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Carlos Sá

carlos sa run


The portuguese ultramarathonist Carlos Sá is a great example of courage and perseverance. Born in Vilar do Monte (Barcelos, Portugal) in 1973, his path in the sports world began when he was only 12 years old, in Athletics. Carlos participated in innumerous competitions until he was 19, when he decided to stop for a while and experience everything that his daily sports life wouldn’t allow him to. He became a sedentary person: while smoking two packs of cigars per day and eating too much, he reached the weight of 96kg and was in danger of developing serious health problems.

Carlos lost ten years of his life living that way and spent five others returning to competitions, winning challenge after challenge and becoming the incredible ultramarathonist that we know today. Fifteen years later, he’s one of the greatest international athletes of the most demanding sports activity in the world.

Among so many others incredible achievements, there’s the exceptional first place at the Badwater Ultramarathon of 2013, considered the world’s toughest foot race; a fourth place at the 2012 and 2014 editions of Le Marathon des Sables, where he was both of the times the best European athlete and the best non-African athlete of the competition; and a honorable fifth place at the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc 2011.

But even with so many accomplishments, the biggest one was certainly the transformation from someone who once gave up on sports for the exceptional athlete that he is today, turning out a truly example of willpower and determination.  

Additionally, Carlos is responsible for the organization of some trail running competitions in Portugal. In 2016 he organized the TransPeneda-Gerês Trail World Championships, a route of 85km with 4500m of elevation gain. 


Favorite trails:“(running in) different trails is the starting point to avoid monotony, even though it doesn’t upset me to run consecutively in the same places where I usually run”
Weekly workouts: Everyday, between 2 to 5 hours
Usually workout with: Usually alone but prefers to run with company  
Hardest competition:Arrowhead 135 at Alasca, 220km non stop
More significant competition: Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc 2011 and Badwater 2013
Biggest concern: Having fun without losing focus during the workout  
Greatest inspiration: Be able to keep doing what he likes the most


1st Trail des Hauts Forts - 51km (France)
1st Pirineos Fit - 234km (Spain)
4º Tor de Geants - 330km (Italy)
The Greenland Crossing - self-sufficient
2nd by Team / 8th Individual – Marathon des Sables – 250km (Morocco)
3rd The Costal Challange 225Km (Costa Rica)
13th Marathon des Sables - 250km (Morocco)
3rd Badwater Ultra Marathon 217km non stop (California - USA)
4th Marathon des Sables - 250km (Morocco)
6th The Costal Challange 225Km (Costa Rica)
World Record Aconcágua 6962m (Argentina)
7th Marathon des Sables - 250km's self-suficient (Morocco)
1st Madeira Island Ultra Trail (Madeira - Portugal) - Portuguese Champion Ultra Trail
1st Badwater Ultra Marathon 217km non stop (California - USA)
1st Trail Morzine - Avoriaz 43km (Alpes France)
1st Trail dos Abutres – 18km (Portugal)
1st Trail Glazig – 18km + 42km (France)
1st Trail terras de Sicó - 38km (Portugal)
4th Marathon des Sables – 250km (Marocco)
1st Ultra Trail Aldeias de Courel - 85km (España)
4th Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc - 160 km (France)
5th Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc – 160km (France)
8th Marathon des Sables – 250km (Marocco)

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