The official Shamrock Run Portland’s training program at Fleet Feet Sports PDX is off and running!


The official training program of the adidas Shamrock Run Portland at Fleet Feet Sports PDX is off and running (pun intended!). Despite the cold, icy start to the year, these runners have been out training together twice a week and following a daily plan to achieve their goal of running the Shamrock 15K or Half Marathon (and some are even continuing on to the Eugene Marathon. We checked in with runners, coaches, and mentors – here’s what they had to say!


“Staying motivated during the long, cold, dark months of winter is hard! Who hasn’t thought in October, “I’m gonna sign up for a spring race to keep me motivated!”? Now it’s February and the closest thing to training you’ve done is renew your Runner’s World subscription.

This winter I decided I was not to be trusted on my own and signed up for Fleet Feet Sports PDX official Shamrock training program. The winter/spring program targets the Shamrock 15K and half marathon and Eugene Marathon in May. The Fleet Feet program is coached by RRCA certified coaches and includes two weekly coached runs, a long run Saturday and a track or hill workout on Wednesday. The program also includes a daily training schedule.

We are four weeks in and have already had Saturday clinics on hydration, injury prevention, and proper fueling! The Wednesday evenings are full of coaching around stride and form. You basically get to hear from and pick the brain of four amazing coaches!

I know many runners are intimidated by training programs because they feel they aren’t “real runners” or are concerned they may be to slow. I can say that I feel the Fleet Feet coaches take my sub-five-hour marathon goal no less seriously than a runner with a goal of Boston. Personally, having the accountability of a group has been priceless for my running, and as far as the coaching, I now can’t run without thinking about putting pennies in my pockets (ask Coach Bill Hood). The running community is pretty incredible, and in these long dark months it’s pretty fantastic to get together with other equally crazy people.”

-Runner Melanie Humberston


“From my perspective, I see the runners really getting into the training and forming friendships with the other runners that they have met since we started training for the Shamrock. They are a dedicated group of people! They came out to run with us in snow and ice and never complain. It’s so great to see people progress and to see them as they start to believe how strong they really are. Fleet Feet guides the runners, challenges them, and supports them; we want them to have fun while gaining strength and endurance and that’s what I’ve witnessed as each week goes by.”

-Coach Debbie Mason


“Training Programs have always been my passion. We have a group of runners that’s very determined and has already developed into a close-knit team. They have endured running on icy and snowy streets, doing hills repeats in the dark, and completing a 5K time trial during 25 mile an hour winds in 25 degree temps. Our Mentors have been super supportive of our highly qualified coaches making this an amazing coaching team. These winter warriors are going to be prepared for their races and will be able to handle anything mother nature has to throw at them!”

-Coach Susan Zepernick



“I am quite impressed with the runners in this year’s training programs. We are fortunate to have a mix of participants from previous years (including several who are mentors), as well as runners new to a structured program. Everyone has shown great dedication to training in the harsh conditions that 2017 has provided us so far. As a proverb says, “You use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another.” This is a great and supportive community of runners, and I look forward to seeing them tackle the Shamrock 15K and half marathon in March, and the Eugene full and half marathons in May.”

-Coach Bill Hood


“I have been involved as a mentor with the running program since the beginning of the year. So far, I am impressed by the level of coaching participants are receiving. All the coaches are experienced runners and Fleet Feet makes sure that they have the proper coaching certification and training. The program brings in guest speakers to the long run who have expertise in their respective fields. For instance, they brought a physical therapist to talk about common running injuries. Another day, they brought in a Nathan rep to talk about hydration. This week, they are bringing a Cliff rep to talk about nutrition. What I like the best about this running program is the emphasis on injury prevention. Every run starts with a warmup and dynamic stretches and ends with more stretching. In addition, runs are time based which also helps with preventing injury. “

-Mentor Noel Tavan

The runners in our training programs have already heard all about the amazing VIP Experience Fleet Feet Sports PDX and adidas are putting on for race day – have you?

The adidas/Fleet Feet Sports PDX VIP Experience includes:

  • Large, heated, and DRY tent!
  • Secure bag drop
  • Live DJ
  • VIP Bathrooms – that’s right, these aren’t your run-of-the-mill porta-potties!
  • Photo Booth
  • Catered drinks and food
  • An all-morning-long party – perfect for anyone running the 5K to the half marathon!

How to gain access to the VIP tent on race day:

  • Shop at any of the three Fleet Feet Sports PDX locations (NW Portland, Lake Oswego, Vancouver) between now and race weekend* and spend $130 or more on adidas products in-store and score an exclusive wristband to grant you access on race morning. Be sure to remember your wristband – it’s the only way we’ll know to let you in!

Want more info on getting in on the VIP Experience? Visit Fleet Feet Sports PDX’s website to learn more – or even better, stop by one of our three locations to talk to our staff! Don’t miss our Terwilliger hill training run on February 16th – we’ll raffle off a couple of VIP entries!

Kate Cornelius is a #nomeatathlete running and eating her way around Portland. She loves to cook and share her culinary creations on Instagram (find her on Instagram [] and Twitter [] as @kateecorn). A runner, yogi, triathlete, and all-around fitness fan, Kate plans to run a 50K and 70.3 distance tri in 2017!

About Matt Rasmussen (1569 Articles)
Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching the Olympics, sampling craft beers, 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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