Race Preview: 2015 Portland Marathon

In case you didn’t realize it yet, the lovely month of October is just right around the corner. Where does the time go, right? For some people October means crisp cool sweater weather and pumpkin flavored everything. For others, it means tackling the daunting full or half marathons offered annually by the Portland Marathon. This year, I happen to fall into the latter category, opting for all 26.2 miles (although I do love anything and everything pumpkin flavored). While the half marathon has sold out of its public entries, those interested in racing still have the options of signing up for the full or the half marathon as a charity entry. This year happens to mark the 44th Portland Marathon to date and the race will, as always, provide runners with scenic views of Portland with the race winding through the waterfront, historic old town, various residential neighborhoods, and crossing over the iconic St. John’s Bridge. The official start location is at SW 4th and Taylor at 7a.m. sharp, with both half marathoners and full marathoners starting together using a corral system based on predicted finish times. Predicted finish times are entered by racers during the initial registration process. The amazing Portland running club, Team Red Lizard, will be holding down the pacing responsibilities, leading 15 total pace groups ranging from 3:00 to 5:00.

Official course maps and spectators guide can be found here: Course maps & Spectators maps/guide

There will be approximately 19 aid stations spread throughout the race and located less than 2 miles from each other, providing water and the mineral replacement, Ultima Replenisher. In addition to that, there will be 5 to 6 aid stations offering carbo replacements such as gummy bears and pretzels. Also, just as importantly, portable toilets will be available at the start, finish, at aid stations and along the course at different points. Phew!

For those curious about the course elevation.

 All finishers will cross the finish line at SW 3rd Avenue where they will be greeted with friendly volunteers who show you the way to nearby tables covered with mountains of post-race grub. When I first ran the Portland Marathon a few years back and (eventually) crossed the finish line, I victoriously downed 3 chocolate milk cartons within 5 minutes (I wish I was kidding). This was obviously the worst idea ever, but at the time, tasted awesome! In addition to all the high quality grub, finishers will also receive a finishers medal and long sleeve finishers shirt, a disposable cover up jacket, a Portland rose, a tree seedling to plant, and more.

For those looking to qualify for the Boston Marathon, the Portland Marathon is indeed a qualifier for the 2017 Boston Marathon as well as the 2016 Boston Marathon if registration is still open. Chrono Track chip timing system will be used for the Portland Marathon, with timed splits occurring at the start, 10k, 10 mile, half, 20 mile, 35km, and finish. If your friends or loved one’s want to track where you are during the race, there will be runner/walker tracking available the day of the race on the Portland Marathon website.

October 4, 2015

Some important info to note, there will not be a baggage check on event day. Foot Traffic downtown, however, will offer a bag check Friday and Saturday before the race and starting at 5:30a.m. race day. The service is free to race participants who show a receipt of purchase from Foot Traffic within the previous 3 months or if a participant is a Foot Traffic member. For all others, there is an $8 fee.

Packet pick up will take place at the Portland Marathon Sports and Fitness Expo held at the Portland Hilton downtown. The Expo is Friday, October 2, 2015 from 11a.m. to 8p.m. as well as Saturday, October 3, 2015 from 9a.m. to 7p.m. There will be no packet pick up Sunday (day of race).

Best wishes and happy training, everyone!

Portland Marathon full and half

Date: Sunday, October 4, 2015

Start time: 7a.m.

Start location: SW 4th & Taylor

Register: Portland Marathon Registration

Cost: Full marathon $140; Half marathon charity entry $250

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