A Beautiful 10 Mile Run in Portland

We were recently in Portland for a little extended weekend fun (summer really has been a lot of fun, hence the sporadic posting around here lately). Portland is like a second home to us by now – we’ve been enjoying being tourists in the city for the past 3 years. The World Domination Summit was going on over the weekend, so it was fun to see all the attendees scattered around town with their name badges and backpacks. We went back in 2013, but have “un-conferenced” ever since. This year, we didn’t even end up going to any post-conference meet ups (we also ended our Guinness World Record breaking streak). However, we did run a stunning 10 mile run in Portland along the Willamette River that has been one of the coolest things we’ve ever done in Portland.


Remember the whole commitment and consistency bias talk and how I was going to literally colour code my workout gear to trick myself psychologically to keep consistent and committed? Anyways, in case you needed to know, I’ve kept my end of the bargain of staying colour coded with the “sacred” Saturday long run gear.

Side note: the Ultimate Direction running vest designed by Scott Jurek has been absolutely incredible and essential for the long, Saturday runs. When you’re running over an hour, it’s super convenient to be able to carry your own hydration (in the form of 2 water bottles and a Platypus 3 Litre Reservoir). There’s also an infinite amount of space to stash Powerbar Energy Gels, Cliff Bar Shot Bloks, and Gatorade Energy Chews – very convenient lightweight electrolyte alternatives to lugging around heavy liquid electrolytes in the form of Gatorade bottles. There’s also ample space for your wallet, smartphone, and keys. Even though it can carry so much for you, it is so compact and so small. And it hugs your body so tight, and the material as soft as a baby’s bottom – no chaffing or rashes!

I really cannot get over what an incredible product this running vest is. If you are serious about long runs, this thing is essential and necessary. I’m usually fairly blasé about most products, but this thing is an amazing tool for long distance running (and in truth, 10 miles is nothing compared to the ultra marathoners who don this thing for their runs).

Anyways, back on track. We knew we had this 10 mile run to do in Portland on the Saturday we were there. However, finding something through a quick Google search didn’t turn up much. So we zoomed in on Google Maps and sketched out a 10 mile run. Here was the result:

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We were staying in downtown so we chose an easy landmark to start the run at: the Portland Saturday Market on Waterfront Park.

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If you are staying in the downtown area, it’s a great place to start. You get to immediately cross the Steel Bridge, which is very cool as it is also a draw bridge for boats. When we ran across it, we just made it before pedestrian traffic was stopped as the bridge lifted.

As you cross the Steel Bridge, you merge into the Eastbank Esplanade, providing you a breathtaking view of downtown Portland.

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As you reach the end of the Eastbank Esplanade, you will loop around the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Merge onto SE Caruthers St and then take a right onto SE 4th Ave. In 2 blocks, this will lead you to the start of the Springwater Corridor.

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Leisurely continue down the Springwater Cooridor as you go past the Ross Island Bridge and take in all the spectacular scenery.

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You’ll run around a bend of greenery and trees – incredibly beautiful on a sunny day.

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You’ll eventually veer of the Springwater Cooridor at Sellwood Bridge. As you cross the bridge, you’re about half way there: 5 miles to go to get back to where you started! As you come off the bridge, hug close to the water and it should spit you at Willamette Park.

From here, just stay on the trails close to the river and you will get to your final landmark before finishing where you started: the South Waterfront District. It was a swanky, hip little area that reminded me of a mini version of Yaletown in Vancouver. You can’t miss this as the Portland Ariel Tram starts here.

As you pass through this district, you’re on the homestretch with a couple miles left. Soon enough, you will be back by the Portland Saturday Market, catching your breath both from the run and the scenery.

There you have it – a truly spectacular 10 mile run in Portland! For all you runners out there, I would highly recommend this 10 mile loop if you are ever in Portland.

With that said, here are a few pictures from our trip:

A snapshot at the halfway point on the Sellwood Bridge. The finish line is still 5 miles away.

A snapshot at the halfway point on the Sellwood Bridge. The finish line is still 5 miles away.

Portland truly is the city for eccentricity and diversity of character.

Portland truly is the city for eccentricity and diversity of character.

This truly is the pinnacle of how vegetables should be organized and displayed in grocery stores. I stood admiring this work of art for probably a little too long.

This truly is the pinnacle of how vegetables should be organized and displayed in grocery stores. I stood admiring this work of art for probably a little too long.

Pieology: the Chipotle of fast casual pizza dining. You choose your own toppings like Chipotle and they bake it for you. I was very impressed with their Chipotle-like operation but found that they were lacking staff to keep up with the fluctuations in customers coming in.

Pieology: the Chipotle of fast casual pizza dining. You choose your own toppings like Chipotle and they bake it for you. I was very impressed with their Chipotle-like operation but found that they were lacking staff to keep up with the fluctuations in customers coming in.

Our pizzas post 10 mile run. Would definitely try again.

Our pizzas post 10 mile run. Would definitely try again.

The hostel we stay in almost every time we come to Portland.

The hostel we stay in almost every time we come to Portland.

The entrance to the Multnomah County Central Library in downtown Portland. It was our first time here in our many visits to the city and it was truly a spectacular library with beautiful architecture and a vast collection.

The entrance to the Multnomah County Central Library in downtown Portland. It was our first time here in our many visits to the city and it was truly a spectacular library with beautiful architecture and a vast collection.

They had an opera performance on the top floor when we got in - how cool is that?

They had an opera performance on the top floor when we got in – how cool is that?

Well, that’s a wrap. Hopefully, if you ever need to do a 10 mile run in Portland, this will serve as a nice guide for you to see the city in a completely different way. It is definitely one of the coolest things we’ve done in Portland in the many times we’ve visited.

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