A few weeks ago I was in Portland, Oregon visiting my uncle and I found one of greatest urban locations for running, the I-5 bridge connecting Portland to Vancouver, WA. The weather was the usual overcast and drizzly but the run was nothing short of exhilarating. The bridge spanning the Columbia river is actually two adjacent bridges, 3 lanes each with sidewalks on both. There was no way I could miss this opportunity and in the morning I was out running from Portland to Vancouver.
Half-way above the river is where Oregon ends and Washington state begins. The scenery is spectacular. After crossing the span, I hung a right and continued between the river on the right and the railroad tracks on the left. This is rather the industrial section of Vancouver. I almost lost track of distance and time as I continued farther away from the city. By the time I turned around I had already covered about 4 miles. Happily I was rewarded with the bridge-crossing once again on my return trip. With cars zooming by on one side and the wide body of water flowing underneath, it almost feels like the whipping wet wind could lift you up and hurl you into the river and that certainly makes the run even more exciting.
Being still high on the first run, I went for another one the next morning. This time, after crossing the bridge, I turned left and that got me into the center of Vancouver. This is a smaller city than Portland and has a nice small town feel to it. Judging by the traffic pattern, I got the feeling that most residents commute to Portland for their day jobs.
If you are ever in the Portland area, give the I-5 bridge a try, running, walking, strolling, whatever.