Barcelona is known to be a beautiful city, but did you know that it is also an easy city to run? We have long, wide avenues, with a major part of the city being flat. The scenic streets running parallel to the seaside are a good example. However, if flat isn’t your thing, you can also experience some uphill action if you choose the streets going from the sea to the mountain. Our running tours are designed to showcase the best that the city has to offer. One thing our tour guests often ask about is the best running races in the city. It’s not an easy question to answer.
Given the varied landscape, race organisers can mix in a bit of everything to give some “personality” to their races. Some of them run through the city centre, others at the seaside, some of them on the hills… And there are all kind of distances to choose! I would dare say that there isn’t a weekend goes by in which no runs are held!
Women, for your info: from 1954 to 1962 it was forbidden by Spanish law for women to run. Fortunately things change and now you can see lots of female runners in all the races, no matter how long they are.
If I had to choose the ten (ok, let’s say eleven) best running races in Barcelona, the following would be the ones for me:
Main Barcelona Running Races
Date: Usually April
The most popular running race in Barcelona! This 2019 we ran its 41st edition. Everybody takes part in it, running or walking, alone or with friends. Many of the runners in Barcelona had their first taste of running here. And it’s free! A bit more than 10k, departing from the very city centre and running up to the Olympic Stadium. One of the few runs where you can step into it!
Date: Mid February, 4 weeks before its “big brother”.
19.000 ran in the last edition, where we had some records, too!
Date: Mid March
A very well organized marathon, that runs along really beautiful places. I had the chance to pass by La Sagrada Familia when the bells where ringing, and that was amazing!!!! To the many runners, add all the supporters that make the marathon to a big city party. And the previous day, you can enjoy the Breakfast run and a Pasta Party.
Date: January, Sunday nearest St Anthony’s day
A traditional running race in Barcelona, in 2019 the run reached its 41st edition. With a quite “speedy” track, people try to hit personal bests here, even if it is only a couple of weeks after all the Christmas eating!!!
Date: 1st November
This run is unique. Organized by a family who produces tailor-made running shoes. It is a free run; the only “fee” is to bring a bottle of water and some packed snack when enrolling. With all these, they gather the runners at their arrival. The departure is at the Montjuic Castle and the arrival at Tibidabo Park, on the Tibidabo hill. Before enrolling, take a look at the map… 🙂 If you join our Sight-running tour “Castle and olympic stadium run” or “Must See”, you will see the departure and arrival point. Impressive track!
Date: Second half of November
This race seems to be the oldest popular running race in Spain! This year we will run the 96th edition, so it has quite a lot of history… The first race was held in 1920 and only men could run. It wasn’t until 1947 that women could participate, but they could run only a 500 meters race! Nowadays, this race offers 4 different racing options: 5k, 10k, scholarships and federated athletes.
“Bombers” are the firemen. Some 20 years ago, they organized this run for the first time. You will recognize them running wearing all their equipment!!!! Amazing! The track is very nice, as it goes through the city centre.
Date: 31st December, afternoon.
This is a very popular run, as it celebrates the last day of the year. Very cheap fee, as the City Hall promotes the run.
Date: Usually January
A run that gives the 100% of the fees to the Multiple Sclerosis Association and uses the Montmeló F1 facilities! With lots of activities for all the family, dancing, food trucks… you can spend a nice sunday morning.
Date: Usually October
This run is different because it starts and finishes at the Olympic Stadium and runs on the Monjuich hill (it is not a trail; it is all roads). It pays tribute to the Popular Olympic Games that where to be hold in Barcelona and that the Civil War, under a dictator’s regime, stopped.
Date: Usually April
With this run, Salomon wants to offer “trail running” to everybody. The run is on the Montjuich hill and goes up and down on stairs, paths, roads… a bit of everything. The run goes also into the “Poble Espanyol”, a kind of open air museum that shows the most typical Spain arquitecture and art.
The particularity of this race is that it is a run only for women, all dressed in a pink t-shirt. It is organized to raise donations for fighting breast cancer.
There you have it! The ten best running races in Barcelona. If you are interested in exploring the city further, don’t forget to check out our guided tours.