Best Marathons in Oregon– Runner’s Choose Oregon’s Top Marathons
With the Pacific Coastline, the Cascade Mountain Range, and dense forests, Oregon is arguably one of the most naturally beautiful states in America. Oregon has a generally mild climate due to its proximity to the ocean. Along with the mild climate, the Pacific Ocean adds animals such as seals, sea lions, whales, and dolphins to the already vibrant mix of wildlife that call this state home.
Last year, around 5,500 runners competed in the Eugene Marathon. The Eugene Marathon works with local charities to: provide affordable housing, finding abused and neglected children a safe and permanent place to live, combat homelessness, fight ovarian cancer, fund the Special Olympics, and more. You can be sure that when you are running the Eugene Marathon that you are running for a good cause. Reserve your spot here.
According to MarathonGuide, the Eugene Marathon is ranked in the top 15 races that are most likely to qualify for the Boston Marathon. There are 18 water stops/aid stations along the course. These stations get a little bit closer together as the race progresses so you won't need to worry about running out of gas at the end. By many runners, this race has been described as “flat,” However, if you’ve been training on a 0% incline treadmill, you may want to add a bit of elevation to your training because, if you are not prepared, the subtle hills can prove to be challenging.
"This is truly a well-produced, well organized race. Easy pre-race logistics, great expo for a small race, scenic course (flat and fast) with a big finish, plenty of water stations, and great post-race food and festivities. Nice medals. Everything about this race is well planned and well organized. Bravo to the race organizers and volunteers!"-K.S., Marathonguide.com
“This is my new all-around favorite marathon (past races include Big Sur, Santa Rosa, Napa Valley and CIM). The two things that stand out for me was the location (Tracktown USA) and the course. This town takes running very seriously and hosts national and international competitions. You can feel it in the air. The course is ideal - not only flat but very beautiful. The race starts and ends on the University of Oregon campus and has a great mix of scenery - paved residential streets, wide shaded bike paths and the final eight miles along the Willamette River. The thought of running the last 100 yards on the famous Hayward Field kept me going. Very well organized event with excellent spectator support." -J.H., Marathonguide.com
Newport Marathon - Newport
The Newport Marathon is a Boston Qualifying event located in a part of Oregon that has been deemed “the friendliest.” The local high schools coordinate this race and the funds raised from the event benefit the local schools. The metals for this race a locally hand-blown glass and are pretty cool, not to mention unique. Click here for dates and registration info.
The Newport Marathon starts off at the “haunted” lighthouse in Yaquina Bay State Park. From here, the runners will travel along the ocean and through some of Newport’s most beautiful neighborhoods. Runners can expect a variety of scenery during this marathon to keep their attention. The Newport Marathon is an out and back race that traces the Yaquina Bay. The course is fast and flat and give you a great chance at setting a new P.R. or even qualifying for the Boston Marathon.
"This was my first marathon and I had a great experience: the whole town was friendly and welcoming and the course was flat and scenic. The medal is locally hand-blown glass and they raffled off glass globes at the awards ceremony (I got one). There's very little in the way of spectators along the course so the last few miles felt a little lonely and there's a bit of a hill the last mile (which felt steeper than it really is) but other than that everything was lovely. I qualified for Boston so my next marathon is going to be very different from this one!"- N.T., Marathonguide.
“I ran this marathon in 09 my husband ran it in 12. Very well organized event. All proceeds do not go into race director's pocket, but benefit local Newport organizations, they only pay for services they hire for the race - all the rest of the profits go to local organizations. Excellent spectator support - shuttle buses ran every 15 minutes to take spectators out on the course really saves the gas! The runner support at the finish line was outstanding. A volunteer ran around and did everyhing for my husband. Can't beat the oysters on the course - if your stomach can take it! As fun as a marathon gets!"-S.S., Marathonguide.com
Haulin' Aspen Trail Marathon - Bend
The Haulin’ Aspen Trail Marathon benefits the Bend Endurance Academy which is a local nonprofit organization that promotes health and wellness within Oregon. This program provides coaching, mentorship, educational experiences, and volunteer opportunities by promoting healthy living through an active lifestyle and enjoying the great outdoors. If you choose to run this race, you will get to experience some of the great recreation that Bend has to offer including Wangoa Butte and Kiwa Springs. Check it out here.
The Haulin’ Aspen Trail Marathon has a starting and finishing elevation of 5,413 feet and reaches a max elevation of 5,702 feet around 4 ½ miles into the race. The total gain for this course is 2,258 feet so you'll need to prepare for some serious elevation change. The first three climbs start at miles 0.69, 6.05, and 11.98. These climbs have an average grade between 1.3% and 2.6%. The most significant climb in the race comes at mile 20.28 with an average grade of 4.3%.
"Great race. Well organized. There was a solid three miles of 'forest road' on the way up...it was made up of large gravel and small rocks that were hard on the feet. But, it was a small section sandwiched between narrow one track through the pine trees. AWESOME RACE. GREAT POST RACE EVENT TOO!"- B.J.-Marathonguide.com
“During the first 16 miles of jeep trails, there is some modest climbing and a few steep areas. You also go by a crystal-clear stream, and get to enjoy a view of snowy Mt. Bachelor. Then, hold onto your hat as you cruise down 10 miles of well-surfaced single track. Be careful while you have fun; I saw quite a few people with trail rash from falls. The as-promised 9 aid stations were all well stocked with water and sports drink, and most had goo shots and sports chews. They were staffed buy fun, outdoor enthusiasts (most were parents/students associated with local cross country team). After the race we were all served a full lunch of roast pork, mixed green salad, bow-tie pasta salad, bread and brownies."-D.M., Marathonguide.com
Crater Lake Marathon
Crater Lake Marathon is an absolutely beautiful course, but it is tough, so don’t expect a P.R. Many runners described this race as incredibly difficult and challenging--but also one of the most incredible and rewarding races they have ever run. If you are one who genuinely loves to run and is looking for a challenge, then check out the Crater Lake Marathon. The sooner you register the better! Spots fill up fast!. Learn more here.
The Crater Lake Marathon is a point to point course that follows Crater Lake. The starting elevation is 7,532 feet and reaches a max elevation of 7,863 feet around mile 14. The total elevation gain is 2,422 feet so make sure you train for hills. The most significant climbs on this course happen between miles 8 and 13 and miles 22 and 24. There are also some pretty serious down hill portions that are sure have your hammies screaming.
“Like many of the other posts clearly say, you will likely not PR here, it's a challenging 26.2 miles, between the elevation and the hills. But the views are worth the suffering. I recently moved to southern Oregon, so am just starting to enjoy the beauty of this part of the country, and Crater Lake is among the most spectacular places I've been. There was still snow around the road (even in august) and it was actually cold at the start (in the best of ways). The volunteers were great. The only suggestion I would make is put a few more bathrooms (although I understand the logistics may be difficult). Otherwise, I give this race the highest of marks and STRONGLY recommend everyone that is thinking about it run it. I know I'll be back next year (with hopes of beating my time from this year).”-J.C., Marathonguide.com
“Being my first marathon at Crater Lake, I thought it unusual that there were so many repeat runners there. I understood why by the end of the race. Only the bravest and toughest go there. The sense of accomplishment was so rewarding. I counted myself fortunate to be numbered with such elite athletes. Some were the kind you read about in magazines. Others were just every-day people. What an honor. I wish to do it again. I expected huge challenge from the altitude; it effected me but little. I felt that the thin air was as much an asset as a challenge. I noticed that there was less air resistance. It makes a difference over 26 miles. I trained on much smaller hills for the two months previous, and it greatly helped. The sponsors and volunteers were the real heroes. Aid stations were excellent. The registration price was amazingly cheap. God bless you all. I would recommend any seasoned runner to treat his or her self and try this one.”-Brent Fitzgerald, Marathonguide.com
Sunriver Marathon - Bend
The Sunriver Marathon is located 15 miles south of Bend, Oregon and benefits Saint Charles Cancer Services. In addition to supporting a great cause, this race is a Boston Qualifier and USATF Certified. The majority of the course is paved and travels through the communities of Crosswater, Caldera Springs, and Sunriver. Get more information here.
The Sunriver Marathon is loop course with a starting and ending elevation of 4,163 feet. Max elevation for this course is 4,268 feet and is reached around 22 ½ miles. The total gain for this course is 527 feet. The course weaves and meanders quite a bit, but many runners mentioned that the course was well marked so it wasn’t hard to stay on track. If you are used to running at sea level or simply at lower elevations, you will want to take into account that the air is going to seem a little thinner at 4,000 feet plus elevation.
“Get to run on the cart paths of two world class golf courses for the first half. Gorgeous mountain views. Great volunteer support. Get to stay warm in the beautiful Sunriver Lodge prior to the start (real toilets) The start is very easy due to just 86 runners. Need to deal with cyclists, children and tourists who don't know that they are on a marathon course for the 2nd half. But not a big problem. Seemed to always be at least another runner nearby. Try it - you'll love it.”-J.F., Marathonguide.com
“Nice course, running almost entirely on bike paths. Volunteers were very nice and helpful. Aid stations were all very well stocked and manned. Even though the course meandered around a lot it was not hard to follow the path because there were pink ribbons to lead you in the right direction. It is a small race but it seemed like you were always around someone. The half marathoners started after the marathoners so the faster runners eventually caught up and passed you. Then on the second half of the course you were constantly encountering cyclists and leisure runners. I liked this aspect of the race. Nice finish area where we received a commemorative pint glass, with the marathon logo on it, and a free beer. Proceeds go to a great cause which made it even better.”-M.B., Marathon.com
Columbia Gorge Marathon-Hood River
On their course website, the Columbia Gorge Marathon is described as “one of the country’s most spectacular and breathtaking marathons.” The race begins on the Columbia River Highway which will take the runners past beautiful fall leaves, waterfalls, and other amazing sights. Find out how to register here.
The Columbia Gorge Marathon is an out-and-back type course with the finish line approximately three miles past the starting line. This race starts at an elevation of 371 feet and reaches a max elevation of 794 feet at the turnaround point. The total gain for this course is 1,264 feet, but there are plenty of aid stations spread through out the race so you can refuel. The most significant climb on this course happens between 18.6 miles and 20.6 miles with an average grade of 4.4 percent and an elevation change of 481 feet in two miles.
“The course scenery can not be described in words how beautiful it was. With views of the river on one side and bluffs and woods on the other it doesn't get any better than this for a rural marathon. The organization and management of this event was great and they have every base covered. For those that either don't need large crowds to keep them going or prefer rural races instead of running through city streets this race is at the top of the list. The town of Hood River totally supports this race but do to the rural course location there isn't many places for spectators to view the course so don't get discouraged by the lack of spectators along the route.”-M.G., Marathonguide.com
“What can I say? This course, though hilly and tough, was the most spectacular course I've ever run. From beautiful fall foliage to spectacular views of the Columbia River, the course was mesmerizing and serene. The weather was perfect, nice and cold, and this year the 90% chance of rain held off until mid-afternoon, so I stayed blissfully dry. The organization at every aid station was great, as was the support. We didn't need spectators either. We runners all cheered each other along. Friendly, beautiful, cold, and well-organized-if you need to do Oregon, I highly recommend the Columbia Gorge.”-M.M., Marathonguide.com