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...
You've run all summer long. You sweated buckets on the hills and ground out those lonely long runs. You're ready for your best cross-country racing season yet. Make sure you get from start to victory with the latest cross-country spikes from Portland Running Company on your feet. Both of our locations are stocking only the best models from Nike, Brooks, and Saucony now. Like you, they're groomed for speed and they're hungry to race!
"I think you just have to say, 'Sometime today I'm going to run.'"
Paula Harkin Surpasses 2,000 Days Straight of Running; Listen to the Podcast
Portland Running Company co-owner Paula Harkin recently sat down with authors Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell of "Another Mother Runner" for a revealing chat about, among other things, Paula surpassing 2,000 days straight without skipping a run. Paula is also the founder and force behind Run with Paula Events, as well as mother of two. Over the past five years, Paula has run at least one mile every day, even through a hamstring strain, pneumonia, anemia, and other obstacles. She averaged 6.2 miles daily over that stretch. Paula leans on her husband "Pocket Dave" Harkin and her running buddies for support in achieving her amazing consistency.
Paula, Sarah, and Dimity touch on many topics in this podcast, including how to overcome any hesitancy you might feel about shopping at a "running specialty store" like ours.
"We'll greet you with open arms," Paula says to anyone who might think they're not fast enough or experienced enough to walk in to a Portland Running Company store.
Click here to listen to the interview at anothermotherrunner.com (about 50 minutes); it's equal parts humorous, inspiring, and insightful.
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.
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.
Holding Court: Dave Engstrom, far right, lights up the room at PRC-Grand.
I Am PRC: Meet Thirsty Thurs-Dave
If you've taken part in our Thirsty Thursday run recently you've become acquainted with our effervescent run leader Dave Engstrom. Dave is a regular at many of our other group runs as well, and now a member of our staff at Portland Running Company. Always outgoing, cheerful, and quick to laugh, Dave is also a serious competitor with a background as a professional bicycle racer. His experience with footwear-testing and running is extensive, and he's quickly becoming a valuable resource to Portland Running Company and our larger running community. Dave is an inveterate kidder, so interviewing him is a little like playing "two truths and a lie." We can vouch for the veracity of nearly everything that follows. Edited for clarity and for your safety.
When did you move to Portland? Has it lived up to expectations?
Two years ago. Yes and then some. Running/training environment is perfect: terrain, coaching, running, food, air quality, and Portland has this great running store, PRC!
Where are you from?
Originally from the Bay Area, San Francisco. I've also lived in southern Oregon, Ashland-Meford area. Had moved to Miami, and then back and forth between California and southern Oregon until we decided to move up to Portland.
When you first came to our group runs we called you "Chatty Dave" to distinguish you from other Daves we know.
I was fine with "Chatty Dave." People usually call me Engstrom, but I've had the nickname "D-dogg" in the past.
How did you first connect with Portland Running Company?
Before we moved up to Portland, visiting the area while [my wife] Amy was interviewing for jobs, I joined in on some of the group runs to meet new people. I learned about your group runs while doing an internet search.
You just started working with PRC. Why do you want to work in running specialty retail?
Because I'm a shoe geek and I like being around like-minded people, healthy people. PRC is just the right environment where I can be me.
What do you do for us? How's it going?
I'd call myself a shoe-slinger and then also a group run leader. It's going well! I love motivating people to run, seeing them improve and gain confidence. And I love sharing my love of running by promoting our group runs.
You have a footwear testing gig that you do with Nike. You seem very into that. What do you do with them?
I do dynamic tests on-site at the Nike campus. I also do long-term wear tests, which is running in footwear prototypes two years out from potential production. I'm also in the Nike Sport Research Lab as a lab rat. (If anybody is interested, please contact me about working as a Nike footwear tester.) The experience working with Nike has been excellent.
What careers have you had in the past?
I worked for Safway Steel/STI out of New York, as a contractor/consultor that trained inspectors. I specialized in fire containment, code, compliance, and inspection with builders and owners in commercial and industrial application.
I raced pro bicycles for awhile, as well.
Tell us about that. What was your forte, or your role on the team?
My forte was the harder the conditions, the better I did. I was a good all-arounder. I was the workhorse of the team. I made a living out of losing bike races! It was a good opportunity to meet interesting people, travel on someone else's dime, and learn how to suffer like pigs. It taught me how to suffer, and that I could dig deeper than I thought I could.
Tell us about the PRC group runs. What drew you to them? What makes a good group run?
I like the group runs for the camaraderie. I like sharing my passion for running and encouraging others while I'm leading runs. I like sharing coaching advice that I've collected over the years. Fun and challenge are keys for a good group run. Free beer is always an incentive! Thanks to [PRC owner] Dave Harkin for that. [Note: PRC buys the first round of beer for of-age participants after our Thirsday Thursday run.]
What makes a good group run leader?
Free beer makes a good group leader, too! And a little sense of humor! A good leader must want to see people improve, and have the patience to run with all experience levels as well.
What recent innovations did you bring to Thirsty Thursday?
We have six different courses that we rotate on Thursdays, now. We do a time trial every fourth week. The variety is great training stimulus, and the time trial is to show people that they are improving, which in return helps build confidence. It helps runners believe that they can get better. Following runs now, we've incorporated push-ups, core and glute work.
Are you making and selling anything online that we don't know about?
Yes. I'm selling running footwear and clothing at wholesale prices. Please visit: DavidEngstromRunningCompany.com Cash only. No questions asked. All returns must be made at PRC Grand.
What else do you do with your time? Hobbies outside of running? Other athletic pursuits?
Biking, swimming, stand-up paddle boarding; anything on water. But selling wholesale running apparel had really been taking most of my time lately!
What's a great weekend for you?
Starts off with a great cup of coffee, for sure! Ideal would be spending time in Hood River, paddle boarding, biking, or running with my wife, Amy, and great friends. Basically when my truck is loaded with the bike, board and shoes, and I've accomplished all three, it's considered a great weekend.
|The King and I: Dave with trail boss Max King.|
Who is your favorite running partner, besides me?
Anybody and everybody on the PRC team. I've had some epic runs with Everett Whiteside. We've run in some very memorable rainstorms. Very crazy that one rainstorm in particular that set a record for rainfall in 24 hours. It poured!
Your favorite shoe?
Probably the Nike Streak LT2 or the Nike Zoom Terra Kiger. They're really versatile. I could mention some crazy prototypes, but I can't talk about them.
You were recently injured for a while. You're back, and running well right now. How did you come back so strong?
I finally listened to my physical therapist! And I was patient.... Being personal friends with Lance Armstrong has its perks, too.
Why do you run? What does it do for you?
It's cheap therapy.
What type of running or racing is your favorite?
Trail racing or anything off-road. I love the challenge of off-road, and there's just a different group of people doing trails that love the adventure and free-spiritedness. I like the lifestyle of a trail runner. I love being in nature a lot. A dirty boy is a happy boy. Post-race festivities seem more fun and low-key.
What are your goals with running right now?
I'd like to win a national championship for my age group. Unspecified distance as of right now. Accomplishing my first marathon and then transitioning into running off-road ultras. All of this is a goal for next year.
What's your proudest running accomplishment?
Showing people who believe they can't run that they can. Just helping people run. I like seeing people get better. I'm proud of leading the group runs.
You once told me, when I was dithering about whether to take ibuprofen for an injury, "It's OK to feel good." You seem to live your life that way, without stepping on anyone's toes. Where do you get your zest for life?
Deep down inside I'm just a golden-doodle! I know life is short.
The world: Going to hell in a handbasket, or ad astra per aspera? American running?
Ad astra per aspera. Through hard times come good times. You'd never know the good times if you haven't experienced any of the difficult ones. Same for American running. It's gotten good. Really good.
Cats or dogs?
Cats. Just ask my wonder cat. Their legs are too short to run with them, though.
What's the best piece of running advice you ever received?
On scheduled, hard days, run really hard. On the easy days, run very easy. There's no in between.
How can I get a tan like that?
Get a SUP board.
I Am PRC is a regular feature on our site. For more interviews like this one, click here. Interview by Ryan Heal. (08/13/2014)