Friday, September 28, 2007

Course change

If you are participating in the Portland Marathon this year, (and in particular if you are a returner), I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't know that there's been a course change. The marathon folks have not been particularly forthcoming about this. Sure they've posted the correct map (although not detailed) and race day starting info on their website. But if you had to change the course so that the start is now a few blocks away, sends off participants in a new direction, and involves 3 sharp turns within the first half mile, wouldn't you have a huge announcement on the front of your web page? Except for the one very general map on their course page, all the other maps (Google Earth tour, Quicktime tour) still show the old course.

The only reason I'm aware of this change is because a friend of a friend was involved in certifying the new course. They had to change the course because of a major road construction project that is going on right now in downtown Portland.

Here's a link to a google map of the new course. The marathon training coaches posted it on their webpage. I certainly hope that the info in the race packets highlights this new start. Otherwise I predict a lot of confusion since I think this marathon has a high rate of returning participants who may be expecting the old start. I noticed that the Portland Marathon no longer brags about being the best organized marathon on their web page. I hope that this isn't a foreshadowing of the 2007 race day.

So get the word out! I do love my hometown marathon and think the organizers put on a great race. I hope my concerns do not come to fruition!


wendy said...

Look at you with the inside scoop!

I'm totally bummed about not meeting you this year - I visited last year...You'll have to run something up this way again. =)

matt said...

i would hate to see a favorite start to go downhill like that.

so, who is this friend of a friend? what aren't you tell us, sarah? :)

Backofpack said...

Thanks Sarah! Last year wasn't too organized - remember the bag check fiasco? Eric remembers it as a great race and was a little disappointed last year. Thanks for the inside scoop.

Bret said...

So it starts where now? Not at the same spot as the finish? I was hoping we could meet at that statue in the park there, I think its an Elk? Rick, Gail and I will be all running it Sarah, join us at the start if you want? We can all trot together at the start, or walk as it usually turns out the first 1/2 mile.

Sarah said...

Bret, it now starts at 3rd and Salmon heading west, instead of on 4th heading north. I think we could still meet at the Elk. That's the one in the middle of the street on main??? I think we'll definitely be walking the start this year with all the turns.

Joe said...

Great post Sarah, and the link to the map is very useful. I can visualize it clearly. Wow, that is a change at the start, indeed.

Sure hope they handle the start Michelle noted (and what I posted on after the race) it was well run, AFTER the start. Maybe this will make it better??

Will miss being with you guys this year...Portland was an awesome experience for me a year ago!!

Sarah Elaine said...

Gotta love the Internet as a way to get the word out there. I'm sure that anyone reading this blog who plans on doing the course will be grateful to you!

Darrell said...

Just think of it as a new challenge or an extra added little bonus. You don't want your races to get too comfortable and stale do you? :-)