every park in portland race reports running

Parks & Rec 5k/EPIP: Lents

SE 92nd Avenue and Holgate Blvd
Neighborhood: Lents
Portland Parks & Rec Page

This was the second of five 5k runs Portland Parks & Recreation puts on (here’s the first), and the first that crosses I-205 into East Portland. This is the farthest east run, which makes sense if you remember that the city of Portland doesn’t give a shit about anything east of 102nd.

Lents is important to Portland, though, as it is the home of the Portland Pickles, our local baseball team. Minor league? Probably not, I have no idea. I know nothing about baseball. I know it’s the only sport I can think of where they count how many times you fuck up.

The park is huge and has a ton of stuff to do. This 5k was primarily a trail run, with a few bits on the sidewalk and paved paths. I’d say it was 75% trail, which was a nice change from my typical road runs.

I ran pretty good, considering I had run parkrun yesterday morning (and achieved my fastest 5k time of the year thus far). My feet keep going numb while I’m running and I’m not entirely sure why other than just your typical overuse injury, but this time it made me a little more nervous because it’s hard to tell where you’re stepping when your feet are going numb, and trail is uneven terrain … you get the point.

I think my 5k time was around 36:08 but Garmin has 3.16 miles at 36:33. It was a fun run so none of this really matters, other than I’m pleased with my time considering I ran fast yesterday. The atmosphere was cool and everyone was having a good time. Lots of kids running around too, which is fun. They do a little kid race before the 5k and it’s always great to watch these little teeny kids ambling toward the finish line, completely unaware of what the hell is going on.

Anyway, the park itself. Huge, tons to do. Sports sports sports. You’ve got three baseball fields (though I guess one is strictly for the Pickles), a turf soccer field, a grass soccer field, tennis courts, basketball courts … plenty of Sports Zones. The southern side also has a neat playground, a dog park, and a “nature patch,” which I believe Fernhill Park had as well. There are also a lot of neat houses in this part of town, the kind that remind you of a time before HOAs ruined creativity. Just a big, cool, dynamic park.

Aesthetics: Gorgeous, a lot of open air. Maybe a bit too busy with sports stuff. 8/10

Function: Function out the wazoo. Sports, big fields, go see the Pickles and take your dog to the dog park. Plenty to do. 10/10

Sketchiness: I didn’t notice anything sketchy while I was there, but considering how close it is to 82nd st (a notoriously sketchy street), I wouldn’t be surprised if stuff went down there. That said, I bet the Pickles have some kind of security to keep that at bay. Felt fine otherwise. 9/10

Next month is Columbia Park, in North Portland!

every park in portland race reports running

Parks & Rec 5k/EPIP: Fernhill

NE 37th Avenue and Ainsworth Street
Neighborhood: Concordia
Portland Parks & Rec Page

Ladies & gentlemen & everyone in between, we’ve got a rare crossover episode, a mashup of Every Park in Portland and a running recap! (Sort of.)

In researching new potential 5k races to sign up for recently, I discovered that Portland Parks & Recreation hosts five 5k races over the spring and summer, from May until September. They only cost $5 per event and you can buy a t-shirt for the season for only $8. So, for the cost of less than one 5k event, you can run five and get a t-shirt! Sign me up! (I did. I signed up for all of them.)

The first of these five events took place in Fernhill Park, way up in Northeast Portland, a couple of blocks north of the Kennedy School McMenamins. (Which is famous for being a school that was turned into a restaurant/hotel campus that also has lounging pools because why not.) I ended up walking this 5k because of tendonitis in my achilles that I absolutely did not want to aggravate. Hence, no time listed. But even if it was timed, I probably wouldn’t list it for reasons I’ll get to in a second.

It was a fun little event, extremely casual and family friendly. They had a timing clock (no chips or anything though), but the clock itself wasn’t working, so you had to rely on your watch, or on the host guy who hyped everyone up and was very exuberant about it, which I appreciated. He also called out your time when you crossed the finish line, which was nice! They gave out ribbons instead of medals, a first for my running career.

After and during the race there were a couple of booths, one for raffles and one for general Parks & Rec info. Foot Traffic was surprisingly there as well, though I never got close enough to that booth to figure out if they were giving stuff away. Apparently there were bananas for finishers but by the time I finished, there were no bananas. I’m find with this, we all know I hate Post-Race Bananas.

The park itself is gorgeous. Huge and picturesque, with a track, two baseball diamonds (baseball and softball), a tennis court, soccer field horseshoe pit, and huge open fields for running your dogs around. There’s even a little Nature Patch garden among the park itself, a lovely addition. There’s even a splash pad for splashing around! I don’t think that section in the south of the map is part of the park, and it looked like they might be building something there. There were Portland Community College buildings being built across the street, so who knows.

The whole neighborhood reeks of “There is a Catholic high school nearby,” which is so say: wealthy. But unlike other wealthy parts of Portland, this place felt a lot more “within our means” wealthy, if that makes sense. Narrower streets than Irvington, a little more salt of the earth-y rather than trust fund/stock trader-y, if you get my drift. Apparently the park used to be an old stripping parts spot for car thieves back in the day.

Aesthetics: Beautiful, open, very nice. 10/10

Function: Sports haven. Track! I wish Buckman Field’s track was like this track. Plus you can run your dog around and get a decent run around the park itself. I’m really not sure what else you would want. 10/10

Sketchiness: There were a couple of tent homes or maybe storage at the fringes of the park, but I didn’t see any sketchy behavior at all and this just doesn’t seem like the spot to engage in that kind of behavior. It’s close to Killingsworth, which can feel a little sketchy in parts, but honestly, I’d be surprised if stuff went down in this park. 10/10

(Also, I’m changing my Sketchiness rating so that lower sketchiness results in a higher score.)

Lovely park and lovely little 5k race! Check it out if you get the chance.