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The Portland Marathon may be two seasons away (October 9th, to be exact!), but there's no better time to start training then next month. Portland Fit is set to launch their 19th annual marathon and half marathon training season on March 19 at Zidell Yards for all beginning runners and walkers who dream of crossing the finish line at the Portland Full or Half Marathon this year. Registration is now available online through April 2 at www.portlandfit.com. Members who register by March 1 can enjoy an instant $10 off their registration.

“We’re excited to see how much our group has grown and changed since we brought Portland Fit to the area,” says organizer John Pontefract, who started the program in 1997 with wife Susie when they first moved from Houston to Portland. “Our intention was to keep fit and help others do the same. It quickly became more like a huge, supportive family where everyone just loves to run and have fun.”

Members meet each Saturday to train in their ability-based groups under the tutelage and encouragement of Portland Fit’s certified team of 50 coaches and medical staff. During the week, they follow a carefully devised training schedule, enjoy informational seminars on running- and health-related topics and enjoy occasional social events to continue the camaraderie off the pavement.

Portland Fit is especially excited to train their beginning running and walking members for the Portland Marathon as the race course is open for eight hours, making it one of the most walker-friendly in the world.

 Portland Fit will kick off the first two days of group training at Zidell Yards with an orientation and in-person registration for new members at 8 a.m. on March 19 and 26. However, anyone interested may register through April 2 and start their first day of training then. The training season lasts 13 weeks for the half marathon program and up to 32 weeks for the full marathon program.

“No matter how much you’ve run or walked or haven’t, we have a group for you to train with,” says Pontefract. “The only thing we ask our members to show up with is a goal and the passion to meet it. We take care of the rest.”

Portland Fit Registration Fees through March 1, 2016:

First-Year Members: $125
Alumni Members: $105 

Portland Fit Registration Fees through April 2, 2016:

First-Year Members: $135
Alumni Members: $115

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