Our manifesto to help saving a fading tradition
Back in the golden age of 1999 (yes, last century, I know...), when I first laced up my trainers and hit the pavement, respectful nods and enthusiastic waves were still a thing.
Fellow runners, strangers united by sweat and endorphins, acknowledged each other with a simple gesture, a raising of the hand, a slight bend of the elbow, an acknowledgment that said, "Hey, fellow sweaty stranger, I see you battling those demons in your head".
A silent "we're in this pain train together" that helped building a sense of community, even amongst strangers. Like a secret handshake, only cooler because it involved less awkward palm-sweating.
'El Camino', St.James way - a case study
Anyone who knows me knows how much I like a good marketing strategy. Not too long ago, I have discussed one here, from the past, regarding the sale of coffee in Porto - a very successful one, by the way! But the one I will discuss next is much older, and gave rise to a presently thriving tourism product: 'El Camino', the pilgrimage way to Santiago de Compostela!
est.reading time: 3 min
A statue with a nomadic lifestyle
(January, 10th, 2024) The iconic statue 'o Porto' was relocated. It is now placed next to the 'old town hall' tower, a few meters away from Porto's Cathedral - and has a shiny new golden spear!
This stoic figure, sculpted in the 1800s, has seen the city change dramatically over the last two centuries, and it has been quite the traveler itself. Kind of a tourist in its own city! Shall we learn a bit more about its journey and symbology?
est.reading time: 6 min.
100 years ago
On December 27, 1923, France lost an illustrious figure who had left an indelible mark on the world – Gustave Eiffel. More than just an engineer, he was a visionary, and a leader of industry, who transformed the landscape of engineering with his designs and innovative techniques.
While the iconic Eiffel Tower stands tall as a a beacon of progress and a testament to his genius, Eiffel's contributions extended far beyond this architectural marvel. His outstanding constructions often overshadow the very important influence Gustave Eiffel has had on Science, especially Aerodynamics.
Having an educational background in engineering myself, I consider him as one of the most fascinating characters in history, of his time.
Read on to learn a couple more things about Eiffel's legacy in science - and his previous work here in Porto!
est.reading time: 8 min
A visionary. Our most audacious entrepreneur.
Henrique, a son, brother and nephew of kings, became a vigorous entrepreneur with regard to the Portuguese maritime expansion. He idealized it and surrounded himself with the right people to see this personal project through. It is widely accepted that he was one of the mentors of the start of globalization, namely of commerce, as we know it.
(Oh and, in case you're wondering: the Portuguese word 'infante' means prince and not 'young child')
In this post we will discuss the prince's businesses, his motivations and his close connection to Porto!
Henrique's statue pointing the direction of the Atlantic ocean.
Same direction we lead this cheerful group of Israeli runners to run-explore Porto.
Port, one of Europe's great classic wines.
Produced on the steep hillside vineyards of the upper Douro valley, this wine originates from one of world's oldest and most beautiful wine regions where vines have been grown for over 2000 years...! (...)
Est. reading time: 3 min
The historic fresh produce market of Porto is now reopen!
Built over the course of the first world war (1914) and having undergone deep renovation works - for the last 4 years!- Bolhao was just given back to the city and the Portuenses!
(photos above) a Belgian couple on one of our first tours, going through the old Bolhao market, back in 2016. The cluttering and the signs of aging were evident and therefore it came as no surprise when, in 2018, the city council announced it would be closing for a deep intervention.
LOOKING FOR A CHALLENGE?
Almost back to normal: the running scene in Porto is tremendously active and eclectic, with many well-established and organized races throughout the year - and registrations are now open!
Here's a short list with the most interesting ones, including Porto's marathon (November), Porto half-marathon (September), a couple of shorter races (10 & 15k) and specially selected introductory videos of their previous editions.
We've even included an Orienteering event and a 'one-of-a-kind-mad-two-stages-uphill-race' named Porto a Subir...!!
Credits: Matias Novo Fotografias
Est. reading time: 6 minutes
When he was only 12, Adriano Telles left Alvarenga, a small village in the north of Portugal. Destination: Brazil.
At the age of 44, he was back and opened his first coffeehouse and coffee import business in Porto. His success, back in 1903, was due mainly to his smart marketing techniques, even though his product was not as popular as it is nowadays!
Can these marketing lessons from the past possibly be of any use for the future success of a small running tour outfit, such as Porto Running Tours?
Fundraisers of the early 1900s literally aimed for the sky.
While doing my homework for a themed corporate running tour last week, I came across old photographs and several reports of an epic fundraiser that took place at the long gone Porto's own Crystal Palace/Palácio de Cristal.
Hundreds of people bought tickets to see an airplane that had been purchased solely for that purpose: to be the main attraction of that charity event!
The following -true- story took place in Porto, late summer, in 1912. It is a perfect example of the entrepreneurial attitude of those times - still embroidered in most Portuenses you'll meet (...)
Some people led extraordinary lives
Our 'King-soldier' Pedro IV, the 'Liberator', was born in Portugal 223 years to this day. When he turned 24 he was proclaimed the first emperor of Brazil, the former Portuguese colony to which he had recently given independence. That day was also a 12th of October, of 1822.
Over the course of Pedro's short life (34years) he abdicated the throne twice, was father to 19 children and fought many battles for freedom in two different continents.
Pedro's heart, the actual organ, is still nowadays the most amazing treasure the city of Porto has in its care.
In this post I share a couple more of utterly unbelievable -real- stories about him (...)!
Est. reading time: 3 min
If you are looking for a stylish dinner or if you're in the need to impress your running partner, then you may want to skip Porto's traditional 'francesinha in a beer-house' or the bifanas @conga and make a reservation at a more exclusive place like the ones in this list.
âWe run right past the front entrance of most of them on our running tours and therefore it may help you decide which one fits you the best, based on its location and some of the information we provide!
Read on to learn more about the restaurants and chefs of the short list for a Michelin-starred memorable food experience in 2021 here in Porto (...)
Est. reading time: 8 minutes
So, here we are: November 2020, cold days and rain in most of the northern hemisphere... And a pandemic... While some of us seek comfort in a cup of tea while watching the news on TV about these turbulent times, others turn to their wine stock and serve themselves a glass of Port (no judgement here, I honestly consider it to be a sign of good taste!!) ...
After all, are these two 'comfort drinks' all that different?
With Porto and the Douro valley as a backdrop, let's set out in search of points of intersection between Port and tea - they do have a few things in common!
...who banned Coca-Cola from being sold in Portugal in the 1920's?
Est.reading time: 10 min
If I was to name one person that perfectly epitomizes to spirit of the fight against pandemics in Portugal, I would not hesitate: Porto-born Ricardo Jorge.
Yet, regardless of his decisive contributions to public health in the country, some of the Portuguese know him for a quirkier story of a long lasting ban of the most recognizable of sparkling drinks...
âLet's put the gear in reverse and scroll down the timeline to learn a bit more about this remarkable man's failures and successes!
Est. reading time: 6min
"Long live the King! DEATH TO THE COMPANY!!"
February 23rd, 1757: Leading the crowd that morning were many tavern keepers followed by some coopers, wine merchants but most of them were... tavern regulars!
This blog post contains a short overview on one of the most humiliating episodes of the city's History, where 26 of the involved people were hanged, beheaded and quartered and their bodies displayed in several locations within the city...! (...)
Though this might have been a rather gloomy introduction, take it as an invitation to learn more about about the oldest Portuguese wine company and its recently opened restaurant, cigar club & wine tasting room and an interactive museum, '1756 - Museu da 1ª Demarcação'. We visited it: post includes photos & two short videos!
Sérgio é o fundador da Porto Running Tours, corre regularmente desde 1999 e desde 2015 que guia visitas em corrida na Invicta enquanto revela algumas das suas mais fascinantes histórias.
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