At the head of the pack will be three-time New York City Marathon champion Alberto Salazar. Somewhere further back will be participants from major corporations like Nike, ShoreBank Pacific and the Pax World Fund.
Reflecting on Nike's role in the race, Sarah Severn, director of environmental action, said, "As a company committed to sustainability, we believe that continuous progress in reducing our climate footprint will benefit business, society, and the environment."
David Williams, president of ShoreBank Pacific added, "Environmentally sustainable business practices are essential to long-term relationships. Making loans to companies that use climate-friendly practices is just good business."
Nike and ShoreBank are part of a growing community of businesses in the Portland area who are working towards climate solutions.
Nike has been working to reduce its overall greenhouse gas emissions as part of the company's comprehensive environmental program, which also includes the use of organic cotton in apparel, and a recycling program for athletic shoes.
"The Portland Earth Day Race is unique in the country because all the major sponsors have a proven commitment to the creation of a new kind of economy: one in which business works to restore rather than degrade the environment," said Christopher Curtis, coordinator of the National Earth Day Network, an organization helping promote Earth Day events across the country.
The 8K race, which winds across two bridges through downtown Portland, launches a day of events with a focus on the Nation Earth Day theme -- a future powered by clean, renewable energy.
Proceeds from the race benefit the Green House Network, a Portland-based non-profit organization dedicated to public education about the environmental threat posed by global warming.