May 2010 News, updates, tips, and true stories as we countdown to the 39th Annual Portland Marathon on 10·10·10.


Some of our newsletter subscribers and military friends have not used our special offer to register for the Marathon. To receive $20 off on the registration cost of $135, you can use this code when you register: NEWS8

Click here to register now.

This offer will be good until May 31, 2010, unless the event fills before that time.

(Note: This offer does not apply if you have already registered.)

Walk the line…to the finish line, that is, on 10-10-10!

Did you know that more than 9,700 people registered for the Portland Marathon last year? Thinking about joining them? It's not too late to choose Portland, if you haven't already. Why, you ask?

We have it down pat.

With nearly 40 years of experience, we know how to deliver a world-class event, and we continue to look for ways to make a good thing even better. It's no surprise we've been named Best-organized Marathon in North America and one of the Ten Greenest Races in the US.

Big city marathon – small town appeal.

Sure, we've got all the bells and whistles of a mega-marathon... and as destinations go, our city ranks with the best, but that's where the similarity ends. For starters, getting here and staying here won't break your budget. But more importantly, we are the original walker-friendly marathon — we've been welcoming walkers for more than 20 years. When you walk the Portland Marathon, you won't get lost in the crowd because we treat everyone like a winner, not a number. Registration dollars are spent on each participant, rather than on prize monies or appearance fees for a select few. Plus our course, which officially remains open for 8 hours, is loaded with entertainment and volunteer support.

Great goodies for you!

With us, you'll finish and feel good, and go home with plenty of mementos and memories of your marathon experience — from the custom bib, to your name announced at the finish, to the mint-struck medal and performance shirt... we'll even give you a Pacific Northwest tree seedling to take home and plant in commemoration of your achievement. And new in 2010, as part of our medal design, we'll offer a removable pendant our female finishers are sure to love.

The Portland Marathon was voted one of the most walker friendly marathons by Runner's World in March 2009!

Nordic walkers welcome!

Did you know the Portland Marathon proudly includes a Nordic Walking category in the marathon? Learn more, visit

Team In Training is currently recruiting for our hometown favorite - the Portland Marathon & Half Marathon.

We have spots into the sold out Inaugural Half Marathon! To receive a FREE entry into this premium event, contact to become a fundraiser and Run For A Reason!

Team In Training is saving lives... one mile at a time. Members of Team In Training (TNT) conquer marathons, half marathons, century bike rides and Olympic triathlons, while supporting efforts to find a cure for blood cancers.

Training for and participating with TNT is a proud acknowledgement of the human spirit, physical ability and mental endurance. It is also a celebration of life. TNT weaves connections between all of us through the use of endurance event training as a symbol of hope. Participants raise money for cancer research and services as they honor patients and their families with every step they take.

Recruitment is now! Registration for new runners & walkers to train for their next event is happening around the Portland, Eugene & Boise areas. Attend an information meeting near you. Check our website for a list of locations at Questions about our program? Call 971-230-2292

Click image to download pdf

The Portland Marathon Training Clinic is FREE

Portland Marathon Training Clinic has begun. These runs are great ways to meet people, run with groups at your same speed and level, and have fun while training, and they are FREE!

Established in 1984, the Portland Marathon Training Clinic has helped thousands of runners and walkers to successfully complete the Portland Marathon. Hundreds of others have achieved their personal bests. It provides proven, safe and supported programs. It is the sanctioned official training program for the Portland Marathon (and, did we mention it's FREE?)

To sign-up and learn more, visit

The Portland Marathon has partnered with Rovia to bring you the best deals on your marathon travel as well as your personal or business travel. Rovia beats Travelocity and Expedia 68% of the time. For more information, visit,

Connect with our online community of runners and walkers!

Join us on Facebook (Portland Marathon) or Twitter (@pdxmarathon) to share your thoughts, photos, stories, and to pose your questions about running, walking, sweating, the Portland Marathon, aid stations, and gear. The list of topics changes by the minute!

Have questions or comments about our newsletter or email blasts? We'd love to hear them. Just email your thoughts to

Need tips about our aid stations, course markings or finish times?

Learn more by visiting

Event Director Les Smith tells how you can get into the sold out Half Marathon

We sat down with Portland Marathon Event Director, Les Smith, who shared information about charities, this year's finishers' medal, and details about how you can still GET INTO the SOLD OUT HALF! Here's what he had to say...

Q: How is registration for the full Marathon going and will that event sell out?

A: We are amazed at how well we are doing this year with the Marathon. We are 5 to 6 times ahead of where we were at this time last year. We will sell out. This will happen in July at the pace we are going. However, as usual at this time more people are signing up as we move closer to the event... Advice: Sign-up within the next month.

Q: If I sign up for the full Marathon and later want to transfer to the new Half Marathon, can I do so?

A: No. We will not allow transfers. We want to keep the integrity of the new Portland Marathon Half which is now sold out, except for some Charity entries and entries for those military members who signed up for and ran in one of our Iraq events last Fall. If we allow transfers we defeat the value of the entries for the charities and their ability to have participants sign up through them.

Q: Exactly what are the Charity entries?

A: These are entries, which our Charities hold for the Half Marathon or the full Marathon. They are free or at no cost to anyone who wants to run in one of the two events on behalf of one of our Official Charities. This is really a good deal which a lot of folks have overlooked. See our web page for further details and the information on our Charities who provide this service.

Q: When will details of the Portland Marathon Half be announced?

A: Look for that information in our next Newsletter and then on our web page during the first week of June.

Q: Will there be music on the new Half Marathon course?

A: Yes. We will keep our growing reputation as the Music Marathon and now the Music Half Marathon. Other events may try to make such claims but our event has in the past and will continue to out rock and entertain the best of them. And, also remember: We are also MP3 Player/iPod friendly.

Q: Is it true that the Portland Marathon recently won an honor for the medal it gave the 2009 finishers?

A: Yes. Our 2009 Medal was ranked in the top ten medals for marathons throughout the US. This month the latest issue of Marathon & Beyond, the publication which is attuned to marathons and marathon history, published the results of a survey among about 20 panel members who know and have run a lot of marathons. After discussing the history and background for medals in our industry the panel determined that the 2009 Portland Marathon medal was one of the top ten best.

A: What are the plans for the 2010 Medal?

Q: This year we will have a special medal for the new Portland Marathon Half as well as the Marathon. As most know, unless we are celebrating a special Oregon or Portland centennial etc, we normally select a local landmark on the course and make it the subject of our medal. Also included are significant marks and logos as well as language that will identify the medal and tie it to Portland and the State of Oregon. We will announce the designs in September. We are sure the two selected will again be well received.

Q: Anything else that will be new or special in terms of items given to finishers?

A: We have alluded before to the fact we plan to give finishers a small pendant necklace when they finish the new Half or full Marathon. Our design prototypes show these two special items will be very well received and represent a wonderful new keepsake for our events which can be proudly worn. Our finishers will like them, I am sure.

Les Smith

Marathon & Beyond named the Portland Marathon finisher's medal one of the top ten in the U.S.!

Kathy Rafish wore her finisher shirt at the Trevi Fountain in Rome, at the beginning of a wonderful two-week trip through Italy, which concluded with a Mediterranean Cruise.

After running the Portland Marathon in 2008, (her first), Monica Baughman of Bend, Oregon wore her shirt in January '09 at a 10K in San Paulo, Brazil celebrating the city's 455th anniversary.

With Table Mountain in the background, Thu-Hang Tran (on the left) of Milton, Massachusetts, finisher in '06, '07, & '08 and her two future marathoners Elly Day and Minh-Ahn Day proudly displayed her shirts on the Robben Island ferry in Cape Town, South Africa. Thu-Hang ran the Portland Marathon with her four sisters in 2006

Barbara and Terry Hall of Sacramento, California getting drenched and loving it inside a volcanic crater in Hawaii's Volcanoes National Park

Danielle Hathaway of Portland qualifying for the Boston Marathon in the Georgia Marthon in March of this year. She'll be back to run Portland on 10-10-10!

In your words...

Last week, one of our Facebook friends posed this question — "What's good to eat before a run that doesn't feel heavy?"

Here's what you had to say...

Rachelle - I go with steel cut Irish oats mixed with peanut butter, about 1.5-2 hours prior. Yummy, and keeps me going the whole first hour.

Don - Turkey sandwich does the trick for me about 2 hours out from the start.

Michael - Miso soup... I know, unconventional. But it's satisfying, gives me energy, and is nice & light!

Elissa - i always have whole wheat toast with a thin smear of peanut butter. If the run is going to be longer then an hour I add 1/2 a banana too.

Tim - Sometime, for me at least, it depends on how much time before the run. three hours before... oatmeal, toast, banana. If it's between three hours and race time, I don't eat until the race starts. Then a gel every 30 minutes (it's how I train) water, and if it's hot, electrolytes.

Michael - Chia seeds, grits, banana, soft-boiled egg

Meeghen - A peice of toast with pb is usually what I'll eat. I like a Pop tart before an extra long run (15+) or a race.

Patricia - graham crackers and a little peanut butter

Jennifer - BANNANA and a glass of milk nuts are good too.

Emily - Try things out now and see what works for you and your body. I seem to run best on fruit, yogurt, and sprinkled with a little cereal. During the run, same thing. Find out what works for you, timing and food wise. My first marathon I did jelly beans and honey, odd... now it's shot blocks


Have a question about running in Portland? Training? Motivation? Group runs? The Portland Marathon? Kelly Johnson and her team of experts are here to help.

Kelly has been a runner for more than 18 years. She has run two marathons and has been pacer for the Portland Marathon three times. Kelly writes and manages the RunOregon blog ( She has also served on the Team Red Lizard board for three years, and is a member of the Portland Marathon Committee.

Each month Kelly will answer your questions. To submit them, email Here are the questions for the month:

Dear Kelly –
At how many miles should I start taking in calories during a run?


Dear Jennifer -
That is a very good question... and it totally depends on what personally works for you. I'm not a nutritionist, so I can only speak from my personal experiences. But to find out "what works for you" will mean factoring in your weight, effort level, how your body responds to the nutrition you choose, the weather on race day, and how you feel on race day. I find that the best way to learn is to ask other runners what they do, and when during a run they start eating.

Or, there may be a run where you all of a sudden feel super hungry – you want to look at your watch, and make a plan to eat your Gu next time about 10 minutes before that.

For me, it works to have a Gu or Hammergel about 50 minutes into my run and then again about every hour. So during a marathon I will have 4 gel packs. I drink water with each one, not only because they're so sticky but also so I am hydrated enough for my body to use the gels efficiently (if you aren't hydrated and over-do the Gu you can get the Hershey squirts!).

However, some people might only need to have 2 Gus during a 4-hour run. (I would probably have to stop for a cheeseburger if I only had 2 gels!)

You burn about 100 calories per mile (give or take – this depends on your weight). So, during the marathon, you really would have to have a lot more energy gels to make up that loss, but trust me – you don't want to do that! That is why the carbo-loading is so important. Our bodies are amazingly efficient factories – that's why you can wake up at 7a and go for a run or swim or something without needing to eat first. So you don't have to replace, calorie for calorie, what you expend when you run.

There are a lot of books on endurance nutrition that are really good. I personally like Endurance Sports Nutrition by Suzanne Girard Eberle. You can also talk with a clerk at any local running store like Fit Right NW, Foot Traffic, or Portland Running Company to see what they like. You might find that the good old combination of pretzels and Swedish Fish works best for you!

In addition to calories, I recommend you investigate enduralite caps (one brand is Salt Sticks) which is a caplet of sodium, potassium, and other good stuff that helps your body get your hydration into your muscles and can help prevent cramps. When it’s cold out, I take one about 2 hours in; when it's hot, I need one every hour. Also – replenishment drinks and foods, like Nuun can help with your recovery so you aren’t as sore after long runs. I have an ultrarunner friend who swears by that stuff.

Good luck!

Dear Kelly -
As you go over the mats at the beginning and at the end, there are two. Which one starts and/or stops your chip timing?

- Jan

Dear Jan -
At the start, the first one is actually the only one you really need to worry about. The reason there are 2 at the start is for redundancy – just a back up to make sure everyone gets started. However at the finish, keep running hard to the last mat, which will be easy to spot because it's right under the finish banner. As you're approaching the finish, you do run over a mat, which flashes your name and hometown on a screen that the announcer sees.

The Portland Marathon has a goal to announce every single finisher as they come in the chute. Not only will it help your fan club know you're finishing, but there's something about hearing your name that just makes it all so real that you're finishing a marathon!

Dear Kelly -
What is a decent time to finish it walking?... I keep hearing different answers??... I would like to make a good goal time for myself that is realistic.

- Jessica

Dear Jessica -
I think that there is a huge range of what is "decent" for finishing times – it all depends on your training, your background, and how you feel on race day. For me, personally, a 4:30 is "decent" – but when I ran a 4:51 in Eugene last year I was ecstatic because man, did I feel like junk that day. What I suggest is to give yourself some trial periods to see what a good goal is for you.

There is this cool online tool (that's free) called the McMillan Pace Calculator. If you walk a 5k or 10k (or any distance), you can plug your time in and the calculator will factor in the differences in effort for each distance and give you suggested goal times. What that means, is that in a 5k you might walk at a 15:00 pace, but it's not reasonable to expect that pace for a longer race. You can find the pace calculator here:

10-10-10 will mark the 39th Portland Marathon. We have 74 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.

The Portland Marathon with its closed course was the first major marathon event to endorse the use of iPods, MP3 players and other electronic devises... including cell phones. USTAF rules still bar the use of a cell phone! We continue to be an MP3 Player Friendly Marathon.

For more information, visit or e-mail The Portland Marathon is also available through Facebook and Twitter (@pdxmarathon).

Connect with other Portland Marathoners via:

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