Thursday, April 15, 2010

My take on The Portland Marathon

Almost done running marathon #1
Running over the Bridge during marathon #2

Hagg Lake, the first timeForest Park injury, ultra #4. I had fallen on rocks at mile 30. Whole different story.

I remember in 2005 when I was trying to decide if I should take the plunge and run the Portland Marathon for the first time, I emailed the event coordinators a question. Keep in mind the furthest I had run was a 9 mile fluke on my treadmill. I said "if I sign up for the race, would I be able to walk?" I asked them this because I remember watching the Olympics and some lady stopped and got disqualified. If the race coordinators had said no, I would had never signed up. So I started training. I remember my first run was a 10 mile race around Hagg Lake and my 2nd event was with Team Oregon training group. We met at the Wildwood trail and I had on a pair of Nike running shoes that I bought off of craigslist for like $20 and 2 big screw off cap water bottles. Oh brother! I never breathed so hard in my life those 10 miles. Highly wouldn't suggest running on Wildwood when you've hardly ran before. So I trained with the group and every mileage was a new adventure, I also went to clinics and speed training. I was ready and I did fairly well at the Marathon, 4:27 or so. I ran the whole distance, never walked. So my line became "there's no walking or crying in marathons) But my point in writing is this. I will forever grateful to the training that I received and for actually running my first marathon, an experience that I will never forget. And, I will always tell newbies they should definitely run it. But, at the time it was $85-90 to sign up. I have since ran 2 other marathons and 5 ultra marathons with the distance of 31 miles. I have been trying to decide what to do next. Should I run Portland again, should I run a marathon at Mt. Hood? I got an email today and it said it would give me a discount off the registration fee of $135. $135 for a marathon! How and why did that jump up so much? I don't think it is even worth it. They have water stations every 2 miles, sometimes every mile, it is way to crowded. I don't know what the cut off is this year, but in the past it has been about 9000. 9000 people! That is absolutely crazy. I think they treat the runners like babies, with the aid stations, 1000's of Honey buckets. Even at the training group that I ran with in 2005-2006, a friend of mine got a blister and they told her to not run anymore and drove her back to the start. Do you know what they do at ultra's? Pop it for you, duck tape it and send you on your way. If you get a cut that is bad, uh super glue it. Hey, I would do it. When I ran my last, I was whining up a storm, nobody patted me on my head, they ignored my big baby attitude and it's a good thing. If they had treated me like a baby, I would have quit. No, at my 31 mileage races, 3 aid stations and 1 is at the start, 2 Honey Buckets (not counting the ones at the start) and you are pretty much running by yourself through the woods, your lucky to spot someone else. And guess what? It's $55! Yup for 5 more miles and the happy rights to call yourself a Ultra Marathon runner, $55.00 While I may be perfectly content right now running 31 miles, I know when the time is right, I will run my first 50 and I hope the Honey Buckets are few and far in distance, aid stations spread out by many mileage and someone duck tapes my swollen foot!

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