The 2013 Portland Marathon was the second marathon that I’ve ever run. The first was the 2011 Seattle Rock n’ Roll which was an absolute nightmare of a race. At about mile 17 both my knees were shot (I blame the Seattle viaduct) and I needed to have them wrapped afterwards. I hobbled across the finish line right into the medic tent and it was probably one of the worst days for my race career and my wife.
Because this was a race outside of my home city (Seattle) I want to briefly touch on Portland. The city of Portland is one of my absolute favorite places to visit. They have a non-crazy nightlife and a ton of breweries within walking distance. They also do a great job catering to our dietary needs (the wife has celiacs) which is very helpful. Upon arriving we hit Deschutes Brewing first where Katie (my wife) had a gluten free grilled cheese and I had a pub dog. They’re sweat potato fries are to die for and I highly recommend them if you stop there. The other brewery we made sure to stop at was Hair of the Dog Brewing. This is by far one of my favorite breweries and their IIPA is incredible. After two of those on Saturday I was feeling very confident for the race.
The course was pretty amazing. The first 2 miles were great and involved running through downtown Portland. There were a ton of people cheering which was exciting since it started a 7 am. Miles 3 to 10 (or so) were an out and back south of the city then north of the city past a train yard. This was probably the most boring part but after mile 11 or so it picked up pretty nicely. Everyone had been warning me about St. Johns Bridge but honestly that was one of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen. The view is what kept me going and I hardly felt the elevation gain at all. After the bridge we ran though tons of neighborhoods. There were people out tailgating the event and it was hard not to stop and grab beer and food from one of the grills. Thankfully around mile 22 or so there was a family with a keg handing out cups of beer. I took one there and almost made a u-turn to fill up again. Thank you to whoever planned that awesome pit stop. We finished up the race in downtown Portland with a huge crowd which was great.
My official time was about 4:32. My Garmin clocked my marathon time just over 4:29 and below 4:30. I ran this race with my mom and I think this was a very respectable time given the circumstances. She beat her PR by 16 minutes or so and I crushed my nightmare of a first marathon by about 30 minutes. I had a great time and wouldn’t change anything about the race or how I trained leading up to it. When I finished I felt like I could have turned around and ran a few more miles which is the absolute opposite of how I usually feel after long runs.
The race, the weekend, and the experience were all amazing. It was great to get away and have a weekend off for a chance. We had a great time going out for food, drinks, and exploring the city. The race was a blast and I would love to run either the Portland Half-Marathon or Portland Marathon again.