- Location: Oregon: The Portland Marathon
- Date: October 6, 2013
- Age: 47
- Time: 4 Hours 42 Minutes and 16 seconds.
(The Portland Smooch)
We found out about this marathon through one of our clients. While researching which one to pick, I kept coming back to Portland. The timing was perfect and we had never been there! We were not disappointed!
From the moment I saw the official website I knew this had to be a special marathon. From singing pirates to belly dancers, how could we go wrong? One could tell how professionally run and well thought out the details were to this race. With only a little under 2 hours away by plane, how could we be disappointed? The weather was the only possible draw back I could see. I had been scared by all of the talk of rain, rain and more rain. A freak, torrential storm had taken place the weekend before but race day was perfect.
We arrived in Portland the Friday before the Sunday race which is now our standard “short” pattern of arrival (after our youngest one goes to college we may turn these events into longer vacations!) For those of you that are not familiar with Portland, it is UBER easy to get from the airport to downtown. After we arrived, we settled in and began to enjoy the city. One of the best things about marathon training is post “heavy” training, pre “marathon” eating! From a great pizzeria (yes bread!) to a fabulous Lebanese restaurant, we feasted! Portland has some wonderful restaurants. Our favorites were definitely “Al Amir” (Lebanese) and “Mother’s Bistro and Bar” (home style with vegetarian angle). You can’t lose in Portland with food or shopping – no sales tax!
Back to the marathon! We are once again walking distance from the start/finish line. We started in corrals by our estimated finishing times. After a big smooch to my honey, off Mourad went to the fast corral and me to the somewhat limber women’s one. Right before the gun start, “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond played. For those of you who don’t know, this is my dad’s song and the one I always say he sings to me from heaven. Believe it or not, out of five marathons this was the second time it was played at the event. Dad was with me again.
Off we go! I am hanging with the 4:40 pace group and Mourad is with the 4:00 one. One of the local running clubs is sponsoring the pace groups and they are doing a marvelous job. Although there is a partially flat component to this race we are also going to be enjoying some rather steep hills as well. I am also looking forward to climbing the St. James Bridge.
On we go – huffing and puffing but still enjoying ourselves. (?!) Mile 18 – who is that walking? My husband! Not good news. He informs me he pulled his calf muscle a few miles back. I offer to hang with him but ever the gentleman he tells me to go! I am sure the belly dancers and pirates must have distracted him.
Over the bridge we go – beautiful view of the city. We’re in the “20”s now – the part that always gets tough. You can smell the finish line now and like bloodhounds we forge along. I am trying really hard to keep up but I am seconds behind the pace group. I feel good but tired. I see it – up ahead! The finish line! The pacers assure me it is there! I cross for a finish that is 3rd out of 5 previous marathons – not bad! All in all, except for Mourad’s snafu, we had a great weekend and once again I am thankful to God for the strength and the healthy legs to compete.
Denver next year?
Pam Ben Rached
November 5, 2013