Last Sunday (10/5/2008), we ran the Portland Marathon.
The vast majority of the course was the same as last year, with only a minor change crossing back over the river at mile 24. (Yes, the St. John’s Bridge kicked my butt again.)
Unlike last year however, it rained, starting around Mile 9 all the way through the finish! Unlike last year, I left my rain gear in the hotel as it wasn’t supposed to rain at race time (doh!). At the start, the temperature was 52 degrees (F), which meant short sleeve weather. Even with the rain, the temperature never dipped below 50 degrees.
My finish was 3 minutes slower than last year, however, given the fact that I missed the first 8 weeks (out of 16) of training due to “snapping hip syndrome” (I couldn’t even run on a treadmill until week 5), I was very satisfied with my finish. Like last year, the iPod was essential after Mile 20 (and I didn’t have to hide my headphones like I did at the Napa Valley Marathon)
Overall, here's how the run rates in my book:
Organization - Incredible. Very well organized and staffed. Grade: A
Course - Fairly scenic, a few "industrial" spots that could have been avoided. Grade: B+
Aid-stations - Well staffed and stocked, approximately every 2 miles. Numerous gummi-bear stops, along with neighborhood kids handing out jellybeans (Although the honey-based energy gel was nasty) Grade: A
Swag - Long sleeve, dri-fit shirt. Grade: A
Bonus: Dinner at the Bridgeport Brewery. Grade: A+