My First...

(Marathon That Is)

 

††††††††††† We arrived in Portland around noon the Saturday before the race. We being my wife Lisa, my son Jacob and myself. We found the hotel with no problem except for we were not as close to the race start as we had thought. Thank God for the MAX Train which ran just a couple of blocks past our hotel and could be in the city center in minutes. We only had to use our car once the three days we were there.

††††††††††† I had registered for the race online in early August and had been e-mailed confirmations and all pre-race info for packet pickup. Directions were easy to follow and we managed to find the fitness expo at the Hilton with only minor Confusion. Neither myself or my wife were familiar with downtown Portland and we did manage to board the wrong train once.My bad.

††††††††††† The expo was alright. It was basically all the major brand names pushing their merchandise. We browsed for awhile but found nothing we couldnít do with out so we headed out to make our game plan for the morning.

††††††††††† I spent the evening hydrating and loading up on carbs. We had dinner at Miloís City Cafť on Broadway. It was kind of a beatnik/artsy sorta place. They had excellent pasta and didnít require reservations.

††††††††††† Surprisingly I managed to get to sleep fairly early despite my nerves. We woke up the next morning at four a.m. ate breakfast drank some Gatorade and headed out. We rode the MAX train to S.W. 5th Ave walked three blocks and found ourselves at the start line with over an hour to wait before the start. At first every thing was pretty quiet but within minutes the place was crammed with people trying to check clothes or bags and use the restroom one last time. I wouldnít recommend checking clothing or bags. Those people didnít seem happy and the line was endless.

††††††††††† A few hugs and kisses later I lined up with the 3:10 pace sign and after the National Anthem they counted us down. The start was incredible. We ran down 4th Ave directly into China town. There was drumline at the start and the sound combined with the adrenaline was pretty cool.

††††††††††† To be totally honest I was pretty turned around for most of the race. I donít know the area at all but we seemed to run along the riverfront a lot and most of the scenery was beautiful. I hung with the pacers for the first couple miles but I was feeling pretty good so in picked up the pace a little and put some distance between us. Pat Miller was connected to my race times via Wigglewireless and was being text messaged my race splits every time I crossed a scoring pad. So that was cool to think about and definitely kept me motivated.

††††††††††† The racers were all very friendly and the entertainment along the course was definitely interesting. I took full advantage of all eighteen aid stations and took water and Glucose or Ultima when ever I could. The course was mostly flat with the exception of the climb before the St. Johnís Bridge at mile 18 and the quad killing descent around mile 22. Running across ST. Johnís was pretty cool and was one of the highlights for me.

††††††††††† I stayed strong the whole race and every time I heard my times called out at mile markers I was amazed I felt so good. At halfway I thought I was on pace to break 3 hours. Regardless I felt great and was trying to decide when to start my sprint. Har Har. At mile 22 when I felt my calves starting to tighten I decided there would be no sprint, At least not until I could see the finish Line. I held it together though and continued on.

††††††††††† The finish was on 3rd one block from the start. The roar from the crowd was awesome. Somehow I managed to hear my wifeís cheers and found her just in time to smile at her as I ran by. Hearing my name over the P.A. as I crossed the line at 3 hours 8 minutes and 45 seconds was indescribable. It was one of the most satisfying moments in my Life and I got to share it with my friends and family. How lucky am I.

††††††††††† I spent the rest of the weekend soaking it all in and trying to return the favor to my wife and son for allowing me to spend so much time training and catering to me on weekends like these.

††††††††††† Overall I had a wonderful Experience and would recommend the Portland Marathon to anyone looking for a large event to run in. Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Thanks to all the weekend long runners for your kind words and support. I hope I can return the favor.