We are lucky in Oregon, where there are many locally-owned running stores in towns from Ashland to Portland. We’re also lucky in that the owners of these stores aren’t content with “just” selling shoes … they consider it their privilege to offer group runs, help with races, and support youth and other cause running and racing programs.
Portland Running Company is one of these stores. They have two locations in the Portland metro area: at Nimbus and Scholls in Beaverton, and on Grand Ave. at the east end of the Morrison Bridge in Portland. PRC hosts a variety of group runs at their two stores, including a Saturday long run of around 10 miles and a Sunday long run of 12-15 miles or more. These group runs are free (you will be asked to sign a waiver), and open to all paces. At the bottom of this email is a list of all their weekly runs, but this is primarily about finding a long run you can join, since the Portland Marathon Clinic has ended for the year. Be sure to check out their website before you head to a group run, as they may change or add group runs after we put this information on Run Oregon.
Saturday Long Run: Every Saturday, PRC hosts this long run of 10-12 miles starting at 8a. Their store does have a restroom, and you’ll be able to find street parking with no problem that early in the day. Routes sometimes head east towards Mt. Tabor, sometimes include the waterfront loop, and other times go exploring through downtown in search of scenery and maybe some hills from time to time. These group runs sometimes features various vendors, giving runners and walkers opportunities to try out gear or nutrition on the run.
Sunday Long Run: Sundays, a group leaves from Kenny & Zuke’s at NW 24th and Thurman at 8a for what’s usually 12-15 miles, but there are always folks who run less or tack on a few extra miles before or after. These runs sometimes venture into Forest Park, so keep that in mind when dressing. You can also check on their facebook page for updates on where they’ll be running, or send them a message to find out specifics.
What’s great about these runs is that PRC supports runners of all paces. They’ll make sure you know the route and encourage you to run just what’s the right distance for you – you never have to run the full distance if you’re not ready for it (that’s how you get injured).
These, and all their group runs, are listed with more details on this page of the PRC website. You can also contact them via facebook or ask them in the store about their group runs. Here’s a quick list of their other weekly runs:
Mondays @ Beaverton store: 6p, 4-7 miles on the Fanno Creek Trail and surrounding neighborhoods.
Mondays @ Portland store: 6p, 4-6 miles on Springwater, Waterfront, or other nearby routes.
Wednesdays @ Lower Macleay Trailhead in Forest Park, 6:30a, mileage varies – wear trail runs, as you’ll be running in Forest Park.
Wednesdays* @ Cleveland High School Track, 6:15p warm-up and 6:30p speedwork. (Through the end of October and the end of HS soccer season)
Thursdays* @ Cleveland High School Track, 6:15p warm-up and 6:30p speedwork. (Starting after HS soccer season)
Thursdays @ Portland Store, 6p, 5-7 miles BEER RUN hosted by the incomparable Mark Remy of dumbrunner.com fame; first pint for 21+ hosted by Rogue Brewery
PRC also puts on a really fun, low-key 5k series each winter. The PRC Winter 5k Race Series hasn’t yet opened registration, but races are in December, January, and February from their Beaverton store. I’ve run the Series the past two years and have enjoyed it as a chance to see my friends and enjoy some great breakfast hosted by PRC. The series offers cool prizes and raffles, not to mention a sweet t-shirt each year. More info on that will be posted on Run Oregon when available!