Runcation: Portland, OR

I recently took my running travels west and headed to Portland, OR. Through my website, Running Philly, I was able to win an all expenses paid trip to the Shamrock Half Marathon. It was a great race, check out my review here.

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I mock her for it, but her itineraries always make these trips fun

So my fiancé and I packed up our bags and headed out West. This was the first time either of us had been to the state let alone the city, so it was all new to us. We got there, and of course it was raining. I had always heard about the rain out there but never experienced it for myself. Needless to say it lived up the hype. That didn’t stop us from enjoying our trip. We dropped off our bags at the hotel and headed out the door.

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Immediate rain as soon as we touched down

When we typically do these runcations, she loves to plan the touristy stuff. And I mean real touristy. In Buffalo we saw Niagara Falls and in Atlanta it was Coke’s Headquarters and the College Football Hall of fame. Sadly Portland is short on these kind of attractions. As I came to find out Portland is more of a nature friendly city (which was confirmed by a friend who lived out there). So places like these were hard to come by. However as a craft beer fan I am well aware of Portland. As I call it, it is the craft beer capital of the world. So I gave my fiancé the warning well before we got out there; this trip was going to be heavy on the beer.

So of course our first (of many) stop was to a brewery. When we got there we immediately went to the host brewery, Widener Brothers. Since I am not a craft beer expert (I just really really love the stuff) I won’t explain every beer I had in detail on this trip, because it was a lot. Just know that there wasn’t a bad beer to be had. We ate and drank for about an hour or so and headed off to the expo to pick up our race stuff. On these trips I run the Half and she usually runs the 5K, so we both had to get our bibs.

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The first of many breweries to come

With our bibs finally in hand it was time to relax and grab some dinner.

The next day came in a blur. With a few more breweries on the list to check off I had a detailed plan for the day. However first we needed to get to her crossfit workout. She was participating in the month long crossfit open at the time and needed to find a gym to get her workout in. So we took a shuttle (the hotel offered one for free!) to a local gym in the area called Blue Ox Athletics (still not 100% they are a crossfit certified gym). So she worked out and I cheered her on. As always, she beasted it.

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Nicole crushing crossfit

One she got cleaned up from that we were back out in town. When we picked up our bibs from the previous day we learned we got 50% an entire purchase at the Adidas Employee store. So naturally we went there and shopped. It was a bit of a line to get in, but once we did we shopped, and shopped some more. Her way more than me, but I still took advantage of the discount.

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Shopping to be done!

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Bags in hand, mission accomplished

After this shopping bonanza we headed to the Deschutes brewery for lunch. I had been very familiar with this brewery as they distribute to the East Coast. So of course I had to get there. It was the perfect place for lunch. Not only did they have amazing beer, but also a phenomenal menu. Definitely a must try if you are out there.

After lunch we hit up a few more breweries for tastings. It is difficult to explain how many local breweries are in Portland, if you enjoy good craft beer you have to go. After traveling mostly by foot and her doing the crossfit workout in the morning, she started to get tired. So around the late afternoon we headed back to the hotel. I was still wide awake so I let her rest and went back out.

Originally I had planned to go to a St Patrick’s day themed party happening outside of our hotel. However the line to get in was long and I had no time for that. So instead I looked at my list of breweries and picked one to go to. It was about a mile and a half away so I figured I would walk that since I was supposed to run 13.1 the next day.

So I went for a walk, and boy did I see a lot in that mile and a half. First I came across an underpass where at least 10 tents were set up. It looked as if the homeless had a small community built there. It was good to see a city embrace the homeless trying to improve their situations. Philly does a good job with the homeless, however I have never seen tents on the side of the road like that before.

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This was different for me

Then I stumbled across this….

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I forgot where I was for a second so this surprised me.

After all that I finally made it to the brewery. I sat down enjoyed a few beers and made my way back to the hotel. Only this time I hopped on the bus. The mile walk wasn’t bad but the rain was picking up (I told you about that rain) so I didn’t feel like walking through it.

Later that night we ended up carb loading for our races the next morning at a quaint Italian restaurant local to the hotel. And I mean real quaint. Since people were in for the race it felt like everyone in Portland was in there. So we opted for a small “seat yourself” table in the bar. A very intimate dining experience.

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Carbo loading!

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Our “quaint” dinner setting

After that we headed back to the hotel because races had to be run the next morning! Once again, check out my race review here.

Once both of us crossed our own separate finish lines we got cleaned up for another day. Just because we were running that day didn’t mean we couldn’t make a day of it. Since we only had three days out there we wanted to make the most of it. So we got cleaned up and went to Voodoo Donuts. My fiancé has no problem sniffing out a good donut shop. And she nailed it with this one. All I have to say is if you are in Portland do not let this place pass you by. The hour wait in line was well worth it.

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Took an hour to get donuts, but well worth it

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They were better than they look (if that’s possible)

We ate our donuts and headed out (you guessed it) to more breweries. Portland is also the home of BibRave, which is a group I am a part of. So I couldn’t leave the city without seeing people I am so familiar with. Before the trip I spoke with Julia from BibRave and coordinated plans to meet up. I hadn’t seen her since the 2015 Chicago Marathon. And it was the first time ever getting to meet Tim, even though we’ve interacted so much on social media it felt like I knew him already so well.

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BibRave meet up’s are the best kind of meet up’s

So we met them and brewery hopped a bit. Since I had such an amazing time at Fat Heads the day before I suggested we meet there. Then we made the trip to 10 Barrel for more amazing beer and where Julia’s boyfriend Dylan ordered scotch eggs from the bar across the street. Still not sure if 10 Barrel was cool with this, but I was happy he did, they were amazing.

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So good we went there twice

We all parted ways and my fiancé and I hit up one more brewery before getting to the hotel. Since it was literally across the street from the brewery we were at. I told you, Portland was no joke when it came to craft beer.

Finally we sipped our last beer and headed to the hotel. With an early morning flight we couldn’t stay out all night. Dinner in the hotel thanks to grubhub would be our last entertainment for the weekend.

Overall another amazing trip. I am very lucky running allows me to see the country the way it does. I look forward to continuing these journeys and leaving my mark in the world.

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