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Local races seek runners

Break out those sneakers and start training; it’s race time. They may be off in the future, but now is the perfect time to start preparing for any and all upcoming Portland-area runs/races.

First up is the Key Bank Starlight Run on June 1. The race is considered one of the largest fun runs in the state, and usually about 4,000 runners turn out.

Not only do participants try to be the first to cross the finish line, but they also vie for prizes in the costume portion of the event.

Runners are encouraged to dress in costume and the top two men and women finishers along with the winner of the best individual costume will win one night in Portland’s Hotel Vintage Plaza’s “Starlight Rooms,” including breakfast at Pazzo Ristorante.

The race is 5K (about 3.1 miles) and follows the Portland Rose Festival’s Starlight Parade route. Interested parties can register online at or call the Portland Rose Festival Association at 503-227-2681.

Next on the list is the 11th annual Susan G. Komen Portland Race for the Cure. The event takes place Sept. 15 and is a fundraiser for breast cancer prevention and research.

The race consists of a series of 5K runs and walks with a one-mile

family walk.

“It’s really a race for anyone,” Tori Darnell, foundation staff member said.

The registration fee for the event is $20 before Sept. 1, $25 from Sept. 1 to Sept. 15 and $30 on race day. The money is used to provide women with free mammograms and to help fund cancer research.

Participants are also encouraged to ask others for donations. According to Darnell, the theme of this year’s race is “Ask 11 friends for $11.”

The race will begin at Waterfront Park and is expected to draw more than 43,000 participants.

“It’s incredibly moving,” Darnell said. “It’s great to know that the whole community has come out. Breast cancer definitely affects everyone.”

According to Darnell, one in eight women is diagnosed with breast cancer, and early detection is the best way to beat it. Last year, with the money raised, the foundation was able to provide over 4,000 women with free mammogram tests.

For more information about the event, log on to or call the race hotline at 503-553-3680.

Finally, the big one, Portland Marathon, is held Oct. 6. The 31st annual 26-mile event is named as one of the best marathon runs in the US by Runner’s World Magazine, the race is open to anyone of any age and skill level.

The race starts at 7 a.m. and continues for eight hours to allow enough time for everyone to finish. Each finisher receives a medal, a long-sleeve t-shirt, a rose, a certificate of completion and a poster.

The fee for running the race is $75 until Sept. 10 and after that entrants must pay $115 on Oct. 4 or 5 at the Portland Hilton.

The race will begin and end at Chapman/Lownsdale/Schrunk Parks. The course winds its way around the riverfront and through Old Town. For more information about the event log on to