Posted by: David Stewart | September 12, 2010

Fun new places to run around Portland

This summer has been a tough season in my running log.

  • Early in the summer, I stressed a hamstring which caused me to back off my intensive training just when I was getting some serious intensity going for my fall marathon.
  • Then at the Cascade Lakes Relay and a subsequent 18 mile run, I came up lame with "capsualitis", whatever that is.

So the marathon this fall will be a more like a long training run instead of the PR I was planning.

Without the fear of a major race coming up, I need to work hard to keep my attention focused on getting my miles in.

Solution? Appreciate this nice weather and mix it up a bit, play with a few different routes and places to run.

Wildwood Trail at the Germantown Road trailhead, Portland, OR

One of my long-term goals is to run the entire length of the Wildwood Trail, 30 miles of single track rolling through lush forest. So I’m running various sections of the trail that are new to me. Above was a cell phone photo from the western section off of Germantown Road. It’s just as lush as the sections further east, and might be closer to my work than downtown.

Of course, trail running can get muddy in winter and after dark may be nearly impossible to run, even with a headlamp.


Sunset highway bike path

Another long-term goal is to run from my house in the south part of Beaverton into downtown Portland. It’s only about a 10 mile stretch, but there is a really nice line of hills separating the two towns.

The shortest route would be along the "Sunset Highway", a freeway which cuts straight through the hills and through a tunnel before landing right in downtown Portland. But other than running on the road, there is no obvious access for those on foot.

But I noticed in a recent spate of construction what seemed like a bike path which was carved into at least part of the route.

So I wandered over to a spot close to the junction of the Sunset Highway and Oregon 217, and sure enough found the route which climbed straight to the top of the hill and went as far as the Oregon Zoo. A nice hill training run.

This should actually be a nice place to run on my way home from work, because it’s right on the way, and has some good hill training possibilities.

Now I just need to stitch these pieces together to make a truly fine run.


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