- Happy Valentine's Day!
- Best In The West
- Letter From the Director
- Walk This Way
- Portland Marathon Training Programs
- Portland Marathon Partner Events
- We Love Our Volunteers
- Portland Marathon Gear
- New Partner Event
- Event Director's College
- I Got A Tattoo!
- Where Did You Wear Your Shirt?
- In Your Words
- Visit Us at the Race Center Event Expo
- 41st Portland Marathon
February 2012 News, updates, tips, and true stories as we countdown to the 41st Annual Portland Marathon on 10-07-12.

Happy Valentine's Day!

"Best in the West"

Recently named "Best Marathon in the West" with the "Best Marathon Swag" by Competitor Magazine, the Portland Marathon strives to deliver a better event each year, and 2012 will be no exception—register early to secure your place at the start!

We are extending the Portland Marathon Half deadline until after the Super Bowl ends on February 5th!

Portland Marathon Half Closes Public Registrations....Full Marathon Filling Faster this Year!!

The slots set aside for general public registration of the Portland Marathon Half have sold out with the exception of a few held back as part of a Valentine's Day Special. Join us on Facebook and Twitter to get the code for these special slots. All other entries except for the Valentine Special will be charity based. This means that the public can still get into the Portland Marathon Half one of two ways.

1) Through a "free" entry from one of the Charities affiliated with The Portland Marathon

2) By registering at the $250 fee for a Charity entry.

The differences between the two methods of entry is that those gaining the "free" entry will have to raise a relatively small amount thru pledges for the Official Charity selected.

However, those paying the $250 do not have to solicate pledges. Instead half the fee goes to the Portland Marathon's Charity program which last year paid out over $200,000 to other non profits, service clubs, school activities and school athletic teams. The same entry concept applies for our full Marathon. Enter now at the rate in effect (the rate goes up February 16th). In the alternative, contact one of our listed charities and inquire how to sign up and gain a no fee entry for the a reasonable amount of pledges.

- Les Smith

Letter From the Director

We Are the Best of Portland's Half Marathons

Our congratulations to all of you who signed up for The Portland Marathon Half before it officially closed to the public at large.

We sincerely believe that you have signed up for a world class event. Your Expo, Start, Finish and Awards ceremony are within a 3 to 4 block area. With a limited field of runners and walkers our Half Marathoners participants assemble in start corrals that have no more than about 1000 persons in an area that is as long as a City Block, complete with their own porta potties! This assures an easy and faster start as well as a smooth running or walking transition along the course. After your start you move along a course that is basically flat and has only 10 turns. Our running times for the last two years reflect our course is fast!

With respect to those little things, your bib will have your name on it...and very readable (if you have requested this option...and you still can). On the Half course you will be entertained by 37 music and entertainment groups at 30 locations...we believe the most for any half marathon anywhere.

For those finishing in a time of 3 hours or faster you will find very few participants in the finish area after you cross the finish line except for your fellow Half Marathoners. Our first Marathoner does not arrive until about 2.5 hours and then only about 50 Marathoners will cross until the 3 hour mark.

You will receive an abundance of Finish Area Swag (and we have never run out of our goodies): From medal, space blanket, rose, event coin, pendant, tree seedling and the long sleeve performance finisher shirt. Plus plenty of food and drink...with the help of Stanford Restaurants...almost an early morning brunch. And before that at the Expo you will receive your short sleeve performance shirt, green bag, pre event publication (not a collection of ads), event poster and more.

We are pleased that Competitor Magazine recently named us "The NW Race with the Best Swag." This follows the accolades runner's World gave us last year for swag in our event. No one tries to do it better than we do!

After you depart the Finisher's area you will enjoy a relatively uncrowded reunion area with more fun attractions, music and an easy way to pick up any baggage you may have checked. This area has been expanded for our 2012 events which will make it more festive and fun for finisher's and their supporters.

So like our Marathoners you have done well by signing up with us for the Portland Marathon Half. At this point in time, you all come from 42 States, nearly all the Provinces of Canada and a good number of Countries. We plan to make your journey here a fun and enjoyable one, reflective of all the good things Portland has to offer.

So tell your friends they can still join you in the Half (see related article on "free" and "charity" entry options that are left for the Portland Marathon Half.)

Many thanks. We look forward to seeing you October.

Les Smith
Event Director

PS: Please remember two more important items:
1) You have a wonderful way to train for our Half event thru our free Marathon Training Runs that start in April.
2) If you are from out of town, do not forget to reserve one of our Hilton deals and treat yourself to the best place to stay...the location of the Expo and a quick three block walk to the Start and from the Finish!
(See our web page for info...Click Here)

Walk This Way

Don’t forget the Portland Marathon is walker friendly too! We have a half-marathon racewalk and Nordic walk - one of the few half marathons left with specialty competitions. You can also walk the marathon or the half marathon. Not up for those yet? Enter our 10k Family Walk!

Learn more by going to:


Half Marathon Distance Championship - 2012

The 1st Annual Half Marathon Distance Nordic Walking World Championship is open to all in 2012. Go for the gold or just have fun with this challenging distance. Please be familiar with the rules posted on this page.

Sign up here

To enter Half-Marathon Nordic Walk Distance Championship online:

  • On the online registration form, enter as a Walker.
  • Check "Yes" to the "Are you a Nordic Walk Participant" questions.
  • Send an e-mail to ptldmarathonwalks@yahoo.com indicating the following:

    1) that you wish to enter the Nordic Walk competition and 2) that you have read and understand the Nordic Walking rules posted on this page.

Portland Marathon Training Programs

Online Training Programs

The Portland Marathon has teamed up with ActiveTrainer coaches to create Marathon, Marathon Walk, Half Marathon, 10K Non-competitive Walking and 5 Miler-competitive run training programs that are a balance of aerobic, anaerobic and cross-training workouts. These training programs are built to get people of all levels across the finish line. Whether you are brand-new to running or a veteran getting back into the sport and are thinking of signing up for the Portland Marathon or 1/2 Marathon, you are invited to join our training program!

Click Here for the Online Training Program

Portland Marathon Training Clinic

The Portland Marathon Clinic offers several programs leading to the successful completion of the Portland Marathon. Established in 1984 the Clinic has helped thousands of runners and walkers complete their first Marathon and 100's of others to achieve their personal bests. It provides proven, safe and supported programs. It is the sanctioned official training program for the Portland Marathon.

Enter the Training Clinic Here

Portland Marathon Partner Events

Portland Marathon Partner Events

A Portland Marathon Partner Event is a running or walking event promoted by The Portland Marathon as an interesting, challenging, fun, and well administered event that can potentially be participated in as part of training for The Portland Marathon in October.

Learn more by going to: portlandmarathon.org/events_partner_runs

Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon

Held in the rolling hills of the Yamhill Valley, less than an hour's drive from Portland, the Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon offers the perfect mix of work(out) and play! Runners enjoy a course with breathtaking scenery, and the reward of a music and wine festival at the finish.

Learn more by going to: portlandmarathon.org/events_partner_runs

Eugene Marathon and Half Marathon

In total, participants run through or along 12 parks before they reach the new finish line, through the arches of Powell Plaza and the final stretch on the track at Historical Hayward Field. No doubt, this is one of the prettiest and flattest certified marathons in the country!

Will you be a Legend in 2012? Registration is open for the 6th annual Eugene Marathon - to be held April 27-29, 2012. Check out their official site for details.

A Portland Marathon Partner Event is a running or walking event promoted by The Portland Marathon as an interesting, challenging, fun, and well administered event that can potentially be participated in as part of training for The Portland Marathon in October.

Learn more by going to: portlandmarathon.org/events_partner_runs

We Love Our Volunteers

There’s no better month than February to let our volunteers know... we LOVE you!

Each year, we receive countless compliments, kudos, props and thank yous from our participants about how amazingly helpful and supportive the volunteers were.

As a nonprofit organization, we couldn’t do it without you! We appreciate your support and willingness to roll out of bed at 3:30 a.m. on event weekend.

Portland Marathon Gear

Need Valentine’s day roses for your sweetie?

Wanna help your honey look good while they’re training this year for the Portland Marathon?

The official Portland Marathon store can help. Click Here to check out our full Portland Marathon online store.

New Partner Event

Portland Marathon announces new Training Partner Event

A Portland Marathon Partner Event is a running or walking event promoted by The Portland Marathon as an interesting, challenging, fun, and well administered event that can potentially be participated in as part of training for The Portland Marathon in October. We recommend these Events to our participants to encourage and optimize their training experiences as they prepare for The Portland Marathon weekend of events, scheduled in 2012 on October 7, 2012.

We are excited to welcome Big Sur Marathon to our Program!

The Big Sur Marathon is 26.2 miles of the most beautiful coastline in the world - and, for runners, the most challenging. Related marathon-day events include a 21-mile power walk, 5K run, 9-mile walk, 10.6-mile walk, marathon relay, and Just Kids 3K. An expansive sports expo takes place for the two days before the run at the Monterey Conference Center. Runners can carbo-load at two different events throughout the weekend, at "Carbs in Carmel" on Friday at Carmel Plaza and "Pasta Party" on Saturday at the Monterey Marriott. Each year, the non-profit marathon board of directors donates over $150,000 to local charities. For more information visit their official site or you can register here.

Event Director's College

Portland Marathon’s popular Event Director's College coming to Charleston, South Carolina on March 28-29

Registration now open. College is part of Cooper River Bridge Run festivities.

The Portland Marathon Event Director's College will present a two-day conference for event directors, event committee persons and others in the running and walking industry as part of the 35th Cooper River Bridge Run in Charleston, South Carolina on March 28-29, 2012.

This well-known, seminar-styled program will include a number of popular Event Director panelists, including:

  • Allan Steinfeld, former NY City Marathon Director and President of the NYRRC;
  • Wally Kastner, Event Director of the Big Sur Marathon and Half Marathons;
  • Julian Smith, Event Director of the Cooper River event;
  • Ric Nealis, Event Director of the Marine Corps Marathon and Half;
  • Scott Keenan, Event Director of Grandma's Marathon;
  • Les Smith, Event Director of the Portland Marathon;
  • Brian Crawford, Former Administrative Director of the New York City Road Runners Club

The Portland Marathon Event Director's College was established in 1990 as part of the Portland Marathon. Hundreds of Event Director's and event staff members have attended the conference over the last 22 years.

The Portland Marathon College is unique because it uses a moderator-panel format that allows the faculty panels to actively interplay with those attending the sessions.

Grandma's Marathon's Scott Keenan noted, "This presentation method allows more really good information to come forward. It creates a dialogue that is much like a round table discussion. And, it prevents the attendees from suffering through a lecture format."

The East Coast version of the Conference will encompass two full days and cover subjects that include sponsorship, volunteers, charities, event revenue resources, management and organization, intellectual property, event technology and other related subjects.

"It is a great way to pass along good information," said Les Smith, the "Dean" of the Portland Marathon College. "The conference is also a huge networking opportunity for those attending. We always have fun events to go along with the College.

The Charleston Conference will be in a beautiful and historic city. The activities will include a fabulous Charleston harbor dinner buffet boat ride, two lunches and a dinner at one of Charleston's most beautiful clubs," Smith added.

“As a bonus, the conference will also tie into the activities of the Cooper River Bridge Run event,” said Julian Smith, Event Director of the Charleston Cooper River Run. “Those attending will have the chance to see a 35,000-person 10K event in action and from behind the scenes. There will be a press conference, VIP opportunities, an Interactive Expo and other pre- and post-event activities," he added.

Learn more and register, by visiting portlandmarathon.org/directors_college_charleston or bridgerun.com/news.

I Got A Tattoo!

I got a TATTOO!!!

I’m not some ultra-marathon runner who tattoo’ed 26.2 on her wrist because I am going to start running every marathon I can find and try to win all of them from now on...

I didn’t get this tattoo because 4:47:16 is some amazing marathon finish time that I am so unbelievably proud of...

This tattoo isn’t part of some new “identity” that I have found now that I am a “marathoner"


I got this tattoo because 2 years ago, when I turned 30, I never dreamed of running any kind of race.

I got this tattoo because in those last 2 years I have gone through hell and back.

I got this tattoo because although running is not my identity... it is a huge part of my life and has gotten me through some of the lowest and roughest moments I’ve ever known.

I got this tattoo because I’ve run over 1,200 miles since lacing up my first pair of running shoes back in January 2010.

I got this tattoo because I am not the same person today that I was 2 years ago.

I got this tattoo because I am the happiest today than I ever remember being in the past...

I got this tattoo because today I am living as the truest, most honest version of myself.

I got this tattoo because for the rest of my life I want a daily reminder that with a lot of confidence, passion, hard work, perseverance, blood, sweat, and tears, I am capable of doing anything if I put my mind to it.

And every time I look at it, I want this tattoo to inspire me to do anything and everything I could ever dream of doing.

Running a marathon will at times be the most difficult thing I’ve ever done... and at times when life gets really tough, it will seem like the easiest thing I have ever done...

...but if I can run 26.2 miles, surely I can do anything.

Colene Lord (Weber)

Awesome photo from our Facebook friend Hideki Kino

Where Did You Wear Your Shirt?

Beckie Crocker proudly sporting my finisher shirt to the top of Smith Rock two days post marathon; with Portland Marathon.

Peter Peng and beautiful mountain by the coastline in Taiwan! With Portland Marathon.

In Your Words

We asked and you answered. Here are just a few snippets from the awesome (and hilarious) conversations we have daily on Facebook and Twitter.

There are many more great comments on our Facebook friend and fan page. To see the full conversation and get involved, click the icons below.

What tips do you have for others who have decided to train for the Portland Marathon as their New Year's resolution?

Angela -- Read, read, and read some more...read inspiring running blogs, articles, books, etc. Post inspiring quotes all over your house. And don't make unreachable time goals for yourself.

Pam -- Look into joining a local marathon training group! There are lots of training plans out there in print & on the internet, but nothing beats a bunch of like-minded companions to run the long mileage on weekends! Keep it fun!

Trevor -- Do not procrastinate until a few months before to get some real training in. You risk injury and may not be ready. Not every workout needs to be perfect, but you need to consistently be training from many months back.

Sally -- Buy a nice running jacket that is somewhat waterproof!

April -- Find a friend to train with, eat well (not diet), and get a good play list to push you past the hard times! PM was amazing, and worth every mile of training!

Renee -- CONSISTENCY. PATIENCE. And don't beat yourself up if you have a bad training day. You CAN do it!

Maxine -- First, it is worth it! Second, find a buddy to do it with you. Having a friend to train with made all of the difference for me! It is doable!

Jayde -- DON'T GIVE UP!!! Have a training plan in place, but be prepared for changes & injuries, and do your best to roll with the punches & adjust your plans as necessary. s*** happens, but if you put in the time & effort, you really can do it. Portland was amazing, and worth every ounce of blood, sweat, tears & blisters! =D

Steven -- Do NOT miss any long runs. You can miss a run during the week if absolutely necessary but do not miss any weekend long runs. Those are key.

Angie -- No advice, just confidence! You can do it!

Sheryl -- Be sure to also get plenty of sleep each night so your body can recover.

How many miles have you run so far this year? How many will you run in 2012?

Mark -- 75 so far...

Joseph -- 36, on my way to hitting 1,000 this year.

Cindy -- Ran 5 on Maui today. I have a rough life. Will run at least 1,200.

Gary -- 43 miles so far in 2012, goal is 1,250 miles or 2012K

Melissa -- 31 so far, training for my first marathon :)

Robert -- 70 so far hoping for 2500 are more

Lenora -- 1.5 and proud of it after what I accomplished in '11- overuse injury HA!! I finally overused something - now that's f-u-n-n-y!!!! Going for as many as I can get this year ;)

Renee' -- Not enough and more than ever!

Jaime -- 57.32 miles so far; plan on having 175 miles for the month of Jan; will plan my mileage month by month. Excited for 2012 Portland Marathon!

Colene -- My goal is 1200 in 2012! I've run only 15 so far, but once I start training for the PDX marathon, the miles will start adding up fast!! :) Can't wait for October!

Christina -- Zero and no good reason. I just can't shake the holiday lazies.

Melissa -- As many as my legs will carry me. :)

Brian -- Not going to match last year's 1150 but it could be around 900 in 2012.

Visit us at the Race Center Event Expo

Visit the Portland Marathon booth at the 5th Annual Race Center Event Expo presented by RaceCenter northwest Magazine, AA Sports, and Foot Traffic and register on-site to receive $10 off registration!

Saturday, February 18 from 10 AM to 4 PM
Foot Traffic in Northeast Portland
4020 NE Fremont St.

41st Portland Marathon

October 7, 2012 will mark the 41st Annual Portland Marathon! We have 83 entertainment groups at 53 locations along the course. Each year more than 12,000 people run, walk, or volunteer with the event. Proceeds from the Portland Marathon go to help local schools, charities, and non-profits. 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.

Connect with other Portland Marathoners via:

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