5 Must Run Portland 5k Races | RunGuides

5 Must Run Portland 5k Races

With its mild climate, and not so mild culture, lacing up the sneakers is a must if you live in Stumptown. These races will bring you through the most beautiful parts of the city, so whether you’re a resident or a visitor, you absolutely should try these Portland 5ks! 

Shamrock Run

Adidas Shamrock Run Portland

This is the self-proclaimed opening day of running season! As the first race of the year, this course is a must for any native worth their sneakers. The chip-timed course has an elevation gain of 194 feet, and a descent of 167 feet, as it winds through Waterfront Park and downtown Portland. Many runners will be wearing green and other St. Patrick’s day paraphernalia. This is a popular race so it’s a good idea to register early if you’d like to participate.

Starlight Run

Portland Starlight Run

Run along the Starlight Parade route, and be cheered on by the largest spectator crowd in Portland! This high energy race travels through downtown, and is one of the few night-races available, starting at 8pm. The course is mainly flat, however, participants are warned that there may be stops to allow for public transport vehicles to pass. This is a “fun run” and is thus not timed the only competition (aside from your own battle against yourself will be the costume contest immediately prior to the start of the race! 

Mt. Tabor Doggie Dash

Mt. Tabor Doggie Dash

Want to run with your pup? Then this is the event for you! The Doggie Dash doesn’t require a canine companion, but they’re certainly encouraged on this course that winds through Mt. Tabor Park. Beginning at the very top of the mountain, runners will loop through, actually passing the finish line twice before officially completing the event. This is a timed, hilly event, so eating breakfast prior is a good idea.

Portland Parks $5 5k Series

Portland Parks $5 5k

Feeling a little intimidated by race fees? This series is $5 per entry, so it’s great for supplementing an already busy schedule, or for first time runners getting their bearings in the community. Each race travels through a local park, sometimes completing a few laps around the entire venue, depending on size. All of the courses are fairly flat, and time is measured by place markers, so these are great events to get an idea of your speed, and practice for more competitive races. The $5 5ks generally sell out over a month before hand, so it’s a good idea to register early.

Komen Race for the Cure

Komen Race for the Cure Portland

This 5k race travels through downtown, following the shore of the waterfront. The event is not timed, so rather than the emphasis being on speed, it is on the sense of community that comes from city coming together for a cause. This is a run/walk, so no matter what your pace is, make sure to come out, preferably in pink from a ribbon pin to an entire ensemble.

Already experienced these races, and looking for others? Check out our full list of Portland 5k runs and races. If you’re in the mood for something a little longer or different, you can view a complete list of Portland runs on the RunGuides Portland running calendar. No matter what your style, Portland will have an event for you!

Published on Nov 23, 2013