Portland Marathon has record year in PDX, Iraq

Portland Marathon has record year in PDX, Iraq

PORTLAND, Ore. - The 38th Annual Portland Marathon brought a huge crowd to downtown Portland Sunday, closing a number of streets for hours.

Runners were still crossing the finish line well into the afternoon, having faced a course that many deemed as "pretty impressive." The course started and ended downtown, taking race goers all the way up to St. Johns before looping back.

Thousands of runners, walkers, volunteers and even family members jammed into downtown Portland for the one-day event. Organizers said Saturday's marathon was the largest Portland race to date.

Even with the metaphorical log-jam, which pit experienced runners right alongside beginners, participants said it was all worth the trouble.

"I'm 64 and it feels pretty good to still be running when my best friend died a few years ago at 59 from cancer," said runner Jamie McKenzie. "So it's kind of like hanging in there and being fit rather than fat."

Runners got an extra boost just steps before the finish line. See our video below to see what that boost is, plus get the story of one man who said he has run the Portland Marathon 11 times and came this year just to support other runners.

Meanwhile, the Portland Marathon extended far beyond Oregon or even the Northwest this year. Troops at three different bases in Iraq ran so-called "shadow runs" of the Portland event. Officials in Portland sent T-shirts, pins and even medals for about 600 racing soldiers.

This "Wounded Warrior Project" is one of the marathon's official charities.