City of Roses-Part 2! Portland Race Report

I ended my last post with a recap of the weekend leading up to the Portland Marathon.  As you can imagine, Pam and I were exhausted after all of the time we spent at the Race Director’s College and Portland Marathon Expo.  But when we woke up bleary eyed Sunday morning, we decided there was no turning back.  I did my typical Race morning rituals and threw on my Big Sur Marathon Poncho- it was POURING out, and thankfully Wally (Race Director of the Big Sur Marathon) had given Pam and I ponchos to run in.   Lifesaver.

Ready to run!

We stayed in the warmth and cover of the hotel until just before 6:45, and jetted over to the start line (only 3 blocks away- super easy!).  At 7:00, the race started and off we ran in the torrential downpour.  At first I was a little bit nervous about the rain, but the Seattle native in me came out and I remembered how much fun it can be to run along stomping in puddles, getting soaked and just loving it.  Once you realize that being dry isn’t an option, the pouring rain feels more like a fun game.  Pam and I had both decided to run at our own paces, so I just listened to my body, going at a faster pace than I’d intended but not pushing myself too hard.

A couple miles in a running friend Lili passed me, she was on a mission to qualify for Boston!  The crowds along the course seemed unphased by the rain, all along the course the locals stood out with umbrellas and yelled their lungs out.  At around Mile 16, the course took a nice little climb to the top of St. John’s Bridge.  Once we were on the bridge, the view across the river was awesome, even in the rain clouds.  It’s totally true that there’s a purpose to every climb. On the other side of the river, we wound through neighborhoods, past the University of Portland, and along with riverside.  Around mile 22 (or 24- who really remembers these details??) we approached the 2nd bridge- a big, rusty red one that reminded me of home.  One big difference though- this bridge was only a 1/4 of a mile- versus our beloved Golden Gate that is over a mile trek to the other side.  The last couple miles took us through the downtown area, over train tracks, and back to the same city center where we started.  The rain had finally let up, but crossing the finish line, I can honestly say I’ve never felt… soggier.

At this point I was freezing, so I grabbed my medal, rose, Finisher’s Shirt, and a half of a banana and bolted to the hotel to warm up.  I took a quick and very hot shower before walking back to see Pam finish.  She came through the finish line with a huge smile on her face- it was her first full marathon in about 5 years, so she’s officially “back in the game”.

Roses for the finishers!

Next up for Pam and I? New York City!  We can’t wait to see how the East Coast matches up- we’re back to training and excited about our next race.  What better excuse to go to NYC for a couple days? 🙂

Happy running- and congrats to my fellow 10-10-10 finishers! How did your races go?


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