October 2009 News, updates, tips, and true stories as we countdown to the 38th Annual Portland Marathon on Oct. 4, 2009

October Newsletter - Your insiders' guide to the 2009 Portland Marathon.

Photo courtesy of Ben Sherman, OregonLive.com

Are you ready to run, walk, volunteer? We are!

As you well know, this October 2, 3, and 4, runners and walkers from all 50 states, and from 21 foreign countries, will fill the streets of downtown Portland for the 38th Annual Portland Marathon. Nearly 12,000 marathoners are expected to attend, 58% of which will be women. Additionally, more than 4,500 volunteers will help produce this year's Portland Marathon.

The Portland Marathon creates a $20 million economic impact on the Portland Area, and is one of the city's largest events. For the last three years, the event has been considered Portland's largest "convention." This year's events include:

  • 26.2-mile marathon run and walk;
  • Kaiser Permanente 5-mile run;
  • 10 km Mayor's walk, which Mayor Sam Adams will attend;
  • 3 satellite half marathons on Iraq military bases for OR and WA based troops;
  • Kids' 2-mile marafun;
  • Two-day Sports Authority Sports & Fitness Expo;
  • Pasta dinner party; post-event awards part; three-day national event directors' college.

The Portland Marathon is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and an Oregon non-profit corporation. Each year more than $150,000 is donated by the Portland Marathon to over 100 local non-profits, school groups, sport teams, and other charities. With the help of the event, charities also raise about $2 million.

This year, over the 26.2-mile course, the Portland Marathon will feature 76 bands and entertainers at 61 venues. This is just one of the features that makes the Portland Marathon unique to other distance-running events in the country. The Portland Marathon is ranked as one of the top ten largest marathons in the United States, and among the top 10 distance-running events in the world by Runner's World. The publication also named the event one of the "best organized" and "greenest" marathons in the country.

Satellite Iraq Half Marathons were HUGE successes.

Last Sunday, Sept. 27, more than 500 soldiers at Victory Base Camp in Baghdad, Iraq and the Warrior Unit on the Iraq/Iran border, participated in the Portland Marathon Half Marathons. Most of the participating troops were from Oregon and Washington. These events were positive ways for family members and loved ones in the Northwest to stay connected to troops in Iraq, as well as ways for troops to stay connected to the Portland Marathon.

Click HERE to see footage from the Baghdad half marathon.

The Portland Marathon cares about the health and well-being of troops whether they are at home or abroad. Event director, Les Smith, has a service background and is passionate about supporting and thanking troops. He fused this interest, with his love for running to create the Iraq half marathons. At no charge, the Portland Marathon provided these finishers with specially printed t-shirts, lapel pins, special bibs, medals, and challenge coins. Volunteers are received Portland Marathon t-shirts.

Another 600 soldiers will run this Saturday, Oct. 3 at Camp COBB/Adder at Tallil Airbase, Southern Iraq. Most are from The Oregon National Guard. Click HERE for more information, photos, or video from these events.

Fun Facts about the 2009 Portland Marathon.

This year at the Portland Marathon we will have...

  • 2,400 lbs of ice
  • 5,180 bananas (keep in mind we halve the bananas)
  • 9,520 apples (slicing almost quadruples this number, so don't worry, we won't run out)
  • 700 lbs. of grapes
  • 2,006 oranges
  • 13,000 cookies
  • 12,000 fun size candy bars
  • 6,000 string cheeses
  • 4,000 bagels
  • 50 loaves of organic bread
  • 28 tubs of red licorice
  • 390 gallons of orange juice
  • More than 500 porta potties

As you can see, we'll have plenty of food. Trust us, we've been doing this for 38 years. Many of our fruits are halved and sliced which means there's plenty of food for all. In fact, we plan to have leftovers. Any remaining food will be donated to the Oregon Food Bank. We also donate any clothes left on the course or in the lost and found to local charities and shelters.

Q&A with the Portland Marathon

We are here to help answer all of your questions. We've tried to address some of your most frequently asked questions below.

More Q&A can be found HERE. Our website, www.portlandmarathon.org, has lots of great information. We are also available on Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. Volunteers and helpers will be available at the Sports Authority Sports & Fitness Expo to help with any remaining questions you have. And, don't forget about our pre-race publication, which will be available at the Expo will be filled with useful and interesting information.

Download our full Spectator's Guide by clicking HERE.

For Runners

What should I bring to packet pick-up?

For marathon runners and walkers - Bring your bib number and a copy of your registration confirmation if you have it. If you registered online for the marathon walk or run, Click HERE to find your bib number. If you registered by mail, your bib number will not be on the website, please bring your confirmation letter that was mailed to you.

For 5-miler, Mayor's Walk, or Kids' Marafun participants - You will receive your bib # at the Sports Authority Sports and Fitness expo. Please bring your photo ID. We'll need your first and last name, and a copy of your email confirmation, if you have it.

Where do I check in if I'm entered in the Racewalk, marathon Nordic Walk competition, or 5-Miler?

Please check in at the Racewalk/Nordic Walk table at the Expo. We will have bib numbers and instructions for all registered racewalk and Nordic Walk participants. If you need to switch to either of these divisions this weekend, we can also help participants do this. Questions? Please stop by the check in table or email us at ptldmarathonwalks@yahoo.com. For the 5-Miler, awards will be distributed beginning at 10AM.

Can I pick up my packet on race day if I'm a marathon runner/walker?

No. There is NO day of race entry or packet pickup. The Sports Authority Sports & Fitness Expo is on Friday, Oct. 2nd, 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 3rd from 9 a.m. - 7 p.m., in the Ballroom and Exhibit Hall of the downtown Hilton Portland and Executive Tower.

What can expect at the start line if I'm a marathon runner/walker?

The start is organized by pace group and by how many runners will finish at that pace, so we've built all the room you'll need. You will not lose time getting to the start because of our chip. Your time starts when you cross the mat. Also, the wave start gives you plenty of room.

What will the start area look like if I'm a marathon runner/walker?

For more information, click HERE.

What should I expect on race day if I'm a marathon runner/walker?

For more information, click HERE.

If I am on a marathon run or walk team, do I have to run/walk the whole race?

Yes. You can have as many team members as you like, but this is not a relay format, each participant much complete the course. But remember, for competitive teams, only the first three finishers times will count toward the team score and division award.

Is the Portland Marathon a Boston Qualifier?

Yes. The Portland Marathon is a U.S. Track and Field sanctioned and certified course. The Boston Marathon accepts our runners, provided they qualify for their age group. A disc of our results is sent to Boston. You need only apply.

What are the aid stations like? Can I walk through them or do I have to keep running? Are they crowded?

Click HERE to learn more.

What if I have to use the bathroom on the course?

Click HERE to find out.

What's the scoop with the finisher shirt if I'm a marathon runner/walker?

The finisher shirt is a long-sleeve, performance fabric, Nike dry-fit, shirt. The shirts are unisex. They will be distributed at the finish line.

Where's a good place to eat while I'm in town for the Portland Marathon?

Click HERE to find out. We also have the Portland Marathon Pasta Party! Click HERE, or read our story on the Pasta Party in this newsletter to learn more.

Will there be live results?

Yes, these will be on our homepage, www.portlandmarathon.org.

What if I don't see my question answered here?

More Q&A can be found HERE. Our website, www.portlandmarathon.org, has lots of great information. We are also available on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. Volunteers and helpers will be also available at the Sports Authority Sports & Fitness Expo to help with any remaining questions you have.

For Volunteers

Where do I park if I'm a volunteer? How can I get to the Start/Finish Area?

Parking is available on street away from the Marathon Course and start/finish area. Additional parking is available in parking garages for a fee. On race day street closures may make finding parking more difficult. Please remember to allow extra travel time to deal with the congestion of race day so you can arrive at your assigned location as scheduled.

Due to congestion around the start area, we recommend volunteers working in the start/finish area and participants riding MAX or other public transit. For a list of Park and Ride locations, visit www.trimet.org. On MAX, Coming from Hillsboro/Beaverton riders can get off MAX at 4th and Yamhill. Coming from Gresham/Lloyd Center get off MAX at 4th & Morrison. In each case, the Marathon start/finish area is only three blocks away. For further details and schedules for MAX and busses please refer to the TriMet website at www.trimet.org.

What should I wear to volunteer?

If working outside, please make sure to wear layers as the weather is changeable this time of year.

What about food if I'm a volunteer?

It is best to bring a snack or lunch given the need for flexibility in assignments. Snacks may be available at certain areas.

Can I secure my valuables while I work as a volunteer?

We cannot secure your valuables. We recommend you do not bring a purse or backpack if you are volunteering in the Marathon Start/Finish area because we do not have a secure storage location

Can I still sign up to volunteer?

We want to thank everyone for the amazing response we received for volunteers! This event would not be possible without your support. We do not need any additional volunteers at this time, but we'd love to have your help as a spectator cheering on and encouraging the runners and walkers. Click HERE for a Spectator's Guide.

What if I don't see my question answered here?

More Q&A can be found HERE. Our website, www.portlandmarathon.org, has lots of great information. We are also available on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. Volunteers and helpers will be also available at the Sports Authority Sports & Fitness Expo to help with any remaining questions you have.

Want to meet your pacers? Get tips on tackling the St. Johns Bridge hill?

Click HERE for more information.

Follow a runner from our website

This year, we also have live results so people can follow the status of their runners from our website. At any time, they'll be able to tell where a runners is on the course. Click HERE to view the runners status on race day.

What do you really think of the Portland Marathon?

We asked previous marathoners who were at the Seattle Rock N' Roll half marathon what they thought of the Portland Marathon. Click HERE to watch the latest entry in our video diary.

Portland Marathon goes "Out and About" with 5-miler sponsor Kaiser Permanente and Drew Carney of KGW.

Click HERE to watch the Portland Marathon's interview with Drew Carney and first-time marathoner Dave Northfield of Kaiser Permanente.

Image by Saverio Truglia of Runner's World.

Join us for a carb party on Saturday night.

Please join us for the official Portland Marathon Pasta Party! The event will take place Saturday, October 3rd from 5-8PM at the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower. This event benefits the Oregon Sports Authority and boasts a hearty menu including a delicious Caesar salad, bread sticks or garlic bread, pasta with choice of red or white sauce, meatballs on the side, cookies and a drink. You can purchase your tickets for $25 (tip included) at the information booth during the Sports Authority Sports & Fitness expo. Space is limited so please visit us at the information booth early. For more information, click HERE.

Thank you, Ultima!

We would like to thank our featured sponsor Ultima Replenisher. We greatly appreciate their continued support and sponsorship. Seth Bovio, the company's president, with be available at the Ultima booth at the Sports Authority Sports & Fitness Expo to answer any of your questions. He is the drink's formulator as well as a marathoner who ran the 2005 Portland Marathon to quality for Boston.

What is Ultima?
Ultima is a balanced electrolyte drink that allows all essential minerals to be absorbed rapidly without engaging digestion. The drink contains all eight essential electrolytes needed for complete hydration, balanced with water-soluble vitamin C. Ultima uses no sugar or artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. It is the only sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan, and non-GMO performance drink.

Why does it work?
Any intense activity, from playing a sport to taking a test, burns essential electrolytes. Whereas other sports drinks fail to replace all electrolytes and/or add high carbohydrate counts-requiring digestion, which diverts energy and often causes GI distress during exercise-Ultima is absorbed directly. For more information, visit the Ultima booth at the Sports Authority Sports & Fitness Expo or visit www.ultimareplenisher.com.

Race director Les Smith. Photo courtesy of Jim Clark/Tribune File Photo.

Portland Marathon meets Iraq:

Some people will participate in the Portland Marathon from half a world away.

The following article was published in the Portland Tribune on Sept 24, 2009

Race organizers are working with the military to host and support half marathons at three posts in Iraq as part of the Portland Marathon's "First Half." Eventually, race director Les Smith says the Portland Marathon wants to be the sponsor for the U.S. Army half marathon.

"I'm being visionary here, they're the ones who are the boots on the ground and trying to get things done," says Smith, an Army veteran who served in Germany after being drafted during the Vietnam War. "With these guys coming back from (Iraq), we'll be in tight with them. I'd like to become one of the sponsors of the (Army) half marathon, and use it as a training event for ours."

Members of the Army, Air Force and Marines and Department of Defense civilians and contractors will run half marathons in Iraq this year.

On Sept. 27, a week before the Portland Marathon, about 300* people, mostly from the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, based in Fort Lewis, Wash., will be running near Camp Victory in Baghdad. On the same day, members of a special task force for border transition, from Fort Riley, Kan., will run at Camp Warrior at Sulimaniya in northern Iraq.

On Oct. 3, a day before the Portland Marathon, about 170* people, mostly members of the 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the Oregon National Guard, will run at Camp Adder in Tallil.

Some participants will do the half marathon in full military gear, Smith says.

The idea started with a Stryker Brigade lieutenant, who wanted to stage a marathon the same day as the Portland Marathon.

"But they couldn't use that date, and we got to talking about it, and they said they could do a half," Smith says. "I said, 'Fantastic.' Because we're going to kick off a half marathon, a restricted one, one that doesn't conflict with our full marathon."

Smith says the marathon will not charge anything to the participants of the Iraq half marathon, and has sent them special finisher T-shirts, lapel pins, runner's bibs, medals and challenge coins. About 150 volunteers have been recruited.

The Hood to Coast race did the same thing with military personnel, but Smith says the Portland Marathon has gone the extra mile.

"We're very excited about it - it's gone together logistically," he says. "We're helping out at least one charity, the Wounded Warrior Project, and maybe two."

Smith says the Portland Marathon, set for Oct. 4, has resisted doing a half marathon on its home turf, fearing that too many people would opt for the 13.1 miles rather than the full 26.2. A restricted registration time will probably be implemented.

Meanwhile, Smith says registration is way up for the marathon. Interested runners can still register at www.portlandmarathon.org and at the Oregon Sports Authority at the Portland Hilton Oct. 2 (11 a.m. to 8 p.m.) and Oct. 3 (9 a.m. to 6 p.m.).

Click HERE to view photos and information from the Iraq runs posted on the Web site.

Click HERE to see what Portland Tribune has to say.

* According to the Portland Marathon there were over 500 participants at Camp Victory. There will be 600 participants at Saturday's event at Camp Adder.

20% off Portland Walking Tours!

Looking for a great way to see Portland while you're here? Book a walking tour today through Portland Walking Tours. Click HERE to view Portland Walking Tours website. For more information, call 503-774-4522.

Details: Using the Coupon Code of "portlandmarathon" (without quotes) entitles any participant, friends or family to 20% off tickets for the Best of Portland or Underground Portland walking tours. Valid only on 10/5/2009, the day after the Portland Marathon. This Coupon Code must be specified when providing your credit card in advance and cannot be combined with other offers. Call or visit.

Angela Mitchell running to support Oregon Hospice Association

I have always wanted to complete the Portland Marathon. My Father completed the Portland Marathon for the first time at the age of 17, and then at 43, which has been a major motivator for me. I decided to commit to the Portland Marathon after I ran the Race for the Roses Half Marathon in April (without any major discomfort afterwords!) Since then, I have realized what a major commitment it is. Despite the many opportunities to skip trainings runs I have stuck closely to my plan and feel that I am ready to cross the finish line October 4th.

I decided to run for the Oregon Hospice Association because it is a cause that is near and dear to my heart. I am a Volunteer Coordinator for Providence Hospice and Palliative Care, and realize the importance of Hospice in the daily stories I hear from individuals that are thankful for the support our program provides. Hospice helps people have the most comfortable and peaceful end of life possible, providing to each family a team of professionals who is dedicated to this goal. As I cross the finish line it will be in honor of those who have passed away, and for those who will in years to come.

Angela Mitchell
Portland, Oregon

Angela hopes to raise $500 for the Oregon Hospice Association. She's currently at $440. To help Angela achieve her goal, click HERE to donate.

Be the Match is just one of the Portland Marathon's official charities. To donate to any of the official Portland Marathon charities, click HERE.

Ray of Hope brings hope to children and families in Africa.

The Ray of Hope Foundation is an amazing non-profit dedicated to creating grassroots community based projects that improve education, infrastructure, and health services in Kenya. Current Ray of Hope programs include:

- primary care clinic, learning center, and community outreach center located in Kawangware outside of Nairobi

- maternity and reproductive health project and schools located in Bware near Tanzania

- textbook and library project located in Shiseno, a rural village in the Western Province of Kenya near Lake Victoria.

Ray of Hope accomplishes its 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. Ray of Hope's goals are collaborative - guided by the aspirations and self identified needs of the communities where they work. Their mission is to promote global health and education through the exchange of volunteers, technology, training, medical supplies and educational programming.

To donate or to learn more, Click HERE visit Ray Of Hope Foundation's website or click HERE to visit the Portland Marathon's charity page.

Claudia Cardenas, girlfriend of a fallen solider, shares her story with the Portland Marathon.

Below is a letter written by Claudia Cardenas of Portland, Oregon. Cardenas is running the 2009 Portland Marathon to honor her boyfriend, fallen solider Jason Vinyard, and all fallen soldiers. Cardenas hopes her story will inspire others to join her this Sunday at the Portland Marathon to support her efforts and raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project.

My boyfriend Jason Vinyard who served in the military for almost 20 years passed away unexpectedly on June 12, 2009.

Running the Portland Marathon is something that Jason and I had planned on doing together and since he passed away I will finish the mission that Jason and I started. I will now run the Portland Marathon to honor Jason Vinyard and the rest of the Fallen Soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

Losing Jason was extremely difficult for me. I loved him beyond words. He was a man of honor, one of a kind. His loss shook me to the core, as you might imagine the first weeks where extremely difficult. Then, on June 28, 2009 something compelled me to start training again. I had been in a car and pedestrian accident on April 1, 2009, and I had to stop training for the marathon. My shoulder is in constant pain, but the pain that I feel from Jason's loss is greater then any physical pain I may ever experience.

From the first step, I could almost hear Jason cheering me on with a big smile. Step by step I have started to heal and each step leads me to a new journey. As I had started to search for answers and my purpose in life, all that kept coming to mind was to get involved in a cause that honored/helped the soldiers of our country.

In my journey to run the Portland Marathon, which is dedicated to Jason Vinyard and all the other fallen soldiers, I started to reach out to others to join me Oct. 4. I want to invite people in the community to show their support by attending the event to cheer on walkers and runners, by keeping our soldiers in their thoughts/prayers, or by making a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project (www.woundedwarriorproject.org), or other causes that help soldiers. Some people say that one person can't make a difference, I strongly disagree.

Claudia Cardenas
Portland, Oregon

Connect with us!

First-timer looking for advice? Seasoned veteran looking to share your tips? Volunteering for the 10th year in a row? We want to hear from you. Join our conversations on Facebook (Portland Marathon), MySpace, or Twitter @pdxmarathon.

Don't forget to add @pdxmarathon to your tweets this weekend. Looking forward to Sunday!

Connect with other Portland Marathoners via:

This email was sent to [email] by the Portland Marathon:
www.portlandmarathon.org * info@portlandmarathon.org