Race: Portland Marathon
Location: Portland, OR
3 Bests – what aspects of the race did you like the most
- It was a fun race overall so hard to pick 3 things. Portland is a fun, friendly city and the race was well organized. 3 things I can think of:
- The course – it was along the Willamette river for the most part and included a back & forth over one of the river bridges. So, we got great views of the city. Lots of aid stations so runners don’t need to carry bottles etc.
- The people – Portland is a friendly city and it showed. People showed up by the side of the road to cheer and high five the runners. That was fun!
- Location – the start and finish lines were right downtown near the hotel district. So, it was easy to get to and from the race. We took the Amtrak down from Seattle and walked to our hotel from Portland’s Union Station. So, no car/travel arrangements needed beyond the train tickets!
Not so much – aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you
A part of the race was on a highway where only 2 lanes were blocked for runners. So if you were running in the outer lane, high-speed highway traffic was zipping by you. Not a problem in itself, but the draft created by a big Semi going at 55 mph can surprise you!
Weird factor – what’s the weirdest thing about this race
It was weird in a good way! All runners got tree saplings after finishing the race. Given the state of Eagle Creek today, runners could donate their saplings for use in the reforestation effort. The event’s website claims that >150,000 Portland marathon trees have been planted in the Pacific Northwest!
Highlights of your race – what did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular
Followed Matt’s advice ☺. Didn’t go out too hard. Stayed consistent with my pace and form/cadence. This helped me overcome tiredness towards the end and set a PR.
Lessons Learned – share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner or yourself on the next time around
The uphills are deceptive. Think of it as one big climb starting around mile 6. You climb continuously for 4-5 miles and then turn around. So plan accordingly.
Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race
It’s a road race with very frequent aid stations (1 every 2 miles!!) so plan on running light and maybe set a PR!
Organized and well run – did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?
Overall, it was well organized and the volunteers were amazing.
Logistics – Anything special regarding getting to/from the race, hotels around the course, registration…?
Participants should try staying at one of the downtown hotels. Its near the expo and start/finish lines. Portland has great transit so even if you fly in to the airport, you don’t really need a car. Everything is walkable if you’re downtown.
Weather and typical race conditions
Typical Pacific Northwest fall weather – wet and cool. Though the sun did shine for the last hour or so.
Spectators – is this a friendly course for your friends and family?
Yes! Lots of aid stations and the course winds through some interesting Portland neighborhoods.
How’s the swag?
Pretty standard. But the Portland rose and the tree sapling were winners!
The Overall Score – how many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it
Five stars. Highly recommended!