SE McLoughlin Blvd and Bybee Blvd
Portland Parks & Rec Page
Sadly, I missed the July P&R 5k due to the stomach flu. That was in Columbia Park, which is in the smaller Portsmouth neighborhood adjacent to St. Johns, making it the most northern of the 5 5k races Parks & Rec put together. Westmoreland, meanwhile, despite being more west land, is actually in most southwestern part of southeast Portland, right across the street from Eastmoreland, a neighborhood that is, of course, east of Westmoreland and is about 20% golf course.
These are both named after Julius C. Moreland, a lawyer and then judge in the 19th and early 20th centuries. A realty company of which he was an executive wanted to make four neighborhoods in his name, for–you guessed it–the four compass points. But I guess only West- and Eastmoreland made it to final print.
Imagine if I had four neighborhoods like that. Northbelville, Southbelville, Eastbelville, and Westbelville. How annoying!
Westmoreland Park is one of the best parks in Portland, no doubt about it. It’s huge, has about half a dozen baseball and softball diamonds, tennis courts, a lawn bowling green, and the somewhat iconic duck pond, called Hall Pond, which was originally built as a fly-casting pond (and is still used for that purpose). Crystal Springs Creek, which runs nearby through the park as well, apparently has salmon in it during the appropriate seasons. According to the P&R page, the pond is supposed to be removed at some point and returned to a wetland, which I think is a great idea. Apparently the pond gets hot in the summer which isn’t good for the salmon or the ducks.
The 5k itself was fine; I ran slower this morning due to the heat and wanting to take it easy after the Garlic Fest 5k yesterday, but still managed an 11:08/mi pace, which is faster than I had anticipated. My heart rate was higher than I would’ve liked, but I was in the zone, baby. Plus it was roughly 10-15 degrees warmer than my usual summer run temperatures so I’m not sure my heart rate would’ve lowered enough to be worth slowing down.
One thing that was kind of funny is that near the start of the run was a very comically narrow bridge that we all piled up at because you could only run it single file. But then we got to run around the duck pond twice (which needed more shade for sure) and ran on lots of wood chips. I kind of hate running on wood chips, but they were good for my knees, I guess.
I’m also pretty sure there is a running group for, like, ex-convicts or something that participates in these 5ks, which is very cool. They were being filmed this time, probably PR for their program. The whole event is very much worth the $5 price.
Aesthetics: Big huge gorgeous park. The only drawback is that it’s right next to a busy boulevard and MAX light rail. Thankfully the way the park is set up you don’t see the street and cars and all that too much. 7/10
Function: If you want to Do A Thing, this is the park for you. Baseball, softball, basketball, just most anything with balls, plus tennis and fly-casting for some weird reason. Lots to do here with your family and friends. 10/10
Sketchiness: Not too bad. There were a couple of homeless people parked near an apartment complex, but nothing felt like anyone was in danger. To be fair, this was a public event, so I might have a skewed vision. 7/10
The last 5k run is in Gabriel Park, the only run on the west side because East Side is the Best Side. See you then.