Portland Marathon

SW 4th Ave & SW Taylor St
Portland, OR 97204

Running > Half Marathon, Marathon

Event Description



Staging will be allowed in the start venue as early as 4:30 AM and all runners are encouraged to arrive no later than 6:00 AM. Those arriving in any manner other than on foot should plan for significant extra travel time upon reaching downtown.


Both the marathon and the half marathon start and finish at the same location. The pre-race staging area is located in Portland's Waterfront Park at 1000 SW Naito Pkwy. Dozens of hotels are located within walking distance of the venue and runners staying at those hotels are encouraged to leave their cars at their hotels. Portlanders and others who plan to arrive at the start venue from farther away and require parking facilities for their cars are encouraged to plan for at least 45 minutes to park their car and walk to the start venue after arriving in downtown. Please utilize the Portland Marathon by OHSU Parking Map to identify nearby parking facilities and keep in mind that these facilities require payment.

Because most race participants attempt to park as near as possible to the start/finish venue, those facilities closest to the start line will fill up early on race morning. To avoid potential delays due to full lots, runners are encouraged to plan to park at a facility somewhat removed from the start/finish venue if they arrive later in the morning. Also keep in mind that those who park at facilities nearest the start/finish venue will encounter the longest delays as they exit the area after the race.

Upon arriving at the finish venue, spectators may utilize the same parking facilities that are recommended for participants. It is very unlikely that parking will be available in the facilities nearest the start/finish venue by the time spectators begin to arrive and they should therefore plan to park at facilities that are slightly more removed from the venue. Spectators should expect to pay for parking and should anticipate delayed travel throughout the downtown area.

Those who plan to be dropped off at the start venue by another driver should arrange to be dropped off at a location well removed from the start line and proceed to the staging venue on foot. Please do not attempt to be dropped off directly at the staging venue as extreme traffic congestion will result.


The staging area is located in the blocks of Waterfront Park between Salmon St and Columbia St along Naito Pkwy. Abundant restrooms will be available along with coffee, water, and Nuun Endurance Citrus Mango. Runners will be entertained by music and awed by the sunrise on the banks of the Willamette River as they await the start of the race. Volunteers will be on-hand to answer questions and take care of last-minute needs. Medical personnel will be present to service unexpected medical needs.

For those who purchase the premium Race Morning Packet Pickup option, packets will be available in the designated tent in the Waterfront Park beginning at 4:30 AM. Note that this option is only applicable for those who pre-purchase the service; all other participants are required to attend the Expo (or have a surrogate attend for them) to pick up their packets.


Although conditions may vary greatly from year to year, historical temperature averages for race day are a low of 50 and a high of 67 degrees. Historical chance of precipitation on race day is roughly 25%.


In case of cold weather, runners are encouraged to bring warm clothing that can be worn at the staging area and removed prior to the start of the race. This clothing, along with any other personal items, may be placed in the Portland Marathon by OHSU drop bags that are provided at packet pickup. Upon giving each runner their drop bag, a volunteer will remove the top tear tag of the runner's bib and loop it around the drawstrings of the bag. In this manner the bags are identifiable by bib number and runners are required to use only these bags rather than personal bags for the gear drop area.

Drop bags should be handed to volunteers in the designated area no later than 6:40 AM. After finishing the race, runners may retrieve their drop bag by showing their bib number to the volunteers, who will bring the bag to the runner. To prevent theft, runners will not be allowed in the designated area. Runners are also encouraged to not place any valuable or important items in their drop bags as the Portland Marathon by OHSU will not be responsible for lost or stolen items.


The races will be chip-timed using timing tags adhered to the back of your bib. Your time will begin when you cross the starting line, not at the start gun, and will stop when you cross the finish line. Overall prize winners (top 3 in each race) for the marathon and half marathon will be determined by gun time, not chip time. Please do not tamper with the timing chips as they cannot be replaced once linked to your bib number.

Because the timing tag is adhered to the back of your race bib, it is important that you do not cover your bib with clothing or other objects that may interfere with the tag reader when you are crossing the start and finish lines. Furthermore, in order to ensure that race volunteers, officials, and photographers can properly identify you, you must wear your bib on the front of your person in an unobstructed position. If the photographers along the course cannot see your bib number, you will not be able to retrieve your free race photos.


Beginning at 6:40 AM all runners may line up in the start chute on Naito Pkwy. The start chute will stretch from Salmon St to Columbia St and will be divided down the center of the road with the half marathon staging on the west and the full marathon staging on the east. Large markers denoting various paces will line the start chute and runners will be directed to queue in the zone which marks their expected pace. The fastest pace group will line up closest to Salmon St and the slowest pace group will line up closest to Columbia St.

Both races will begin, en masse, at 7:10 AM.


The Portland Marathon by OHSU event includes a full marathon as well as a half marathon. Both races start and finish at Portland's Waterfront Park at 1000 SW Naito Pkwy at the intersection of Naito Pkwy and Salmon Street. Both courses offer a fast elevation profile with the start/finish line only 36 feet above sea level, and a maximum course elevation of just 178 feet.


In the interactive course map above, aid stations are indicated with black boxes containing white letters "A" through "P". All aid stations will be supplied with Nuun Endurance Citrus Mango electrolyte drinks, water, porta-potties, basic first aid supplies, and medical personnel. Additionally, various aid stations will be supplied with PowerBar PowerGels and Shots, a frozen treat, and fruit. When passing an aid station, runners will always be offered Nuun first and water second.

For the full marathon there will be an aid station every two miles for the first half of the race (miles 1 through 13), and an aid station every mile for the second half of the race (miles 13 through 26). Full marathon participants will therefore pass 19 aid stations during the race.

For the half marathon there will be an aid station every two miles for the first portion of the race (miles 1 through 5), and an aid station every mile for the second portion of the race (miles 5 through 13). Half marathon participants will therefore pass 11 aid stations during the race.

Runners are encouraged to leave all discarded clothing, cups, wrappers, and other items at aid stations as opposed to anywhere else along the course. Any clothing items left at aid stations or along the course will be donated to local charities.


Race volunteers and police officers will be present at all major intersections and turns on the courses to guide runners and stop traffic when necessary. Please follow their directions at all times in order to ensure your safety. Runners who are found in violation of volunteer or law enforcement instructions while on the course may be subject to disqualification. Please stay within the boundaries of the designated lanes of traffic throughout the entire race. Where applicable, runners are required to stay on the appropriate side of cone lines. Although earphones are allowed on the course, it is recommended that volume be kept low and/or only one earbud be used so that surrounding noises are audible to each runner. Alternatively, out-of-ear devices such as Aftershokz are encouraged as they allow for superb music quality without compromising ambient sounds.


Every aid station on the course will be supplied with a first-aid kit that will include items such as bandages, moleskin, vaseline, anti-inflammatories, etc. If you are in need of any of these items, simply stop and ask the volunteers at the aid station and they will be able to help you. Volunteers cannot dispense certain items unless specifically requested by the runner. In addition to the first-aid kits, various aid stations will be staffed by medical professionals who will be equipped with advanced medical supplies.

Multiple sag wagons and ambulances will be roaming the course to respond to any emergencies and transport runners who cannot continue to the finish line. A full-service medical tent will also be at the finish line, staffed by knowledgeable and competent medical professionals. Runners are encouraged to note any special medical considerations on the back of their bibs in case of emergencies.


The Portland Marathon by OHSU has a tremendous history of on-course support. In addition to the spectators lining the route, multiple local groups and personalities have been engaged to stake out certain stretches along course to provide encouragement and entertainment for all participants.


The finish line for both races is located at the same intersection as the start lines. The same zone that is used for the start area will be converted into the finish venue. For more information regarding the Finish Festival and food & beverage provided for runners at the finish venue, please see the Runner Perks section. For information regarding drop bags, please see the Race Morning section.

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