the standout races to come in Catalonia. Time to shed those extra kilos. 

Cursa de la Mercè

Perhaps last weekend’s la Mercè festival has caused much of this angst. However, event organizers are somewhat merciful (pun also intended), as their annual run takes place as soon as September 29.

A 10km road circuit begins and ends at Avinguda Maria Cristina will begin at 9am on Sunday. Last year, around 12,000 participants completed the race. Out of kindness, the winning time will remain undisclosed (however it was under half an hour). 

However, out of kindness once again (and cruelty), the slowest time was 1 hour and 50 minutes. 

The race is for all levels, and the circuit is a fantastic 10km through the streets of Barcelona. Above all, it’s a celebration - la Mercè is not over yet!

Cursa entre zombies 

If a zombie was chasing you would you run faster? If the answer is no, then quite simply you are one. On October 30, the eve of Halloween, the prospect of a 5k run is made even more daunting by what is lurking along the way.

The adrenaline will certainly be pumping in the Gavà area as runners will encounter a bloodthirsty zombie or two that will either put some life back into those weary legs, or suck the rest of the life out of them. Don’t look behind you, and do not stop. 

Cursa de les Dones

Female participation for la Mercè is now above 30%. For the “Cursa de les Dones”, female participation is a staggering 100%. 

As you may have guessed then, this race is female-only. At 9am on November 17, Catalan women will embark on a 7.8km circuit from Avinguda Maria Cristina.

The race is very much for all ages - there is a category for girls between 12 and 15 years old, all the way up to women over 75. Yikes. 

Cursa dels Nassos

Finish 2019 with a bang with the “Cursa dels Nassos”, held on New Year’s Eve. This translates as “Race of the noses”. You’re wondering why? How nosey (one final time, pun intended). Here’s why.

December 31 marks el “Dia de Sant Silvestre”. For this reason, the race was initially called “Sant Silvestre Barcelonesa”

A man relevant to this day is “l’home dels nassos” - noseman. The number of noses noseman has depends on how many days are left in the year - on New Year’s Eve, he has one. On New Year’s Day, he goes back into hiding, since he now has 365 noses. 

There are other 10km races in other areas of Catalonia to celebrate “Sant Silvestre”.

14,000 people are expected to participate in the 10km race, which will start and finish in Carrer Selva de Mar, and it includes a 4km stretch next to the beach. It’ll be December however, so the ocean may not look quite as appealing…

Barcelona Marathon

Perhaps the culmination of the running season is on March 11 - the Barcelona Marathon. Known for its fast, flat track, very rarely is there an opportunity to cover all of the city spots on foot in a single day. 

The race begins at 8.30am off Plaça de Espanya, and will scale over 42km of Barcelona. Once the final runner begins the race, runners will have a six hour time limit. There are also the following categories:

Sub 23: 18-22

Senior: 23-34

Veteran A: 35-44

Veteran B: 45-54

Veteran C: 55-64

Veteran D: 65+

Agreed. Classifying 35-44 year-olds as “Veterans” is incredibly harsh. Nevertheless, registration is available to all at a cost of €61.50.

Other races on offer

While this preview has mentioned standout upcoming races, there are many, many more on offer: 

Cursa de Sant Antoni: So you got in shape, and then Christmas came. Get back on the horse on January 19 by heading out to the Sant Antoní neighborhood. 

Cursa Bombers: On October 27, head out towards Parc de la Ciutadella for a 10km dash. And no, you don’t have to be a fireman.

Jean Bouin: A scenic 5km or 10km run near the beach and through the Parc de Montjuïc and Ciutadella on November 24. Named after a French middle-distance runner with a moustache.

La Mitjà Granollers: If a marathon seems a bit much, on the morning of February 2, join 15,000 runners in a half marathon in Granollers. If that’s too much, there is also a 10km run. If that’s too much, there is also a quarter marathon. If that’s too much, stay at home.

Maratest: Exactly what you think. A 15km in Badalona or a 30km in El Prat test run for the marathon on February 23. In the words of the great Arnold Schwarzenegger, “put that cookie down, now.”

Cursa El Corte Inglés: Participate in one of Barcelona’s most populous races on April 5, 2020. Last year’s edition had over 42,000 participants. 

Milla Sagrada Família: Bring the running season to an end with the mile run around the Sagrada Família. Don’t worry, you don’t have to climb it. 

There are various 10km runs across Catalonia if, inexplicably, the above wasn’t enough. Visit to further quench your running desires. 



  • The Barcelona Marathon takes place on March 11 (by Cristina Buisan)

  • The Barcelona Marathon takes place on March 11 (by Cristina Buisan)