With the running of the 2016 Portland Marathon, the Portland Marathon Clinic has wound down for the year. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still find a free, supportive weekend long run!
Coach James Mattern, who is an RRCA and Lydiard Certified Level II Coach, organizes and hosts these runs for the sole reason that he knows it helps runners reach their distance and pace goals for spring marathons and half marathons. He is supported by amazing sponsors like Pizza Roma and Road Runner Sports, and by outstandingly generous volunteer pace group leaders. These pace group leaders are all experienced marathoners; if you are interested in helping out he is still looking for more volunteers to donate their time! Just visit his facebook group and let him know.
His schedule is planned primarily for the Eugene Marathon and Half Marathon (May 6-7), but the schedule will also work for the ORRC Vernonia Marathon and Half Marathon (April 9) and the Bend Marathon and Half Marathon (April 23). He has created a plan that offers three different mileage schedules based on your current mileage and your marathon/half marathon experience, which you can review at the Coach Jim facebook group here. He also works to secure discounts for his runners – check out his facebook group to find those promotional codes.
Here’s how his runs work: Everyone shows up by 7:45. While there are restrooms available whenever possible, I suggest taking care of that before you arrive just to keep things on schedule. Before the run, Coach Jim will introduce the pace group leaders and their per-mile pace, so attendants can sort themselves into the right group. He will make sure the pace group leaders are confident with the route and then everyone will start out, with the fastest groups leading the way. Each participant will need to bring their own hydration and nutrition, and groups will need to follow all posted traffic signals. Because the groups can be upwards of 20 runners, it’s important to keep everyone safe. Most routes include a bathroom break and a place to refill water bottles as well. After the run, many people hang around and chat … get coffee and something to munch on; so bring dry clothing to change into. Before you leave, be sure to thank your volunteer pace group leader!
We will post the info for each Saturday’s run on Run Oregon on the preceding Thursday at 5p, but it’s a good idea to also join that facebook group where you can ask any question about the group runs or your training. The first run will be hosted by Road Runner Sports’ downtown location on Saturday, November 5, 2016 at 8a.
In addition to Pizza Roma and Road Runner Sports, other run start locations include Washington Square Mall, Bales Thriftway (in Garden Home), the Vernonia-Banks Trail, and the Grand Central Bakery off N. Fremont.