October 7th ~ Marathon Day!
- We Can't Wait to See You Soon!
- What you need to know!
- Get Coupons on Gear and Goodies!
- Look Up Your Bib Number!
- Finding Your Corral at the Start Line
- Only a Few Rooms Remaining Near All the Action!
- Getting to the Event
- Sign Up Now for the Kids' Fun Run and Festival!!
- Helpful Tips for You!
- Food & Entertainment Center
- Information for Volunteers
- Grimm Shirt Will Make You Smile!
- Portland Marathon Course.. Trust Us It's Certified in Every Way
- What's to Come at the 2012 Portland Marathon!
- Welcome to 2012 Half Marathon Defending Champ Jacob Kaemmer!
- Need a Laugh Before You Run?
- Where Did You Wear Your Shirt?
- In Your Words
- Join the Conversation on Facebook and Twitter
- Time to Tweet with Us!
- Thank You to Our Product Partners
- More about our Charities
- 41st Portland Marathon
- Sign up now for 2013!
September 2012 News, updates, tips, and true stories as we countdown
to the 41st Annual Portland Marathon on 10-07-12.

We Can't Wait to See You October 7th - Marathon Day

What you need to know!

Still can find the answer to your question?

Email us at info@portlandmarathon.org. Shoot us a note on Facebook or Twitter. Call us at 503-226-1111.

Get Coupons on Gear and Goodies!

Volunteers and participants don’t forget to check out great offers and coupons from our Virtual Goodie Bag

Look Up Your Bib Number!

Full Marathoners

Half Marathoners

Finding Your Corral at the Start Line

All participants will assemble in separate corrals to allow for a wave start by expected finish time. Corral A is composed of the fastest runners; each corral will then be released in alphabetical order, concluding with corral W (walkers). Please note: participants are not permitted to move to a faster corral but may switch to a slower corral.

The letter and color bar on your bib indicate your corral. There is a map on the back of your bib with detailed instructions; entry points are listed below.

Corral A/B: Enter at SW 5th and Salmon – head east on Salmon

Corral C/D: Enter at SW 1st and Jefferson or SW 2nd and Jefferson – head north on 1st or 2nd

Corral E, F or W: Enter from SW Yamhill St. or SW Naito

Clothing check is located in each corral. Only participants will be allowed to enter the start area. Spectators can watch the start on SW 4th Ave. at Yamhill or Morrison.

Find the corral map here:

Only a Few Rooms Remaining Near All the Action, Stay at the Hilton!

It's all at the Hilton! It’s the site of our registration & expo, and just 3 blocks from the start/finish! Reserve your room today. If you’re coming from out of town, no need to rent a car if you’re at the Hilton. Just take MAX from the airport and walk everywhere you need to go!

(Note: 2 Night Minimum Stay)

Book Here

Getting to the Event

Everything you need to know about getting to the event can be found here:

We strongly encourage you to take public transit so you do not have to hassle with parking.

Sign Up Now for the Kids' Fun Run and Festival!!

The Portland Marathon Kids' Fun Run and Festival is still open for registration. You can also register at the gate on Saturday morning.

Q & A for Marathoners & Half Marathoners

Helpful Tips for You!

What if I'm registered for the full marathon and want to stop half way through at 13.1?

You cannot jump from the full marathon into the half marathon. Why? Simply and with all respect, the answer is no. If a Marathon participant is not able to finish the whole course, for whatever reason, the Half-Marathon is NOT a secondary option. Instead, please follow these Event Guidelines:

  • Run, and stay on the full marathon course and drop out at the 1/2 marathon mark of the full marathon course.
  • The location of mile 13.1 is on St Helens Road. There is good access to the location from NW Yeon Ave and downtown. This is an easy place for someone to arrange a pick up.
  • In addition the 1/2 marathon point is marked, it is a chip read position. The time for a person who misses the later chip points will automatically cause the name not to be posted in the results. However, if someone who drops out notifies us a week or two after the event we can provide them a time from our un-posted file.

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.

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.

Will there be live results?

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

Will my GPS or Garmin read 26.2 or 13.1 when I am finished?

No. See article below.

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

Much more information can be found at the links above or on our homepage at www.portlandmarathon.org. We are also available on Facebook and Twitter (@pdxmarathon).

Volunteers and helpers will be also available at the Sports & Fitness Expo to help with any remaining questions you have. Or, contact us by clicking HERE.

Food & Entertainment Center on 1st Street

This year there will be a spectator and participant Food & Entertainment Center. It will be located on 1st Avenue between Taylor and Salmon. It will open during the event.

The Food & Entertainment Center is actually beside the World Trade Center Plaza where the Clothing Pickup is located. That area is down toward the river, two blocks from where runners and walkers are released and after they go thru the Reunion area on Taylor. Turn onto 1st and you are there...Enjoy!!!!

Thanks to The Hop Valley Brewing Company, there will be great beer available for sale along with some tasty food. ID is required to purchase beer.

Click Here for Food & Entertainment Center Map

Information for Volunteers

Go here to find all of answers to frequent questions for volunteers:

If you have any questions about volunteering, please contact Helen at

Grimm Shirt Will Make You Smile!

We created this shirt to celebrate the NBC show Grimm (which is filmed in Portland) and the arguably most difficult part of the Portland Marathon course, the St. John's Bridge!

We hope you enjoy showing your pride, 26.2 miles…Grimm and bare it! Please note, this is a pre-order! You will receive an e-mail as to when you can expect your shirt to ship.

Pre-Order Here

Portland Marathon Course.. Trust Us It's Certified in Every Way

By Chris Hardman, Course Director and Richard Busby, Course Technical Director

Last year, we received inquiries from several participants in the Portland Marathon…they all asked: “Why was the distance measured by my GPS watch longer than the official Marathon distance of 26.22 miles?” “Is the course wrong?”

Experience has shown that the comparison of a marathon course measured by the approved method with the read-out by on a GPS watch worn by a runner on race day reveals the GPS readings are slightly longer than the certified distance. Because of such long course concerns, we recently measured the marathon course following a route more like that a runner would take, than cutting each corner as required for certification.

We used a Jones counter, the standard instrument used to certify courses, and a Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS watch. The Jones counter had the route we took being 26.27 miles long and the Garmin recorded 26.35 miles. The Portland Marathon was measured using the procedure required by USA Track and Field, (USTF) Road Running Technical Committee, the governing body for US road running. The course was also certified by USTF/RRTC and IAAF/AIMS. USTF and AIMS have strict methodology for measuring courses for certification.

The standard measurement device used is a Jones counter which is attached to the front wheel of a standard bicycle and must be calibrated before and after the measurement ride. A Jones counter typically shows around 15,300 counts per mile, or about one count every three inches. Our course was measured in this fashion by two very experienced and certified course measurers.

The measurement process requires measuring the shortest-possible distance a runner can run on race day. To ensure this, the measuring bicycle is required to ride 30 cm from the curb at each corner. The measurer must also ride the straightest line through curves and turns. The goal of this is to make sure that on race day all participants run at least the full distance of the marathon or other certified distance, as the case may be.

The former Chair of the RRTC has estimated that for the Portland Marathon course, with something like 36 turns, a runner going 1 meter wider than the shortest possible route on each turn would run an extra 53.6 meters. To permit our measurement team to follow this process as closely as possible, the measurement of the Portland Marathon course was done early on a weekend day to minimize traffic allowing us to measure the shortest route possible. On race day with over 10,000 other participants, running thatˇ˝shortest distanceˇ˝ course would prove to be extremely difficult due to, among other things, runner traffic and the location of water stations.

The course certification process also requires the inclusion of aˇ˝short course prevention factor, the measurer must add 1 meter of additional length to the course for every 1,000 meters of course length. Thus a 10 km certified course is measured to be 10,010 meters long. And, a certified marathon course has an additional 42 meters added to its length. It is well recognized that GPS devices available to the general public are about 1% percent inaccurate when compared to the mechanical measurement of a known distance using the bicycle counter mentioned above.

Many factors can affect the accuracy of a GPS watch. Tall buildings along the route, rain, trees covering the course, elevation changes and the number of satellite signals received all affect the accuracy of the GPS measurement.

Medals, Pendants and Event Coin

Proud to have an Award Winning Medal

Our 2011 Marathon Medal was an award winner! We hope our 2012 Marathon Medal will be as well. The Portland Marathon was proud that its 2011 Marathon medal was rated 5th overall by the 25 judges selected by Marathon & Beyond, one of running leading publications. And, among those Top 5 medals the Portland Marathon's medal was the only design made in the tradition of true metallic art. Art that uses designs on both sides of the medal and is made of a high quality medal - solid brass.

The 2012 Medals - The Rose Theme

The 41st Portland Marathon Medals are another effort to capture true metallic art. Like the matching Pendants and Event Coin, the medals focus on an underlying theme for 2012…the Rose, the symbol of Portland, which is also known as "The Rose City."

On the full Marathon medal, the rose actually appears on the reverse of the medal. On the Portland Marathon Half medal, the rose uniquely fills the entire obverse of the medal. The same approach using the rose is used on the front side of this year's Event Coin.

As discussed below, one side of the Portland Marathon Medal shows Timberline Lodge. The reverse of the Half Marathon medal includes the seals of Portland, Oregon and the logo of the Portland Marathon. The Marathon and Half Marathon medals and their identical pendants are made of brass with antique finishes in a gold and silver color respectively.

The Timberline Lodge Connection

In keeping with the Portland Marathon's tradition of using well-known locations or monuments as part of its medal art, this year the actual obverse or front side of the full Marathon medal is a depiction of the iconic Timberline Lodge which celebrates its 75th Anniversary this year.

Built by the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) in the late 1930s, Timberline Lodge is one of Oregon's most visited tourist sites in Oregon. Located just 60 miles east of Portland, at the 6,000 foot level of Mt Hood, the lodge is the hub of both summer and winter activity. Whether used as a base to climb to the peak of Mt Hood, a day lodge for countless hiking trails or as a year round base for skiing, Timberline is a must-see attraction.

Famous for its food and ambiance as well as its mascot St. Bernards, Timberline has nearly 100 rooms and a year-round pool. It has been the setting for many movies, including Steven King's, The Shining. Full efforts have been made to preserve the beautiful art deco interiors of the lodge's original furnishings and fixtures. Our Marathon surveys show more participants visit this beautiful setting than any other tourist location outside of Portland.

The Pendants

This year's pendants are the exact image of the two medals, including the most minute details. The Marathon pendant is gold washed and the Half Marathon pendant is silver washed.

These excellent 3/8" pieces are the size of a miniature military medal and can be easily attached to a favorite necklace or bracelet. They are presented in a jewelry quality draw-string bag. A pendant also makes a great token of appreciation for that special person who has supported the recipient through their marathon journey to the finish.

The Commemorative Event Coin

Similar to the front of the Half Marathon medal, this year’s Event Coin has a rose that completely fills its obverse. The reverse has the image of the State of Oregon, the logo of the Portland Marathon and the seals of the City of Portland and the State of Oregon.

The History of the Event Coin

The Portland Marathon is the first marathon to give its participants an Event Coin. But the idea of the coin is not a new one. The concept comes from the Challenge Coins that are so popular with members of our Armed Forces. And, Challenge Coins have become very popular and collectible items. Wall display boxes and even coffee tables are made to display these unique and colorful coins.

The history of the Challenge Coin goes back to the time of WWI. For good luck pilots wore matching coins in small pouches around their necks. And when off duty, the pilots used the coins to challenge other pilots at their favorite drinking locations. No coin? That person bought the drinks.

The Challenge Coin came back into popularity during the Gulf War. Now they are in vogue in every size of military unit. And in keeping with this tradition, for the last four years the Portland Marathon has had made and presented special Challenge Coins to the troops who run our shadow runs in Afghanistan, in particular units of the Oregon National Guard. This will be the 4th Event Coin produced by the Portland Marathon. However, nine have been produced for our deployed troops.

We would again like to thank Chris Seiler and the staff of Always Advancing, Inc. of Philadelphia for the outstanding production of our Medals, Pendants and Event Coins. For more information go to: alwaysadvancing.net or call Chris at 215-295-1133.

We look forward to seeing you soon at the 2012 Portland Marathon! And hope you enjoy these items as much as we do.

Welcome to 2012 Half Marathon Defending Champ Jacob Kaemmer!

The Portland Marathon welcomes back Jacob Kaemmer who is returning in 2012 to defend his record setting (1:11.44) Portland Half Marathon First Place victory. Jacob lives in Des Moines, IA and came to Portland last year in support of The Oregon National Guard Team. Jacob is also the nephew of Portland Marathon Committee member and liaison to the Military, Bill Kaemmer, MSG, US Army.

Jacob, who is not in the military, has an interest and long history of supporting military troops during his running career. Among other victories, in 2004, he entered the Lincoln Marathon, which is the host of the National Guard Marathon Championships, and raced in recognition of his father who was deployed to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Jacob won the full-¬‐marathon with an impressive time of 2:30.25.

In 2004 Jacob only ran “for his dad” but never with him. On Sunday, October 7th cheer for Jacob and his dad, Jerry Kaemmer, Chief Warrant Officer, Missouri National Guard – Retired, as they both race in the Portland Half Marathon!

Need a Laugh Before You Run?

Need a laugh before you run? Arj Barker, from Flight of the Conchords, is performing at Helium Comedy Club, Portland's premiere stand-up comedy venue, October 4-6. Look for special offers for participants and volunteers in the Portland Marathon Virtual Good Bag! Enjoy a special Pasta Party dinner and see the comedy show at a very special price! Space is limited! Pre-register soon to reserve your spot!

Click Here

Where Did You Wear Your Shirt?

Hi Portland Marathon-

This is me, Dick Jaffe, Portland, OR, in the 2011 shirt, and my best friend and fellow marathoner John Santa, Portland and Yonkers, NY, at the London Olympics marathon this summer. Between us we have at least 15-20 Portland Marathons behind us, with more to come I'm sure.

Portland is without a doubt my favorite!


In Your Words - Stories

Tell us your stories. Share your photos with us. We’ll use them in the next newsletter. Email news@portlandmarathon.org. Also don’t forget to share your story on Facebook and Twitter @pdxmarathon.

Here are a few of your stories. Keep them coming!


I'm about to finish my very first marathon! I signed up to complete 26 miles when I'm 26 years old, mission accomplished! YES!!!! I moved to PDX a year ago and have been loving exploring my new surroundings while training. I've found so many new restaurants and met many new people throughout the months. My favorite memory was definitely a long run on the beaches of Bali during my recent vacation. Palm trees and turquoise waters make for beautiful scenery! Training never stops! Thanks to all of my family and friends for your endless support! Xoxo


I have lost about 90lbs to do this [the Portland Marathon]. It is my first and I am walking it. I guess you could say I am scared, nervous and excited. I have worked really hard to get this far. I did 20 the other day, it took me 8 hours, so of course there is more work to be done.

However, I don't care if I am the last to cross the line or if everyone goes home. I know how hard I have worked and I am so proud of myself. I am doing something, that once was impossible for me and through determination, I have made it possible.

I went from barely being able to walk a tenth of a mile…to a marathoner. I can't wait to see how the rest of my life unfolds.

Good luck everyone!


I wanted to take a moment and thank you for re-posting my fiancé, Darcy's, status. When she saw all the support she was overcome with joy. She has worked so incredibly hard to achieve this & has had times of doubt. The support that you and your followers have shown her is tremendous. I cannot thank you enough. You guys are amazing!


I lost 75 lbs. and now am a health coach helping others to create healthy habits in their own lives. I never would have imagined being able to run ONE mile not too long ago. On October 7, I will check off a major bucket list item and hopefully inspire others to achieve their "impossible" fitness goals!


This will be my 3rd full marathon and second time for Portland. My ultimate goal is to be an Ironman. I am running this race for my father who is sick from Hepatitis C. Each mile I run will help to raise awareness and funds for The American Liver Foundation. My goal is to be one of the top 5 finishers in the 200+ Clydesdales division.


Last year I ran my first marathon.. It was my first ever running race.. After only training for 7 weeks.. Since then I've done 6 other shorter races as will be running my second marathon on oct 7th… Can't wait…

Join the Conversation on Facebook and Twitter

What tips do you experienced marathoners have for the newbies?

Angie -- Save up for the St John's bridge…And when you are almost there, don't look up at the long line of runners trudging upward. Most of all, have FUN and enjoy the gorgeous scenery and city!

Alicia -- Don't start off too fast, slow down heading up St. Johns bridge, set at least 5 goals for you're race, time NOT being the most important. Oh, HAVE FUN!! Pay attention to the spectators as they are your biggest fans and have great signs to cheer you on! Good Luck!

Mike -- The ultimate struggle for a 1st timer is the balance of adrenaline. The first 10 miles you need to keep it from pushing you too fast. The last 10 miles you need to rely on it to pull you through.

Michelle -- Mile 17! Oh boy…positive thoughts, positive thoughts, positive thoughts…

Marla -- Mind over Matter and always remind yourself that you've got this.

Melissa -- Adding to the chorus: don't go out too fast! It's easy to be excited and all the cheering and bands and fun can make you really zip along. You'll likely regret it later, though. Relentless forward motion! :)

Zachary -- Remember to have fun.

Mark -- Pretend this weekend is the marathon. Fuel Friday like its marathon weekend, get up at the same time you plan to, eat your marathon meal, wear your marathon clothes and shoes. See what adjustments need to be made before Oct 6th.

Joe -- Slow down at the start. Aim for negative splits. Break the marathon into 4 smaller races. Do the first race (0-6.5 miles) slow. Then pick it up a little for the next 6.5. At the ha…See More

Pam -- Enjoy the experience! High five the kids, laugh when it gets tough, dance to the music, thank the volunteers and police. And know it is 100% ok to take walk breaks. Remember - you are going to be running farther than most people will drive that day so smile and say, "Go Me!"

Coming to Portland for the first time? Here are what some of our Facebook friends suggest you see.

Brianne -- Saturday market

Kathy -- Powell's Books, World Cup Coffee, Wildwood Trail/Forest Park

Stacey -- Voodoo Donuts!

Kathy -- Oh, and Marsee's, Portland French Bakery, Cartlandia.

Brian -- I'll just get the obvious out of the way: Powell's City of Books. Prepare to spend at least a day there.

Kailie -- Lauretta Jean's on SW Pine! Best pie in town or even possibly ever. Everyday Music on Burnside might be good place to pick up some new running tunes..

Clarissa -- You can't go wrong with seeing any part of Portland.

Sarah -- The rose garden

Theresa -- Definitely Multnomah Falls/ Columbia Gorge. So beautiful up there. Maybe even the Rose Garden. We also have brewpubs galore, and are home to Widmer Brothers which is near the Rose Quarter.

Jeff -- McMenamins!!!

Dave -- Forest Park, Japanese Gardens, Powell’s Books, wander around NE Portland on 21st and 23rd.

Travis -- Nike

Miranda -- Multnomah Falls is a must! I'm from Texas and will be running Portland also but I would never go to Portland without visiting the falls! My favorite place…..and get ice cream when you are there!

Dan -- The best part of Portland is the folks who live here. Take time to talk to strangers!

Sharon -- The OMSI (Science museum) is very cool. The Pearl District is great to walk around, Powell's Books is like a treasure hunt in a bookstore. Have a Spanish Coffee at Huber's, Veritable Quandry has great food, Brix Tavern also great atmosphere and food.

Guiseppe -- Powell’s, the Washington Park Zoo, OMSI, downtown waterfront on a sunny day, Rose Garden.

Nicole -- The jet boat ride!! No kidding. You get to see Multnomah Falls and learn some great Portland history.

Russ -- All of it!! Beautiful place to visit.

Leah -- You're bringing me back to last year! First marathon, first visit to Portland. All great suggestions. Have a blast!

Michael -- Bonneville Dam

Time to Tweet with Us!

Don’t forget to use #pdxmarathon12 in your tweets!

Thank You to Our Product Partners

More about our Charities!

Learn more about our Official and Affiliate charities, and our newest Affiliate Charity, “Remembering Ashley” that helps provide holiday gifts for young women struggling to overcome eating disorders at the Center for Change located in Provo, Utah.

Join up with one of our official or affiliate charities today! It’s not too late: portlandmarathon.org/charities


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.

Join Us Again on October 6th, 2013!

Save the date…10.6.2013.

Early, pre-2013 Half and Full Marathon Registration. (Remember our Half is limited to 2,500.) The Half has sold out each year in January! Prices subject to change, so sign up now to get the lowest price.

Full Registration:



Half Registration:

Connect with other Portland Marathoners via:

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