Welcome to Portland Running Company, Oregon's Premier Technical Running and Walking Store. We make shoe buying comfortable, professional, and fun. We offer a full field gait evaluation. We can connect the dots between your feet, your knees, your hips, and your back, offer stabilizing solutions, and increase your chances of achieving your goals. It is important to watch you move so that we can make the best recommendations for your needs...
'Willie Fit' Challenges Kids for the Long Run
An innovative program at Wilsonville High School, now in its seventh year, trains high school students to run and walk the Helvetia Half Marathon every June. On a recent sunny afternoon, PRC owner Dave Harkin and our staff fitted participants in free running shoes, the first pair many students have owned. Willie Fit, as the program is known, relies on and receives great community support. Portland Running Company is proud to have been there since the beginning. Read more about this year's kids and what they're doing in this Wilsonville Spokesman article. (3/26/14)
Spokesman Photo: Kate Hoots
Portland Fit Launches Down by the River
Portland's friendliest, safest, and most successful marathon and half-marathon training group has kicked off another season, and it looks like Portland Fit has found a great new home. PFit won't meet at our Beaverton store this year, but we'll remain closely involved. Look for Portland Running Company's tents and welcoming staff every Saturday morning at Portland Fit's new basecamp in the Zidell Yards on SW Moody Avenue in Portland's South Waterfront development. Portland Fit's season started March 22, but it's not too late to get involved. Join hundreds of other intrepid participants and change your life for the better with Portland Fit. Schedule, fees, locations, and testimonials are all available at PortlandFit.com.
Hip Hop Hooray: Throw your hands in the air at PFit's new warmup area.
Check Us Out in Your 2014 Chinook Book
For the first time Portland Running Company has a coupon in the Chinook Book! Our coupon will save you $10 off your purchase of $50 or more. We accept paper coupons and the digital kind you display on your mobile device. If you've never purchased the Chinook Book, it's a great resource for savings on local goods and services. More information here.
The running and retail landscapes have changed greatly since Dave and Paula Harkin took charge of Portland Running Company more than a decade ago. Dave explained to the Oregonian's D.K. Row recently how we have adapted and continued to thrive. Our profile in the newspaper's "Retail Spotlight" is a recommended read. Click here for the full story.
Like a Boss: Dave in his Beaverton store.
Find all of the latest from PRC on our News page. Information on new products, upcoming sales, training tips, and more appears in our award-winning monthly newsletter, Footnotes. Subscribe to Footnotes today.
Intergalactic Sound: Paul, left, and Space Shark on stage. (Jessie Lenhardt photo.)
I Am PRC: Paul Brisentine and Space Shark
"Well-rounded" is a great way to describe our PRC staff. We love helping customers find the right shoes and apparel, but our lives away from PRC are pretty interesting, too. Take Paul Brisentine. A transplant from the San Francisco Bay Area by way of Eugene, Paul manages our Grand Avenue store. By day, he keeps the place humming with humor, enthusiasm, and good cheer. At night, Paul morphs into a rock star with his band, Space Shark.
Paul's figured out a way to burn the candle at both ends without burning out, and he shares the secrets of his success with PRC's Holly Paige.
First of all, tell us about about your running history. How old were you when you started?
My life of running started at age 11 when my family got a very active dog that needed exercise. But my love for running truly started when I discovered Alton Baker Park and Pre's Trail in Eugene. I attended the University of Oregon, and the running culture down there is phenomenal. If you haven't run on the meticulously maintained wood chip trails there, you haven't lived. I didn't run competitively in high school or college, but my time in Eugene culminated in my completion of the 2011 Eugene Marathon (3:37:39).
Talk about your 'day job' as the manager of our Grand store.
Managing the Grand location of Portland Running Company is a blast! There is a strong running community here. Between all of the group runs and walks we have from the store, there is always something exciting going on. Add the fact that we have easy access to the waterfront and the Springwater Corridor, and PRC Grand turns out to be a great hub for running.
How do you approach the shoe fitting process?
The shoe-fitting process is our bread and butter at PRC. It can be challenging to balance all of the factors that play into running efficiently and injury-free. While the running shoe itself is obviously key in running successfully, I also make sure to consider all the other factors that can affect running. It's important to consider an individual's injury history, the amount they are running, their training goals, the surface they run on, etc. A thorough discussion addressing all of these factors is very important, especially for the beginning runner or walker.
My favorite shoe has got to be the Brooks Glycerin. If you could see the expanse that is my shoe closet, you would realize that picking one favorite shoe is difficult for me. But for me, the Glycerin is the perfect blend of cushion and response with a generously wide fit for my toesies.
Let's switch gears and talk about your music and your band, Space Shark.
Yes, I am in a band, and yes, we are actually called Space Shark. We are based here in SE Portland, but have played in small bars and venues all over Portland during the past year. I play keyboard, guitar, and bass (not at the same time!). Our band has five members, and all of us have some proficiency in multiple instruments, so we often switch roles.
How would you describe your music?
Our music is alternative rock, but with some spaced-out vibes (as our name implies). The name was created before I joined the band, but the idea was to think of a name so obscure that no one else would have it. Of course, that idea backfired, because there are apparently a few other Space Sharks out there, including one in Portland, Maine (of all places).
Any similarities between playing in a band and managing a running store?
Believe it or not, there are some similarities between playing in a band and managing PRC Grand. It all comes down to teamwork. When playing music with four other people, you need to depend on them to play their parts properly. Managing a running store is like that in a way, because the members of our great staff all depend on each other to help out.
What does Portland, Oregon's Space Shark sound like? Here's their latest song:
I Am PRC is a regular feature on our site. For more interviews like this one, click here. Interview by Holly Paige. (4/14/2014)