This is long overdue. Since I'm running the Portland Marathon this October, I decided to drive the course when I visited the area last month. I printed out the map posted on their Web site and ventured out with my aunt. She drove while I stuck my Flip Camera out the window and recorded. Seriously.
We started out in the downtown area, in the vicinity of the Start line. But being a typical downtown area, it was busy and crowded with one-way streets, so we didn't manuever through the streets, so consider this shot Miles 1-4:
The video goes like this:
* Start at Front Street in downtown Portland
* We kinda got lost and missed Miles 7-9, but found our way to St. Helen's Road
* We drive along St. Helen's Road for a while. This is the industrial area.
* Then we approach and cross over the St John's Bridge, which is Mile 17 and the biggest hill:
* Coming off the bridge, we drove along Williamette Road for a long time. It goes through a lot of residential areas, passes Portland State University.
* As the course turns onto Greeley it gradually descents back towards the downtown area. Along the way is the Adidas US headquarters.
* When we get back to the Interstate the video ends. We got lost and my arm was tired of hanging out the window. But we continued the drive.
* We got to the Broadway Bridge, only to find it closed for construction. But it will be open by 10-10-10.
* Since the bridge was closed, we went home. But once you cross the Broadway Bridge, you're back in the downtown area and you repeat 2 of the miles to get to the Finish.
Other than the industrial area, I think its a beautiful course. There should be one hill in the first 4 miles (sorry I missed it), and then the climb to the St. John's Bridge. Other than that, its flat or down hill.
This probably wasn't the most detailed course preview. Its kinda hard to follow a map and the flip camera in one hand, filming with an arm hanging out the window while I held a regular camera in my other hand, taking photos through the windshield. And I was even with a driver who knows the area! But we had fun doing it! Here's hoping for a cool, overcast and dry race day -- which by the way was 2 months away yesterday! 10-10-10!