Get to Know Your Run Clubs - Portland Running Company Race Team

It’s another edition of Get to Know Your Running Clubs! This time we chatted with Digital Assets Director & Race Team Manager Ryan Heal about the Portland Running Company Race Team.

Want to learn more about them? Read on!

Tell us a bit about the group history and your role with them

Portland Running Company was founded in 1995 and the Race Team has been around now since 2012. 

My main responsibility as team manager is to make sure we stick to our purpose. We strive to be a welcoming and encouraging group that honors the competitive element of our sport. The best part of being in this group is seeing your teammates succeed—however they define success—and feeling that you played some small role in that. We love to see people surprise themselves, to surpass what they had previously thought possible for themselves. It happens every season.

Nice! Tell us a bit about your members.

Initially the team was hand-picked. That was a mistake. In 2013 we opened it to everybody. We finished 2016 with about 170 members. It's a club that encourages people to compete and challenge themselves to improve, but there are no benchmarks to meet. (Just the $55 annual fee, which you easily recoup with savings on gear at our stores.) Last season one of our team members ran the fastest half marathon in Oregon by a woman. We also have walkers.

Where/when do you usually meet?

A lot of team members use the PRC Group Runs to meet, esp. track and long runs.

Any cost to be a member/join?

$55. But that gets you a uniform, 15% all year at our store, 40% off additional Race Team gear, race discounts, access to exclusive events...and more. It's a bargain!

Are you affiliated with any events?

Yes. Portland Running Company co-owner Paula Harkin is also the Paula behind Run With Paula Events ("Races in amazing places")

Where are your favourite spots to run in/around the city?

Oh (wo)man. Portland is the best place to run. (Totally disregard Runner's World's ranking us as the 7th-best running city in the U.S.A. Apparently they ranked us low in the "Food" category. They should take that up with the New York Times, which ranks us as the nation's best food city.) One of the things about Portland that makes it great is the amazing trail running very close to the city. We have a great staff member at PRC named Phil Orlowski who wrote these trail reviews. And here are a few spots that we like "in town."  

Do you have any favourite local races? Outside of anything that you’re affiliated with :)

Our team always runs the Shamrock Run in March. It's the biggest in town. We're also fond of the Timberline Half Marathon in June (it's actually >14 miles) which goes around Timothy Lake on the slopes of Mount Hood. Don't miss the Stumptown Cross-Country Series in fall, either. There's just something about races put on by runners for runners....

Anything else that we should know?

We compete against each other in an age-graded, year-long Grand Prix. Team members pick the events at the preceding year's holiday party. It's tons of fun and gets us out to a lot of the same events (and training for a lot of the same events).

Want to connect with the Portland Running Company Race Team, or just learn a bit more about them? Check out their information below:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Looking for runs in and around Portland?

Head over to for a full calendar of runs happening around the Portland area.

Published on Apr 18, 2017
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