Sunday, October 9, 2011

Portland Marathon (spectator report)

This was the race that wasn't for me:

Not this year.
But my husband and I drove down to Portland yesterday anyway to cheer on our friend, A, who was running Portland as his first ever marathon. A & his wife, E, moved out to Seattle from Indy this summer. Before they moved back out West, I had visited them in Indy and ran the Indy Mini Marathon with A in May. Well, A & I were supposed to train together this summer for Portland but I kinda screwed that one up.

Anyway, we went down to cheer A on and it was AWESOME!

Menu @ Bailey's Tap Room
Cascade Imperial Amber (Portland, OR) and Double Mountain Killer Green Fresh Hop IPA (Hood River, OR) were my favorites. 

Aside from getting to enjoy many, many (like 16?) of Oregon's celebrated microbrews at Bailey's (try their sampler platter), eat warm cookies from the DoubleTree Inn, and ride the Max, we got to see A (and a pile of other runners) at miles 11, 19.5, and 26.
Go A! 

E & A at the finish. Finishers received an additional finisher's shirt, gold bling medal, 40th anniversary medal, a rose, and a Douglas Fir sapling.
I ended up running miles 19.5 - 23 with A and really enjoyed getting to be a very small part of his big marathon experience. It was so emotional watching all the runners on the course, especially at this most challenging portion outside of the downtown core. I was really fighting back the tears at the finish, watching people come down that last chute.


And it makes me so inspired to train and hungry to race!

Notable sights:

  • two guys running completely barefoot
  • Pacific Islander-style guy running with a green headdress, wrist thingys, and loincloth (and he had nice buns, yes)
  • guy I went to college with who I always knew to collect psyilly mushrooms and travel to Ecuador to chill in the jungle with the curanderos (yes, interesting)
  • guy completely garbed in British flags 
  • beautiful views of downtown Portland from the "other" side of the river (I can never get my directions straight in that town)
  • two women crossing the finish together, holding hands, who reminded me of Kerrie and Zoe (totally choked me up) 
  • one turquoise sparkle skirt (woot!)
  • too many bicyclists WITHOUT helmets (what's UP with that PDX? y'all are dense about this one!) 
  • more cute running skirts than I could count
  • thousands of proud faces

Congratulations to A, Carla (I had hoped to see her but did not), Kristen, and everyone else who ran in Portland, Long Beach, and Chicago this weekend! 


  1. What happened to the comment I just wrote? Anyway, yes, I was in a NuuMuu running dress and capris. The race went well, I am happy with my time of 4:15 (especially as we had to WAIT FOR A TRAIN at mile 25! Sounds like you were a great spectator. My Mom waited in the hotel and met me at SBUX after. My only complaint is that the website is not showing my results. Hope
    The glitches are fixed soon. Well, I KNOW I ran the whole thing! :)

  2. So tough for you not to be able to race. It is great to spectate, but I have no doubt you'll be crossing a finish line soon!

  3. UGH! I've seen SO many people lately - esp downtown - riding without helmets and WITH ipods on. So dumb!

  4. Fun! At least you got to enjoy the marathon from a different perspective. But I'm sure you're ready to train!

  5. So nice you could spectate. I have a hard time getting around downtown Portland, too. What a fun post.

  6. What a fun post! Glad that spectating got your race mojo back! Congrats to A!

  7. That is a sign of a true to the heart friend who goes to cheer, and pace some, a friend who you were suppose to run with. I get choked up when I hear stories like this.

    I ran Portland Marathon in 2009 and absolutely loved it! Had never been to that city before and it was such a cool place. Your report brought back some really fun memories....and you paced your friend almost exactly where my friend paced me there! :)

  8. Great report, Alma, and just knowing you were there was a help to me. I get turned around in that city, too, and I was like, "Where the heck are we?" at several points during the race. You have some excellent karma coming your way, after supporting runners in recent races.

  9. Sometimes it's hard to be the spectator when you want to be racing, but you were a good friend and it sounds like you had a great time.
    Loincloth, huh. Too bad you didn't get a picture of that!

  10. I'm so sorry that you couldn't run Portland this year. I know how disappointing that must have been for you. I think that's awesome that you still went there to support your friends.

  11. It was great that you were there to support Andy! I really think you helped him finish---running alongside him when he was struggling the most was the kick in the butt he needed. So, although you didn't get to run all of Portland this time, you were an important part of a finish!

  12. Thank you so much for being there while I was running. There is no way I would have inspired to sign up, motivated to train, or able to mentally hold it together during race if it had not been for your help. Thanks, and I look forward to running a whole race with you soon!

  13. You are a saint to run some of a marathon with someone else. It sounds like spectating was lots of fun.

    Thanks for all the kind words on my marathon posts!