The long, weird Portland springtime of on-again, off-again spots of sunshine produces an effect down on the Waterfront that always makes me think of this old I, Anonymous:

Why is it that whenever Portland sees some sunshine, runners come out in droves?... There were seriously tags for athletic apparel strewn on the sidewalks of downtown Portland, as if office workers burst out of their offices at lunchtime, ran into Niketown and changed on the sidewalk—in such haste that they could not be bothered to deposit these tags in a trash can.

True. There are obviously a lot more people (including seven-person-wide phalanxes of staggering tourists taking up the whole goddamn path—they seriously need to stop doing that) opting for outdoor exercise when the sun sees fit to poke its head out than there are when it's just you, the January wind and hail, and the other three joggers you pass and exchange stoic little nods with.

It also means that it's the early season for the marathons, triathlons, and other athletic events that will run through the summer on weekends all over town to raise money, give exercisers a goal/charitable sense of purpose as motivation. This weekend, for instance, is the Spring Classic Duathlon, which I would not suggest you try if you're not already in reasonable shape and a regular runner/biker, but should be just fine if you are without any specific training: It's a 5k run followed by a 15-mile bike ride, followed by another 5k run on an almost completely flat course—piece of cake! The route itself will close off most of Marine Drive, and the cost to participate is $65 ($70 if you wait to register until the day of—a bit spendy, but these things all tend to be, and it's a lot less than the Rock 'n' Roll marathon later this month that was going for $115 and counting last time I checked. I don't think there's a charity either, so you know, do it for yourself, the t-shirt, and the bragging rights.). Register and complete info is here. Stretch! Hydrate!