Shamrock Race Day tips: parking, public transit, and not losing your friends

shamrock-run-bannerThis was posted originally at Run Oregon’s old home on on March 11, 2011. Information has been migrated over here to the new Run Oregon blog and updated as necessary!

On March 16th, 35,000 runners and walkers will meet up at Waterfront Park, along with thousands more volunteers, spectators, vendors, and people who just can’t pass up a party.

If you’re driving to the Portland Shamrock Run, take a look at all of the 2013 Shamrock Run course maps so you know which roads will be closed. Downtown Portland will be closed during the race from Broadway to the waterfront, which means the Burnside, Morrison, and Hawthorne Bridges are also unaccessible. The other main roads that will be closed are Terwilliger and Barbur, leaving your best options for parking either west of Broadway, the South Waterfront district (via I-5 or Highway 43), Chinatown, or on the Eastside (and walk over the river to the start). If you drive, be sure to allow for 10-15 minutes walking from wherever you’re lucky enough to find a spot.

If you’re able to take public transit, please do. It will be much, much better for everyone involved. According to the Shamrock Run website, MAX riders should get off at the SW 1st and Oak stop – but if you need a warm-up, why not hop off the train a little early and warm-up on your way to the start?

The start for all races is on SW Naito at SW Pine, heading North. That means that thousands of people will be lined up on Naito to the south of SW Pine. If you are walking to the start area, you will find it easier to cross closer to the Salmon Fountain. The 15k kicks things off at 7:40a, followed by the 8k at 820a, and the 5k at 9:20a. There are additional options as well, with the Leprechaun Lap Kid’s 1k at 8:50a and the 5k walk at 9:40a.


Now that you’ve got what you need to make a good plan for getting to the race, make a plan for meeting back up with your friends if you get separated. Before the race, make sure you know what your buddies are wearing underneath their jacket or sweatshirt, so you can pick them out after they’ve shed their outer layers. Also, talk about your expected finish times, so you have an idea of when you’ll all be coming in.

For a reunion point, you can pick an intersection, but if you do, make sure you specify the NE, NW, SE, or SW corner; and make sure it’s not too close to the finish at SW Salmon and SW Naito. Another good idea is to pick one of the many tents that will be set up in Waterfront Park – like the BAC tent, the Red Lizard tent, or a favorite – the Irish Setters!

And for after the race, skip the downtown hot spots like Mother’s (even though they are delicious) and head to some further out of the way brunch spots, like the Industrial Cafe on SW Vaughn if you’re in a small group or one of the many locally-owned Biscuits Cafe restaurants which are all over the Portland Metro.

About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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