Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon kicks off Rose Fest

Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon kicks off Rose Fest

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by KGW reporter Wayne Havrelly

Bio | Email | Follow: @HavrellyKGW

kgw.com

Posted on May 23, 2013 at 3:17 PM

Updated Thursday, May 23 at 4:16 PM

PORTLAND -- In the wake of the Boston bombings, security was extra tight at Sunday's Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon.  More than 10,000 runners and walkers rocked  their way through a 13-mile course without any major problems. 

Finishing the race was an emotional experience for Rocio Mendoza.  The Medford nurse suffered a stroke while running 8 months ago.  She couldn't walk or even talk, but managed to retrain her brain to run again.

Your Pics: Portland Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon

"I had a little fear in the back of my head since I had the stroke while running," said Mendoza.  "I was so emotional when I crossed the line I almost collapsed."

The event brings in more than $14 million in economic impact to Portland.  Jeff Couden and two of his friends are here from Boston.  They experienced the Boston bombings firsthand, but never considered canceling their trip to Portland. 

More: Boston runners in Portland for Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon

"I think it's important for everyone to remember to keep running. Don't be intimidated about what you do for fun and don't let anyone stop you from doing it," said Couden.

It's the power of music that makes the Rock 'N' Roll Half Marathon so special. 

"Music was great because every time you needed a pickup you had rockin music," said Jay Kuklick. 

In fact, running with live bands every two miles can be addictive. Ron and Susan Carino from San Francisco have now finished 25 of the 26 Rock 'N' Roll marathons and even got married during the Vegas race. 

 "It's our 55th race today," said Susan Carino.

Portland's Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon is a healing experience for some, and a rockin good time for all. It's also become the official kick-off for the Portland Rose Festival.

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