- Portland Marathon: Looking back through our 40 years
- Why pick Portland?
- Congratulations to all of our Portland Marathon puzzler winners!
- Your May POP QUIZ
- May Training and Motivation Tips
- Want to be famous?
- In Your Words...
- "Gear Up" for the 2011 Portland Marathon

- Book your accommodations now and stay near all the action

May 2011 News, updates, tips, and true stories as we countdown to
the 40th Annual Portland Marathon on 10-09-11.

Thanks to all those who have signed up for this year's fabulous 40th. We have a few slots left which we hope those on our special mailing list will take advantage of before we sell out...which will be some time in June (bets are now being taken for the date)

The Portland Marathon has a record number of registrants and it's only May! We did not reach this number until July of last year! 

Do not miss signing up for what will be the best Portland Marathon ever...our 40th Anniversary on OCTOBER 9th.

Portland Marathon: Looking back through our 40 years

The first years of the Portland Marathon were a checkerboard of start/ finish and course configurations.

The first four events were two laps on Sauvie Island. Participant numbers were 173 in the inaugural event in 1972 and grew to 405 in 1976. During the next two years, the event was staged at the University of Portland with the course winding around North Portland and going out to Kelly Point.

The 1978 event had 1,295 participants and was actually one of the largest marathons in the U.S. that year.

The next two years the event was staged at the Portland Expo Center on Marine Drive and used much the same course but had a start that used the Portland International Raceway (PIR).

In 1981, the event moved almost "downtown" with the start at the former Memorial Coliseum parking lot and the finish on Flint Street to the north side of Broadway. The course went through the center of Portland, out Yeon and then looped through North Portland.

Unfortunately, from 1979 to 1981, the number of participants began to drop dramatically. Indeed, only about 450 finished the 10th Anniversary of the Portland Marathon in 1981. At this point a complete organizational overhaul of the event took place. A new event committee was recruited along with several sponsors.

In 1982, the Portland Marathon jumped to over 1,100 participants and continued to grow steadily in the years to come.

In 1984, the event moved to its current downtown start/finish location where it remains today. In 1992, a course change was made which brought in the St. John's Bridge and more of our downtown venue.

Changes in technology from "timing chips" to wave starts and corrals have allowed the Portland Marathon to continue to grow and produce an even better event.

More history will follow in upcoming issues of this newsletter. For an overview of the first 20 years of the Portland Marathon, go to our web page and see the icon for "Going the Distance."


Les Smith

Why pick Portland?

Here's just a few more reasons why your trip to Portland on October 9 will be SO worth it.  Click video above to watch.


Congratulations to all of our Portland Marathon puzzler winners!

They received our signature Portland Marathon woven throw blanket. Look for more puzzles in newsletters, email blasts and our Facebook page. 

Our April puzzler winner was Clint H from West Sunbury, PA. 

Our April puzzler on Facebook was Charlie C from Indianapolis, IN. 

Our May puzzler winner was Albert P from Aloha, OR. 


Which government official has run 36 marathons, 27 of them were Portland Marathons? 

Be the first to post the answer on the Portland Marathon Facebook FAN page, and win a signature Portland Marathon woven throw blanket. You must be registered for the 2011 Portland Marathon to win this one!

May Training and Motivation Tips

Olympian Jeff Galloway has coached over a million runners to their goals through his clinics, books and ecoaching.  Sing up for his free newsletter at www.JeffGalloway.com.

By Olympian Jeff Galloway

• In researching my book, RUNNING UNTIL YOU'RE 100, I found numerous studies showing that runners have healthier orthopedic units than non runners even after decades of running.

• The "exhaustion wall" can be avoided by running more miles during your long runs, pacing and the appropriate run-walk-run strategy.

• Marathoners tend to improve time by an average of more than 15 minutes when they increase their longest run from 20 miles to 26 miles.

• To recover fast, run the long runs at least 2 min/mi slower than you could currently run in a marathon

• Staying injury free and rested are the primary reasons runners improve. 

Want to be famous?

Photo by Loop_Oh

Or, at least appear in our newsletter? Send us photos of you in your gear or running the Portland Marathon. We'll use them in the next newsletter. Feel free to share your training stories and questions too! Just email them to info@portlandmarathon.org.


The Portland Marathon is an Oregon non-profit corporation registered as a 501(c)3 charitable organization. The marathon is proud of its long tradition of helping charities raise money through the events or by one of its other charitable programs offered through the events. In addition, the Portland Marathon has a long tradition of making direct contributions designed to help local charities, non-profits, services clubs, athletic teams and other worthy causes.

Direct Giving by the Portland Marathon Program

Over the years, the Portland Marathon has made independent donations from its general fund to a variety of local charities and organizations. Additionally, through the Direct Giving Program, many direct donations are given to our volunteer groups. For more information on this program, click here

A History of Giving

The idea of becoming charity involved was the result of Event Director Les Smith running the London Marathon where he saw extensive programs that charities used in conjunction with that event to raise money.


After its 10th year the Portland Marathon was reorganized. The event started the tradition of giving all of the proceeds from its Pasta Party to the charity or charities that helped with that event. It also began to look for other ways to help the community and charitable groups.


The Portland Marathon had selected three charities (MS, Easter Seals, and Oregon Special Olympics) and solicited those individuals who signed up to run the marathon to contribute or pledge to one or all of those charities. The Portland Marathon actually helped the charities with the collection of the countless pledges that were made by those who ran or walked and those that, in turn supported them. This was a time consuming and difficult process. There were no examples to look to at that time, and ours was a small event.


The Portland Marathon tried other charitable connections to help with the raising of funds. In particular the Marathon tried an umbrella program where charity events were asked to become part of the marathon weekend.

• Megan's Run, a 24-hour individual run around the Lincoln High School track, was designed to raise money for the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) charity. Enthusiastic runners would start the 24-hour run at 8 am on the Saturday morning before the Portland Marathon. These runners would run all day and night with a few of them coming over to the starting line of the marathon for a 26.2-mile capper.

• Northwest Medical Team fundraiser is another little remembered charity event under the Portland Marathon's umbrella. A Bed Race was undertaken for the group of doctors, nurses and other volunteers who travel all over the world to provide medical relief in emergencies and disasters. The Bed Race was adopted after a similar successful event in Honolulu known as the Great Bed Race wherein four participants push a bed for one mile in a time trial.

• Leukemia and Lymphoma Societies Saturday evening walk was a fundraising event under the umbrella of the event.

• Cascade AIDS Society used the Portland Marathon's Mayors Walk as its fundraising event.

• The Oregon Special Olympics for many years hosted a run for that was tied to the Portland Marathon Kids Marafun Run.


Through the 2000s the charity program has continued to evolve as charity models have emerged with running teams of their own, fundraising programs and organized constituent programs in the model of Team In Training. The Portland Marathon provides charities an opportunity to use the existing marathon vehicle as part of its fundraising tool in place of the expense of putting on a run or walk itself.


Along with encouraging the involvement of charities with constituent programs, in 2007 five charities were selected to participate in the registration donation program. The general range of the total amount collected by all of these charities was between $125,000 and $150,000. One charity raised nearly $30,000 using this program.


Our present official charity program, Going the Distance, is comprehensive and encourages charities large and small to participate. The event provides exposure for all charities in association with the event to solicit donations from all event participants in the donation format.


The 40th Anniversary Portland Marathon is scheduled for Sunday October 9th, 2011. More than 10,000 marathoners will participate with another 3,000 or more in related events. We look forward to having participants and charities alike joining us. Learn more about the 2011 Portland Marathon charities here.

In Your Words

At the Lincoln Memorial last fall in my shirt from my 25th consecutive Portland Marathon!
Lance Siebler of Tigard, OR

After finishing the morning "shake out" run with Bart Yasso and the Runner's World crew, we headed over to Boylston just in time to see the 2011 finish line being freshly applied. The 2011 Portland Marathon is where I qualified for Boston so this picture is really full circle for me. Two days later I ran over this finish line and re-qualified!

Debbie Gardner,
Tumwater, WA

Crossing the line... Bill and Diane Lomasney of Medford, OR.

I had the opportunity to travel to Antarctica on a Joseph Van OS Photo Safaris photo expedition in Dec 2010, along with Art Wolf and several other renowned nature photographers.

This was an excellent experience, leaving Ushuaia which is the most southern city in Argentina, spending 40 hours crossing the Drake Passage, then onto the Shetland Islands, the Antarctic Peninsula, and returning back through the Drake passage to Ushuaia.

It is unbelievable, the magnificent Icebergs, glaciers, whales, various seals and of course the Gentoo Penguins in the photo. A trip of a life time. What more can be said, than it was just stunning.

Daren Bledsoe
Corvallis, OR


My dad (Howard Brown) will complete his 30th consecutive Portland Marathon this year. His finish times were usually around the 4 hour mark. If he could be recognized somehow at the finish this year that would be tremendous!


Four proud Portlanders recently ran in the Boston Marathon! In doing so, we chose to represent Portland and wear our marathon shirts. (Names from Left to Right) Rachel Gans, Vinay Prasad, Brad Cota, Gary Blackwell.

Thanks for making the best event race shirt around! We not only were proud to wear them, we were comfortable too!

Anything is possible,


ULTRA Al PORTLAND MARATHON VET!  2011 Will be my 31st in a row! #207 overall. 1980-1990 3:08PR to 4hr times.1990-2000 4:00 to 5:00 times. 2000 to 2010 5:00 to 6hr+ times. Names used Al Miller, "Ultra Al", "Ultra Al" Miller Jr, Deer Island, Or (Native). Hope this helps. Thanks for the interest. Goal to finish 50+ in a Row! Running walking, or crawling :).


                  "ULTRA AL" THE LIVING LEGEND #204 26.2'S #26 ULTRAS

"Gear Up" for the 2011 Portland Marathon

Click here to visit our store.

Book your accommodations now and stay near all the action

October might seem far away, but the time will fly by. The 40th Annual Portland Marathon will be held the weekend of Oct. 8th and 9th. The Portland Hilton and Executive Tower is right in the heart of all Marathon excitement. It is located just three blocks from the start/finish area and is also home to our two-day Sports and Fitness Expo. To book your rooms now, click here.

October 9, 2011 will mark the 40th Annual 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.

Correction: In the March newsletter, we said the Hilton Portland and Executive Tower in downtown Portland was "the" first Green Seal Certified hotel in Portland. It was not THE first, but one of the first in 2006.

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