It's easy to see why the Portland Marathon is one of the top sporting events available for women--56 percent of the finishers in 2006 were female. Another reason the event has been coined "The Women's Marathon" is because it has partnered with Susan G. Komen for the Cure to save lives and end breast cancer.
In addition to encouraging women, the Portland Marathon welcomes all ranges of athletes--a quarter of the participants last year were walkers. "We were thrilled to have been listed by Runner's World in its October 2004 issue as 'the most walker friendly marathon in the U.S.,'" explained Les Smith, event director. "We are fortunate to have a great course that allows us to stay open for eight hours." With more than 70 entertainment groups on the course and roses for all finishers, the Portland Marathon is planning for the best event to date.
The event provides individuals the opportunity to race and raise funds for breast cancer. Currently, Washington and Oregon rank number one and two in the United States for breast cancer incidence. These numbers are stifling. As over half of participants are women, the Portland Marathon and the Oregon and SW Washington Affiliates have stepped up to promote a legacy of change in the community.
In 2006, Mary Beiler, found her inspiration for the marathon from her dedication to the cause. Beiler took part in the marathon not only because of her passion to run, but because of a cause that hits close to home. "I am running these races in support of all survivors, friends and family of those who fought the fight and for all of those that don't know their race is yet to come," Beiler explains. Beiler eagerly chose to use her race as a vehicle to raise money and educated herself about breast cancer in the process, "With the help of this foundation, family and friends I have become even more aware of how many people have been affected by breast cancer."
Many of the 10,000 participants choose to race in the event and raise funds for one of the official charities, adding new meaning to their running experience. "Running the marathon was a personally rewarding experience, but supporting a cause in the process gave me another very significant and important reason to participate," explained one charity runner.
If you would like to learn more about raising money through the marathon, visit www.portland.activecharityconnect.com. To donate directly to the Komen team or to sponsor an athlete, visit www.active.com/donate/komenoregon.
About Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, OR and SW Washington Affiliate:
To eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease by advancing research, education, screening and treatment. For more information, call Sara Berglund at (503) 553-3675 or visit http://www.komenoregon.org.