There’s no better way to soak in the sights, sounds and smells of a city other than to run it. The backdrop of streets, hills, bridges, little pink houses, and passersby create a story with you, the runner. With each forward motion, you breathe in optimism, engage with community and adjust to the time passing. If you’re lucky, Mother Nature delivers a cool Portland mist, a 55-degree day, and warm cloud cover that loosens up to pockets of sunshine. For many, this fall weather in Portland conjures memories of pumpkin picking on Sauvie Island, for me, it’s the Portland Marathon.
Peering down on the street from the 11th story window of the Presidential Suite at the Benson Hotel in Portland, with a musical ensemble of pipes and drums in the background teeming out a lullaby to thousands of street runners, is a fabulous way to spend your very first morning in Portland. As luck would have it, I scored this Historic Hotel accommodation after a last-minute plea. Arriving spontaneously into Portland, I didn’t expect to hear every other hotel tell me, “We’re booked, it’s Portland Marathon Weekend.”
Consequently, years later when I got tapped for a 26.2 mile city journey, I almost owed Portland to return. So I ditched the safety net of crossing the finish line in my home town for a romantic runaway adventure – 4.5ish hours running the Rose City streets after an uncompromising Portland meal and good night’s sleep in an inspiring boutique hotel, polishing it off with an award-winning craft beer after receiving a red rose at the finish line.