Star Light, Star Bright: Run Oregon remembers back to Starlight Runs of yesteryear

Last week, Robin relayed her favorite memories about running in costume. Her quote of “The Starlight Run is fun for so many reasons. The crowds cheering, high fives all around, the thrill of leading off the parade that is in turn, kicking off the Rose Festival. It is “Portland’s party in the streets” definitely is the feeling of a lot of people out there!

I thought it would be fun to ask some of our bloggers about their memories of this storied race.

Matt: 2016 was my first,and so far only, running of this Portland staple. My wife and daughters were just starting to get into running, so this seemed like an ideal family event. The few other races I had done with my seven-year-old were marred by cold temperatures and rain – not exactly prime weather for a young child just starting out running. Quite the opposite occurred at the Starlight Run, with temperatures nearing triple digits! While this necessitated many extended walking breaks, it was well worth it, as the excitement and support along the race course was second to none. My daughters loved to giving high-fives to the crowd, and checking out all of the costumed runners along the course. Despite the heat, they still talk about this race with high regard. And there is a parade at the end – what could be better than that!

Kelly: I ran Starlight Run once with Girls on the Run. We had so much fun and my buddy (an outstanding athlete) ran at least 4 miles because she crisscrossed the street so often to give high-fives to younger spectators. I loved that people were in the mood to cheer; it makes a really fun atmosphere and you get to see Portland in a different light. There was another year I went – but just to spectate as I’d run the Newport Marathon earlier that day. The costume contest was really entertaining as one runner was dressed up as Portland’s Aerial Tram, complete with monopoly money that was falling off the back as he ran.

Geli: My only running of the Starlight Run so far was several years ago with Girls on the Run as well. I liked the staging area and start/finish on the Lincoln High football field where there was plenty of space to group up and get ready. While dressing up in costume is not my thing, I love watching others and their good ideas of intricate, fun get ups. Running along the parade route you have additional people watching you can do during the run, and the cheers keep coming and are very encouraging. My running buddy and I ran about the same pace as a group dressed up as the “Futurama” gang, and the reaction from fans was excellent. After the race there’s the costume contest, and then there is still enough time to go watch the parade.


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