Return of Portland Marathon brings ‘some normalcy back’

Multnomah County

Portland Marathon 2021 set for Sunday, October 3

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — For 7 years, Cathy Udy has lived around Northwest 9th in the Pearl District. She said she and her neighbors are eager to cheer for the Portland Marathon runners once again.

“I think it’s really exciting. Everything is coming back. It’s just wonderful,” she told KOIN 6 News. “It just makes it not quite as crazy of a world to see some normalcy coming back.”

Stan Penkin, the president of the Pearl District Neighborhood Association, said their 60-70 volunteers with the “Clean Team” go out every week to clean the streets. So, without any extra effort, their neighborhood should be prepped and ready to welcome runners.

“We are doing something special constantly trying to keep our neighborhood clean,” Penkin said. “Anything we can do to bring back our city, activate, I think is crucially important.”

No Parking signs posted along streets in advance of the Portland Marathon, October 1, 2021 (KOIN)

While most of the Pearl District is clean and clear, the race will also wind into Old Town, where “No Parking” signs for the marathon have gone up next to rows of tents.

Mark Wells with Downtown Portland Clean & Safe said it just supported a larger SOLVE cleanup event in all of Old Town this week. He said it was already scheduled but good timing in preparation for the return of the Portland Marathon.

Wells said Clean & Safe has also worked to keep the areas as clean as possible.

Udy said she is a little concerned about further clean-up in that area of Old Town before the race.

“There is so much trash, somebody needs to go through there and clean it, so it’s not out in the street where the runners are at,” she said. “There are people who give out water and stuff during those. I don’t want them to have to fight between all the trash to get to them.”

Penkin said the return of the marathon is “a big deal. I think it’s exciting.”

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