Jorge Teixeira, director-general of Runporto, believes the change in circuit will translate into better results from the athletes, it’s a “much flatter and more competitive” course, and he considers the obtaining of a competition record “is difficult, but not impossible.”

“We hope that this year, with the small alteration in the course that, for me, is flatter and more competitive, comes to translate into the result next Sunday. We know the record, doing it within 59 minutes [0:59.30 hours by Zersebay Tadese (Eritrea), in 2011, is the men’s record to beat], is difficult, but not impossible. There aren’t things that are impossible, not even the world record is impossible, these things are like melons. They’re opened and only on the day do you see whether they’re good or not,” he explained in the event’s press conference, which took place at Alfândega do Porto.

On the male side, among the many heavyweights, the organisation highlighted the presence of Kenyans Mike Kiptum Boit, winner of the 2018 edition, Evans Kipchirchir Sambu, bronze in 2022, and Anthony Kimutai, who in Lille this year achieved a promising time of 1:00.43 hours.

Ricardo Ribas, André Silva and Ricardo Pereira are some Portuguese runners in the competition, who will also count on the notable appearance of Portuguese Olympic athlete Domingos Castro, aged 59, and Eric Domingo Roldán, the Spanish sportsman who became known for running while he drove his mum in a wheelchair, which he’ll go again in Porto.

On the female side, the favourite would be Kenyan Caroline Chepkemoi, who did a 1:09.13 at the Lisbon Half Marathon in 2019, while Dulce Félix, Rafaela Fonseca and Daniela Cunha commanded the competition’s Portuguese participation.

On its return to Vila Nova de Gaia, where 8 of the 21 kilometres in the course run, after a year-long interregnum caused by works on the Luís I Bridge, the Porto Half Marathon has its start scheduled for 9AM on Sunday on the Av. de Dom Carlos I in Porto, next to the Jardim do Passeio Alegre, and they’ll return at the end to the same location.