- Happy Holidays!
- Half Selling Out Fast
- 3rd Annual Half Marathon
- Congrats to all 2011 participants! You did it!
- Why run or walk the Portland Marathon in 2012?
- Portland Marathon donates $4,000 to help restore parks
- 10K DownHill Dash a Success
- Need holiday gift ideas for the athlete in your life? Check out our online store.
- Rollovers and refunds
- In Your Words
- Portland Marathon Goes the Distance for Charities
- 2011 Charities
- Where did you wear your shirt?
- 41st Portland Marathon
December 2011 News, updates, tips, and true stories as we countdown to the 41st Annual Portland Marathon on 10-07-12.


The 3rd Portland Marathon Half scheduled for Marathon Day October 7, 2012 opened registration early this year due to the desire by so many to participate. The 2011 edition of the event was well received. Participants liked the long sleeve shirt, medal, pendant, event coin, rose, tree seedling, certificate and everything else that came with the event.

John Schievely who came in from NY to run the Half said: "This was a fabulous event. I loved coming to Portland. I combined the Half with several days at the Oregon Coast. And the event itself was top notch. The swag we get was awesome. No one gives out two shirts!! I am bringing some friends back with me this coming year to run the Half and the Full Marathon events."

Chris Hardman, Portland Marathon Course Coordinator, said everything on the course went really well. "The volunteers and aid stations really added a special touch. The certified course was lightening fast with only 10 turns on the 13.1 mile course." Hardman also noted that the Half Marathon participants get all the great care and treatment of those in the full Marathon. "Most of them have the fun, food and drink in the finish area all to themselves because they have completed their event well before the Marathoners," said Hardman.

This year the entertainment on the Half Course was stepped up as well. Dennis Bromka, Course Entertainment Director, reported that there were 37 groups over the Half Marathon Distance. "Everyone loved our entertainment. From the Big Band, the DJ on top of the Crazy Bus to the Drummers and standard R&R Groups, we had it all. We believe we now have 3 times the amount of entertainment of any event."

Last year the Half Marathon sold out its limited 3000 places on January 19th. "The pace of registration for this year looks like an even faster sell out than last year," remarked Debbie Cook, the Event's Registrar.

After January 31st the Half becomes a charity based entry event. Registration is then available thru a charity if those participating gain the entry from an official charity, usually at no cost except to raise a reasonable amount of money thru pledges. And to keep the charity integrity, the Half entries are sold on line at twice their regular price, with half going to the Portland Marathon's charity program.

The Registrar also noted, "The discounted price is soon to end. I just hope everyone acts quickly and does not miss out on the price break or getting into the event."

Register Now for the 2012 Half!

Congrats to all 2011 participants! You did it!

Brenda R. Rodriguez Ecord 03:31:00 Chip time. First marathon! Thank you Georgetown Running Club, Thank you 3:35 pace group for keeping me company on the first 16 miles :-)

Brian Reeder “Had a great time in Portland. Wonderful city and people. The Marathon was awesome. See you next year!

Rie Hashimoto Bailey took this photo right after I finished the Portland Marathon last month. YEY! I did it!

Laura Lester Portland finish line with my awesome running buddy :)

Brent Ozar, Rob Drysdale, Rob Farley, Jes Borland, Erin Stellato, Karen Lopez, Yanni Robel. SQL Family Photo by John Robel

Edward LaPoint, Portland Marathon Mile 18 at the St. Johns Bridge

Crystal Said. Me in the orange hat with my awesome awesome supporters! Thank you Portland Marathon for such a great experience! Wonderfully organized, fantastic volunteers, fan support, and entertainment along the route. Not to mention the great swag! My third marathon and my favorite by far!

Why run or walk the Portland Marathon in 2012?

If the photos above didn’t convince you, here are a few more reasons why the Portland Marathon half or full should be on your calendar (and on your bucket list) for 2012.

The Portland Marathon Events are unsurpassed in participant goodies! Receive two performance shirts, an award winning medal, plus the 2012 editions of our pendant necklace and Challenge Coin.

Other goodies include great finish line food, the traditional rose, a virtual forest seedling tree, poster and finisher's certificate. And, our course is fast and forgiving, with excellent volunteer support and oodles of entertainment -- over 70 venues...that's more than any other similar event that we know of.

Sign up now and save (really, these are the best prices are going to get)!!

Portland Marathon donates $4,000 on its 40th year to help restore parks from Occupy Portland damage

Les Smith and Mamie Wheeler of the Portland Marathon present the $4,000 donation to City of Portland's Commissioner Nick Fish and Nick Hardigg, the Director of the Portland Parks Foundation. The donation will help restore Lowesdale and Chapman Parks from Occupy Portland damage.

The Portland Marathon announced today it will make a $4,000 donation for the restoration of Lowesdale and Chapman Parks from damaged caused by Occupy Portland. The donation amount commemorates the Event's 40th year.

Lowesdale and Chapman Parks, which are adjacent to the Event's start and finish, are key pieces to the Portland Marathon-weekend activities. The parks were taken over by Occupy Portland three days before the 2011 Portland Marathon. The encampment did not end for over a month. The damage to the two parks has been estimated by the city's Parks Department at $85,000.

"We think it is important these locations be restored to their former beauty and use," said Les Smith, Portland Marathon Event Director.

The Portland Marathon paid the fees for the two parks for a three-day period in October, but was never able to use them due to Occupy Portland protestors. Despite this, Smith said he was pleased Occupy Portland did not want to hurt the Portland Marathon efforts or interfere with the production of the events.

Some Occupy Portland protesters participated in the Marathon while others assisted with the set up and take down of the event. According to Smith, Occupy Portland protestors helped the Marathon build a blackout fence around the two parks and after the Event helped pick up trash in the finish area.

We are grateful for the help of the Portland Police as well as the assistance of our amazing volunteers who helped create and ensure we had a safe and successful 40th Anniversary Portland Marathon for our participants and City.

10K DownHill Dash a Success

Portland Marathon Course Coordinator Chris Hardman said he was pleased how well the new 10K DownHill Dash worked out this year. "Everything clicked together from start to finish. It is a fast...downhill course and the participants praised the event and had fun. We had some minor logistic issues at the start but those were quickly fixed. It is actually a easy event to administer."

The 2011 event was limited to 250 runners. And it was emphasized that it is a "competitive run." "Anyone that fell behind a 10 minute per mile pace had to go to the sidewalk," said Hardman. The Portland Marathon 10K Family Walk also starts where the new run begins -- at the 20 Mile point of the full marathon course on Willamette Boulevard beside Columbia Annex Park. "Once the runners hit Greeley they literally flew down the long hill toward the finish."

The Portland Marathon Staff is considering adding entry slots to the event. Mamie Wheeler, Assistant Event Director said, "We are looking at the option of expanding the field for the new 10K run. We know the systems work. And by being a competitive event it allows for everyone to finish well ahead of the lead marathoners. And the mix with the lead Half Marathoners also went well too."

Entry for the 10K DownHill Dash will not begin until August. Last year the 250 slots sold out in 2 Days.

Need holiday gift ideas for the athlete in your life? Check out our online store.

Check out the online Portland Marathon store for runners and walkers on your list!

Click Here to see our great gifts and stocking stuffers.

Rollovers and refunds, Event Director, Les Smith Explains It All

My column this month is inspired by some of the letters and emails the Portland Marathon receives each year wherein a refund or rollover from one year to the next is requested. Often these requests have supporting documentation.

To understand our policies I thought it would be helpful to insert a reply I recently wrote to one of these inquiries. Please read it carefully and you will see why we have the policies we do with respect to refunds and rollovers. I will address the elements of our no transfer and no secondary sale of an entry in a future column.

* * *


Your email has been referred to me for reply as Event Director of the Portland Marathon.

The Policies and History

Your inquiry calls attention to the Portland Marathon's "no refund, no transfer, no rollover and no secondary sale" policies. These policies have been in place for 30 years and are set forth very clearly at various places on our website and within the on-line registration process. Please note that these policies are much the same as most events of our size.

Why the Policies

As you might guess, deviating from such policies, especially as the event grows in size would cause a high degree of administrative chaos. And rolling folks over is likewise a bad business policy. Indeed, if we refunded or rolled over an entry for one...why should we not allow it for everyone who does not show up. Nearly everyone has a good reason.

Typically events like ours have entrants that do NOT show up on event day. No-shows occur for a multitude of reasons. For example, sometimes the cause is early entry but the failure to train. Other reasons can include job or family conflicts, a decision to do another event, an injury, military service, etc. We know there are countless reasons. Many come to us well documented. However what we do not wish to do is sit in judgment as to which individuals should have an exception. So we have NO exceptions.

As you might guess, we build our purchasing logistics around those no-show probabilities. Indeed, if we were to buy what we need based on an expected 100% attendance, the waste and the cost would be significant. And, giving everyone who did not show up a free slot in the next year's event would be truly a bad business practice. It would not only be a loss of revenue for that year but also would require us to again expend money on the swag and logistics that each rollover runner would create for that Event Year.

Where the Extra Money Goes

From time to time we have been asked what we do with the money of those who do not show up. Essentially this money is added to any other money we have left after paying our costs and expenses. For-profit events call these amounts their "profit margin." However, our event is a non-profit. We use this money to do those other things we believe are essential to our goals and objections as a member of the Portland community and as advocates for running, fitness and good health. This means helping our charities, assisting school activities and school athletic and kids programs. This money also allows us to fund the program of shadow runs we have hosted at no cost for the deployed members of the Oregon National Guard in Iraq and Afghanistan. Money also goes to community causes that help our event such as the Friends of Forest Park (where our free community training runs are held for 6 months); to the Friends of the Mounted Patrol; to local track and cross country teams; and, this year to the restoration of the two parks that were seriously damaged by Occupy Portland located inside our Start/Finish area.

Indeed, because the Portland Marathon is a non-profit, if a person who registers does not run or walk our event, the entire amount of the entry fee is a charitable tax deduction under current IRS rules.

It is also noteworthy that this year charities raised about $3M as a result of the Portland Marathon thru pledges from runners and walkers as well as other projects. And, as noted above and unlike most events, the Portland Marathon will make contributions of over $200,000 to other nonprofits, service clubs, community projects, school activity groups and school athletic teams.

Non-Profits v For-Profits

As most know, events that are produced by out-of-town for-profits have a different approach as to where their money goes and how it is spent. Most of the time little of the money that a for-profit takes in stays in the community of the event. And, for-profit events frequently charge charities large amounts to be associated with them. These for-profits also do not pay all volunteer groups, do not help our troops and do little to really help the local community. Indeed, for-profits sometimes actually extract a fee from a city for bringing their run to town. We also know of one for-profit which on occasion will advertise a run somewhere in the US and then cancel it at the last minute...blaming the locals but keeping all the registration money.

Limited Rollover

With respect to rollovers we do have a limited policy which can be an excellent value to someone who misses our event for some reason. We will allow a person who registered but cannot do our event a guaranteed entry into our next year's Event. But they need to make a timely request before the event they registered for takes place. And, the person using this policy must pay the entry fee that is applicable for the next event at the time they submit their guaranteed entry. And they must submit that application and fee on or before August 1 of the new Event Year.

This rollover policy is similar to the one long followed by The New York City Marathon. And, it is very applicable to our event since we now sell or close our Half Marathon by January 31st. Also, our Full Marathon sold out last year on June 14th and on July 20th the year before. So a guaranteed entry has real viability.

We understand the anguish and disappointment a person can have for missing an event. However, if a person for whatever reason misses a Portland Marathon or a Portland Marathon Half, we want that person to know that the event we produce the next year will be as good or better than the one they missed. And, we believe that no event can match our swag for runners and walkers or the entertainment we have on the course. And the weather...nearly always perfect!

So thanks again for your interest. We hope you can understand the reasons for our policies.

With best wishes,

Les Smith Event Director Portland Marathon

We understand that many may think the policies discussed above are too tough and are unfair. But as noted, customer satisfaction on this point notwithstanding, consistency in application is critical. Plus, how are we to really judge one request from another?

Les Smith

In Your Words

We asked our friends on Facebook, "The best gift I ever got for my running/walking passion was_____________."

Here's what you had to say.

Portland Marathon Finisher's Shirts! :) No, wait--I earned those!

Stronger than I thought I was. Serious strength and endurance are proven when you run marathons. PS- PDX Marathon, still my favorite over Olympia (boo), Phoenix, and Seattle.:)

My running friends are the greatest gift:)

A 1 year MEMBERSHIP to a Yoga studio to help STRETCH out those achy muscles. :)

Seattle Athletic Club paid my entry into the Seattle Marathon this year. Nice!

Boot/Shoe dryer just used it yesterday!

Strength. --Alisa

My health...60# lighter, BP normal, Chol normal, Blood sugar normal! Just completed my 2nd Ironman of the year. Couldn't have done that 5 years ago.

Brooks running pants. Love them!

Winning the 2004 trip to Berlin Marathon. :) Thank you, Adidas!


My mom paid half of my $750 entry to a six day ultra this coming June!

My mom gave me a season ski pass after I finished my first xterra half marathon.

A husband and sons who share my passion & who make us a running family. They make me better and they ROCK!

Best gift a quiet mind after a long run!

Support from my wife and children and a headlamp so I won't get hit by a car!

My wonderful boyfriend who is always at the finish line cheering for me! It's the best.

A Tiffany charm from my boyfriend that reads- 26.2 on one side and 10/09/11 on the other. It's being soldered on my Tiffany heart bracket that he bought me for Valentines Day! Also, my own time for just myself when I run!

A Garmin

Support from my spouse!

A supportive runner spouse!

Well more of a small thing, but a key chain my boyfriend got me @ packet pick-up for the Pdx Marathon this year. It says "Runner Girl" w/ a cool graphic; and seeing it and owning that as part of who I am makes me get out the door more than I would otherwise.

my "mommy-timeout" time ;)

My child. She inspired me to start running, which has improved my health & happiness immeasurably. That's the best gift of all! :-)

Join our community on Facebook and Twitter

Portland Marathon Goes the Distance for Charities

Over the years the Portland Marathon, a 501(c)3, has made independent donations from its general fund to a variety of local charities and organizations. Additionally, through the Marathon Direct Giving Program, many direct donations are given to our volunteer groups.

The Portland Marathon recruits over 4,500 volunteers annually to assist with our event. Our volunteer program has served as a vehicle for providing school and organizational credit and experience for a host of local charities, nonprofits, sport, school, and service clubs.

It also provides a wonderful sense of community for so many who come to Portland to participate in the events of the Portland Marathon. Volunteer teams have fun, work together and benefit from being involved in a great community event. The Direct Giving Program provides an ability to earn not only experience, but also a donation for volunteering.

This unique program is based on the concept of utilizing available financial resources that come in to the Portland Marathon for another charity or organization, which in turn then helps another charity, organization or worthwhile cause. The Portland Marathon has been fortunate to be sufficiently funded so that we have been able to allocate a certain percentage of our resources to this program each year.

The Portland Marathon is a charitable community event supported by the city, sponsors, and also by other charitable groups. Each year the funds available to us vary. However, giving the funds is a pleasure for us because we really do see it benefiting many other worthwhile projects. Each year we have many success stories shared with us on how the program continues to benefit others.

For more information, Click Here.

Examples of organizations that have participated and benefited by their participation in the program are:

A.C. E. International
A.S.O. International
Adopt A Minefield
Aloha HS Leadership
Beaverton Blaze Girls Softball Team
Beta Sigma Phi-Eta Theta Chapter
Blue Back Submarine Council, US Navy League
Boy Scout Troops
Charity Bolivia
Clackamas County Dog 4H Club
Clackamas HS
Cleveland HS
Creston School PTA
Explorer Post #58
Families Supporting Independence Inc
Forest Grove HS Cross Country Team
Forest Grove HS Grad Night
Girl Scout Troops
"Girls On The Go"
Gladstone Jr Baseball Assn
Gladstone HS Swim Team
Glencoe HS Cross Country Team
Glencoe HS Lacrosse Team
Happy Valley Middle School
Horizon Christian HS Hawks
Lincoln HS
McNary HS Cheerleaders
Metro Gymnastic Girls Booster Club
MAC Swim Team
Oregon City HS
Open Meadows Alternative Schools
Oregon Silver Bullets
Oregon Sports Authority Foundation
P:ear, Inc.
Portland Waldorf School
Prairie HS National Honor Society
Reynolds HS Water Polo & Swim Team
Rex Putnam HS Senior Party
Ridgefield HS Concert Chior
Ross Island Early Risers Kiwanis
Tigard Students "SPOTS"
St. Mary Academy HS
Sprague HS Cheerleaders
Spring Creek Sproingers 4- H Club
Sunset High School Non-Alcoholic Grad Party
Three Rivers Charter School
Theft Talk Counseling Services, Inc.
The Greater Portland Area Costumers Guild Team
Tualatin Hills United Soccer Club/U14 Sodium
Tualatin Presbyterian Church Youth Group
WSA Xplosion Girls Soccer Team
XI Alpha Pi International Sorority Group
Zeta Chi Sorority

2011 Charities

Going The Distance Foundation

Through the Going The Distance Foundation and the Marathon Direct Giving Program, many direct donations are given by the event to our volunteer groups.

The Portland Marathon recruits over 4,500 volunteers annually to assist with our event. Our volunteer program has served as a vehicle for providing school and organizational credit and experience for a host of local charities, nonprofits, sport, school, and service clubs. It also provides a wonderful sense of community for so many who come to Portland to participate in the events of the Portland Marathon. Volunteer teams have fun, work together and benefit from being involved in a great community event. The Direct Giving Program provides an ability to earn not only experience, but also a donation for volunteering.

The American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society is the nationwide community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy and service.

No matter who you are, we can help. Contact us anytime, day or night, for information and support at: 1800 227-2345.

The Children's Cancer Association

When seriously ill children and their families need more than medicine, the Children's Cancer Association creates joy one moment at a time. Together with the compassionate community of supporters and a network of cutting-edge hospital partners, CCA has built a one-of-a-kind support organization that offers unique services and award-winning programs.

Susan G. Komen Marathon for the Cure

Our Vision: A World Without Breast Cancer

Our Promise: End Breast Cancer Forever

Our Mission: Saving Lives

The Oregon & SW Washington Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® has one clear goal - saving lives. This is our 17th year serving our community as the trusted partner in the fight against breast cancer, and we are the only organization in Oregon and SW Washington that exclusively copes with the issues of breast cancer on all levels. We are committed to serving all 36 counties in Oregon as well as the three counties in SW Washington; Clark, Skamania, and Cowlitz.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training program is the world's first, best and largest charity sports training program and provides training to run or walk marathons and half marathons, or participate in triathlons or century (100-mile) bike rides. Experience, professional coaches provide participants with the training and knowledge needed to complete their event in a fun, social, meaningful setting. Since 1988, over 440,000 volunteer participants have helped raise over $1 billion toward the mission of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society: cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

Pancreatica Walks and Runs

Pancreatica Walks and Runs is an initiative of the non-profit Cancer Patients Alliance aimed at forever changing the tragic relationship between human beings and pancreatic cancer. Our group is dedicated to raising awareness and funds, increasing education and supporting pancreatic cancer research. Pancreatic cancer is the least funded cancer in terms of research. Despite causing enormous mortality, pancreatic cancer receives (on a mortality basis) much less funding for research than most of the other major cancers. As a participant in Pancreatica Walks and Runs you can help in the fight against pancreatic cancer - you will also receive great fundraising tips, coaching, running apparel, prizes and more.

Please call 1-877-ToFightCancer(1-877-863-4448)or e-mail us at Participate@ToFightCancer.com for more information.

The Ray of Hope Foundation

The Ray of Hope Foundation is dedicated to creating grassroots community based projects that improve education, infrastructure and health services in Kenya. Our projects are guided by the aspirations and self-identified needs of the communities in our project areas.

We provide secondary school sponsorship, train traditional birth attendants and health workers, assist women to start microfinance programs and improve infrastructure (wells, classrooms, clinics, school supplies and medical equipment/supplies).

We accomplish our mission with the understanding that we are all interconnected and share universal human values which, when recognized and cultivated, have the power to transform our global community.

Oregon Hospice Association

The Oregon Hospice Association is a nonprofit, charitable public benefit organization that makes sure every Oregonian can get the care they want at the end of life. OHA's first responsibility is to the public. In addition to public information, referral and advocacy, OHA provides education and technical assistance to more than 70 operating and developing hospice provider programs that are or will be serving dying Oregonians and their families and loved ones.

Friends of Portland's Mounted Patrol

Friends of Portland's Mounted Patrol is a non-profit organization that supports Portland's mounted police. The Friends recently gave $100,000 to the City of Portland so the venerable Portland crime fighters and ambassadors wouldn't be cut from the City's budget. The Friends give money yearly to support the horses by purchasing equipment and even saving a horse by providing the funds for a life saving surgery. The Friends have committed to raising additional funds to keep the mounted patrol and replenish the foundation.

Oregon National Guard Relief Fund

The Oregon National Guard Emergency Relief Fund (ORNG ERF) is the Oregon National Guard's own emergency financial assistance organization and is dedicated to helping the 'Guard' take care of its own. ORNG ERF has maintained its success through the generous donations from both the general public and from the Oregon National Guard Family. We are grateful for the donations we have received from many local businesses and corporations. The Oregon National Guard and the program's volunteer board provide for many of the program's administration requirements, thereby ensuring donated dollars go directly to those needing emergency financial assistance.

Oregon National Guard Emergency Relief is exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code. Our FEIN is 93-0915051. Although sponsored by the Oregon National Guard, the Emergency Relief Fund receives no direct funding from the government.

All donations to the Oregon National Guard Emergency Relief Fund are used to support Soldiers, Airmen and their families. A link to secure online donating can be found through our website.

Children's Tumor Foundation

We are a charity based endurance team where participants can join in events across the country to raise awareness and research dollars that enable treatments and a cure for neurofibromatosis. Unlike other charity based teams, we structure our fundraising system on incentives, not contracts. Participants are encouraged to fund raise through contributions made to a personalized Web site and donations sent by mail.

In support of the Children's Tumor Foundation, the NF Endurance Team offers the opportunity for individuals to participate in team endurance sports to raise money for research, promote awareness, and provide a network of caring support for those suffering with Neurofibromatosis and their families.

For more information on how you can run for a cure please visit nfendurance.org.

Where did you wear your shirt

See our full shirt gallery by clicking here

Teresa sky diving in her 2010 finishers shirt.

Paul Gentry
Our new Marathon Finisher Shirt made it to lunch at Seinfeld's Diner in New York City!

April Horvath Shrum
Tree 2 Tree Adventure, Rocking my Finishers T!

41st Portland Marathon

The Portland Marathon is a non-profit running and walking event that produces Portland's largest three-day "convention." The event has a positive $25M economic impact to the Portland area. Proceeds from the Portland Marathon go to help local schools, charities and non-profits. October 7, 2012 will mark the 41st Annual Portland Marathon. The event features 85 entertainment groups at 53 locations along the course. The events of the Portland Marathon have over 15,000 registered participants from all 50 States, and is produced with the help of over 4,700 volunteers. The Event has been called the "best-organized marathon in North America" and has received national attention for being one of the first eco-friendly, "green" marathons.

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