Get your gear ready to go because this weekend the Portland Marathon Clinic is running of of their more unique routes – the Vancouver Lake route. The distances offered this weekend are 16, 18, and 20 miles, which is perfect for this flat route which allows you to make a gametime decision on your total distance. From Vancouver Lake Park (where January’s CCRC Vancouver Lake Half Marathon starts and ends), the route runs about a half mile to the main road (NW Erwin O. Reiger Memorial Highway – which I’ll just call the main road in this post) and then doubles back, running north another 2 miles. By the time you pass the park’s driveway again, you’ll be near the 4.5-mile marker. From there, you stay on a pathway that runs along the 501, which goes east and then turns north again after less than a mile. From there it’s an out-and-back, so you can turn back at the best distance for you.
One thing about this route is that it can get hot in the sun. Current forecast for Vancouver shows that at 11 AM temperatures will be around 68-70 degrees; not bad – but there’s not a lot of shade on the route. Prepare with sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and even a draped hat if you have one that’s comfortable to run in.
PMC puts together aid stations for its runs at this distance, but you should bring your own hydration and nutrition.
Keep in mind that Vancouver Lake Park has a $3 per car parking fee, so carpool with those of similar pace if you can. Bring dry clothes and snacks to change into. You can also soak in the lake after the run if you want to give those sore muscles a little cold therapy.
The run will start right at 8a and paces groups offered range from 3-hour to 5:30 marathon finish times, depending on which pacers are there each weekend. Remember, these pacers are volunteers – they deserve your heartfelt thanks for their continued commitment to helping our community of runners train for their fall marathons!