Posted by: David Stewart | July 26, 2012

My Profile with Portland Fit – Behind the Scenes

Deb and I have been helping out as assistant coaches with a marathon training group called Portland Fit. PFit, as we call it, is a local chapter of a larger organization call USA Fit, which has marathon training programs all over the country.

PFit ran a profile of me on their blog recently. I thought I would give a little “behind the scenes” look at what went into this.
Boston Marathon - Donald R. Vancil credit

We were given another coach’s profile as an example, which included several interview-style questions. And we were asked to submit a photo.

Let’s start with the photo. This scene was shot after I finished running the Boston Marathon in 2011. As you can see, I had a very relaxed look. The PFit blog editor chose to crop the photo, which is probably a good idea. In this version you can see that I’m talking to my sister, Ellen on the left, and Deb on the right.

I struggled a bit with which photo to choose. Most races hire professional photographers to shoot “action” pictures of participants.  I finally settled on this one because it’s not really a “hero” shot of me crossing a finish line or anything. The feeling you have after finishing a marathon is first of all a feeling of relief that you can stop moving now. Usually there is fatigue and unfortunately some soreness. But there is the sense of euphoria that is hard to describe. This is an important part of why I run marathons.

The Q and A part of the blog post was pretty simple, and kept intentionally short.

As soon as the blog post hit, someone approached me on the street in downtown Portland and asked if the post was about me. I admit that I hadn’t even known it was posted and had forgotten about it, so I got caught a little off guard.

I have been helping out with Portland Fit primarily because I feel like I have benefited a lot in my life from the sport of running. The benefit is not just greater health and winning awards. I feel like a lot of my good friendships started out with PFit. These are people I have coffee with after Saturday long runs, eat dinner together and travel together with to destination races. It’s great having people who will understand what you are going through when you achieve something or are suffering a set-back. Frankly, it’s also another fun thing for Deb and I to work on together, since she is also an Assistant Coach.

Keep going, PFit!



  1. Great post, Dave. And thank you for everything you’ve done at Portland Fit. Anybody can buy a training schedule, but it’s the friends you make while doing it together that’s the secret sauce. Thanks again for being part of it for 15 years.

  2. Portland Fit John – thanks for starting the program in Portland!! You have had a tremendous impact to your community.

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