Mar 29, 2024 - Health

Where Portlanders run in the rain

Illustration of multiple raindrops, with one turned upside down to look like a locator pin.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

False spring was fun, but now there are four more months of rain to deal with (even though the weekend looks nice), so we asked some runners where they run in wet weather, and how they stay motivated.

Why it matters: It pays to keep your spirits up by exercising in the rain.

These three classic Portland runs usually have supportive runners nearby:

  • Terwilliger Parkway is a linear park with a five-mile loop starting at Duniway Park track, just south of Portland State University.
  • Mount Tabor, whose 180 feet of stairway elevation provides a quad-shredding workout, has trees that offer some cover.
  • NW Front Avenue north of the Fremont Bridge is a straight, quiet industrial run with river views to the Gunderson barge factory at Greenbrier.

Worthy of your time: Paula Harkin, who co-owns Portland Running Co. with her husband, recommends the Springwater Corridor Trail from downtown to Sellwood.

  • "We run this loop in every weather condition," Harkin tells Axios.
  • One of the joys is spotting wildlife such as bald eagles.
  • Harkin and her husband also lead a Monday evening trail run in Forest Park of between 5 and 9 miles.
Man running on wet sidewalk in Portland's Pearl District
A runner on a wet sidewalk on NW Front Avenue in Portland's Pearl District. Photo: Joseph Gallivan/Axios

Speaking of Forest Park, Camille Tredoux, an outfitter at Fleet Feet suggests a run her group does that starts at Leif Erikson Drive near NW Thurman Street and goes 13 miles up the Wildwood Trail.

Caveat: Having the right gear helps. Even though the trails consist of pine needles, dirt and mud, Tredoux's group wears regular road running shoes by Hoka, Brooks or Saucony, and clip-on lights on their shorts.

  • She also wears rain jackets by Craft and On, a headband or a ball cap.

What they're saying: "I hear it a lot, there's no bad weather, there's just bad clothing, and Portlanders embrace the rainy weather," Katherine Bailey, an NCAA track coach in Texas who moved to Portland in November, tells Axios.

The vibe: Bailey likes Portland's running club culture and that the city's parks have a lot of tree cover.

  • "You have trees to dip under and you keep going," she says.

My thought bubble: If you use gear and friends to motivate you, the rain becomes part of the fun.

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