Overall Rating
Overall Rating (8 Reviews)
4.3
(8 Ratings)  (8 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.4
SCENERY
3.3
PRODUCTION
4.8
SWAG
4.8
Now under new management, the historic Portland Marathon has been reborn with an entirely new route and a renewed commitment to community involvement and inclusion. Both the marathon and half marathon routes have been redesigned to offer a fast course while also displaying the most iconic and beautiful landmarks and … MORE
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Recent reviews

    wcso5931 FIRST-TIMER '22

    The Portland Marathon as produced by Brooksee is a very well done race. The sign up was simple. The lead up communication was plentiful. They offered a training program for … MORE

    The Portland Marathon as produced by Brooksee is a very well done race. The sign up was simple. The lead up communication was plentiful. They offered a training program for your distance before the race. The expo was adequate though something felt a bit lacking in the energy. There is even an app that will talk to you throughout the race. It points out landmarks, advises when you are .25 miles from an aid station and what the station will have, gives you your splits and projected finish time, and all in all is a nice addition. I had a similar app when I did the Big Cottonwood in the Utah (which is another Brooksee race).

    On race day the starting area continues to be too small for the amount of people doing the race, but this has been true for many years. The announcements were loud and the directions to line up were clear. the race started on time and I liked the course for the most part. I am a Portlander, so that there was nothing new to me about the course. However as a Portlander I also can testify to it being a very nice representation of what the city has to offer. The only thing I wish is that the race still went through the one missing quadrant of the city (North Portland). Aid stations are plentiful in that they are every 2 miles or so in the fist half of the race and then every mile for the second half of the race. Course is mostly balanced in its challenges with no part of the race feeling like it was loaded withe the hardest terrain.

    The finish line was staffed well with plenty of goodies. You of course get your medal, your finisher card, a rose, and a cold towel. There was CBD products, water, chocolate milk, bananas, and nuts just in the finisher chute area alone. You moved on to collect the pizza, donuts beer, and ice cream (though I never did find the ice cream). This like the beginning was all crammed into an area that I have always felt like is not large enough for the volume of people that are participating. Finisher information and the free pictures are available quickly and there are discounts for signing up for the next race.

    This was my first and hopefully only marathon. This however is not because the Portland Marathon was not good. Marathons are just not my distance. On the contrary I am very happy that I picked to do my marathon here at home. This race was very well organized and might only be second to the Little Rock Marathon in how well the organization delivers on what it has. I am aware that many reviews suggest the Eugene Marathon as the race to do in Oregon. But for my money, you are getting a better organized race in Portland.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    Kimbertson FIRST-TIMER '22

    The 2022 Portland Marathon was very well organized and produced, in a scenic city, with great race-day energy. While the course is fairly challenging, and not the fastest, I definitely … MORE

    The 2022 Portland Marathon was very well organized and produced, in a scenic city, with great race-day energy. While the course is fairly challenging, and not the fastest, I definitely recommend the event and would (likely will) run it again.

    HIGHLIGHTS:
    Production: You can tell that the organizers know what they are doing and care about hosting a quality, enjoyable event. Communication (emails, social media) leading up to the event was on point. Pre-race morning was extremely smooth, from bag check to portable toilet lines running efficiently.

    SWAG: really great for an event of this size. We got 50-year anniversary Boco running hats with entry and the shirts are high quality and a great fit. Medals were great too, with a rotating centerpiece of 50 on one side and the rose logo on the other.

    AID STATIONS: simply the BEST of any race I’ve run! Stations every 2 miles through the first half, then every mile through mile 26. Each station was on point with Nuun lemon-lime, water and toilets. The volunteers were excellent and that is no small feat with that many aid stations. Seriously, this got me through the last 10 miles of the event when the hills and warm temps were catching up with me.

    Portland vibes and spectators: Portland is beautiful, and I enjoyed the range of neighborhoods, scenery, bridges, and positive, fun energy of spectators and volunteers. It seems (based on a prior review) there were many more spectators out this year, and it appears that the newly-organized race is only going to grow – rightly so.

    Finish festival: waterfront views, plenty of grassy areas and shade, plenty of portable toilets, and good post-race fuel options. Immediately out of the finish chute, you received your medal and a rose; then water, chocolate milk, granola bars, and a sparkling CBD beverage were available. In the finish fest area more largely, they had live music, and complimentary local craft beer, Voodoo donuts, and pizza. What’s not to love?

    DOWNSIDES:
    Challenging (aka not flat and fast) Course: almost 900’ total gain and it felt like a lot of rolling hills with limited flat sections. The course also has a LOT of turns, and overall felt tougher than expected. If you train with a lot of hills, you’ll likely enjoy the course more. I did some hill training but not a lot and it definitely affected my performance. However, even with the hills and difficulty, the route was an enjoyable tour of Portland, actually offered a decent amount of shade, and variety of neighborhoods / districts.

    Weather: the graphic on the race raves page for this race in 2022 is not accurate – the low overnight was 58/60, and it felt warm before the race even started at 7:10 a.m., and reached mid-70’s by the time I finished. This weekend was unseasonably warm for Portland, and not quite the pleasant fall racing weather I hoped for, however, it also wasn’t rainy, so not all bad.

    Definitely an event worth running, especially if you’re looking for a fun, well-organized race in a beautiful city and don’t mind a bit slower time. I hope to be back again!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    runnerbee FIRST-TIMER '22

    2022 was the 50th anniversary of the Portland marathon (somehow I managed to participate in two 50th anniversary races two years in a row, last year I ran Dallas' 50th … MORE

    2022 was the 50th anniversary of the Portland marathon (somehow I managed to participate in two 50th anniversary races two years in a row, last year I ran Dallas’ 50th race). I believe the same company that puts together RunRevel is responsible for this race; I heard great things about RunRevel so this race production surely did not disappoint.

    Expo: Held at the Oregon Convention Center on Saturday before the race. Found street parking relatively easily. Expo had a decent number of vendors and merchandise for purchase.

    Weather: Started the race in the high 50s but it gradually heated up to high 80s with little to no breeze. The sun was no joke; after the race I got quite a tan as I forgot to put on sunscreen.

    Race Start: Drove to downtown Portland and found street parking within a 10-minute walking distance to the staging area which was convenient. Portland has free parking on Sundays until 1pm so there’s plenty of time for most of the runners if the expected finish time is under five and a half hours (race started at 7:10am).

    Course: Initially expected it to be flatter but there were a lot of rolling hills. Most of the course was point to point except for the last half mile up and down Davis Street between the 25th and 26th mile which seemed neverending especially with tired legs when the finish line was already in sight.

    Scenery: Mediocre except when you run on the bridge, where you get a good view of the Portland skyline (Broadway and Burnside bridge). There are some neighborhoods where you are surrounded by trees but you also run pass homeless camps in a few occasions which was not eye pleasing.

    Aid Stations: Nuun and water every two miles in the first half of the race and every mile of the race in the second half. Some stations had oranges and powergels (I had the cola flavor) which was nice.

    Crowd Support: There were spectators and cheerleaders from start to finish which was much appreciated. Some even setup their own booths providing orange juice, beer and fireball to runners (though I did not partake).

    Post-Race Refreshment: Chocolate milk, bottled water, energy bars, and bananas. You can also get a donut, beer, and slice of pizza with the tear-off from the bib. I couldn’t find the pizza tent but perhaps that was because I was in a hurry to leave right after the race.

    Swag: Heard many good things about RunRevel’s swags and this race was definitely a testament to that. You get a short sleeve tech shirt (I paid $5 extra for a tri-blend shirt instead as I have too many tech shirts), a cap, and a reusable gear check bag with zippers. Like Dallas, the bling is 50th anniversary themed as well.

    Final Thoughts: My pace started going off the rails around mile 15 as the weather started to heat up so my finished time was slower than expected. However I appreciated the plentiful aid stations, swags, and production in general. Overall a great race to check off Oregon for the 50-state challenge.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    peterbergmann FIRST-TIMER '21

    This race was the best-organized race that I've ever done. Everything from the registration policy to the race website to the aid stations was thoughtful and runner-friendly. The course was … MORE

    This race was the best-organized race that I’ve ever done. Everything from the registration policy to the race website to the aid stations was thoughtful and runner-friendly. The course was well-marked and even with challenges (streetcar routes, etc), the race had a plan to make sure no runners ever had to stop at a light or for a train crossing with adequate pre-race planning and alternative routes. It was very good. The aid stations were generous and well-organized, the mile markers were clear, and the route gave you a great tour of Portland. The only downside to this race is that the course is a bit challenging so I wouldn’t expect a flat, easy race. There are quite a few hills so I would go with a bit more conservative pace (I aimed for 2-3 minutes slower than my goal marathon time for a flat course). Other than a challenging course, I have no critiques and really appreciated all the thoughtful work that went into the race. Highly recommend!!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    Runningstudent REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Portland once again makes their city less desirable. This time, by limiting the race’s ability to close streets, they forced the race to create a weird winding route that has … MORE

    Portland once again makes their city less desirable. This time, by limiting the race’s ability to close streets, they forced the race to create a weird winding route that has around 75 90° turns, not to mention the odd moving gate to divert runners around trains. There are also spots on the course that are confusing, like running through the Reed College campus. It’s a fun race, unless you’re trying to run fast.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    4

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    The race is very well organized and the swag is nice. The course isn't bad, the elevation is 900 ft overall but I found most of that to be negligible. … MORE

    The race is very well organized and the swag is nice. The course isn’t bad, the elevation is 900 ft overall but I found most of that to be negligible. There was really only one hill that felt hard. There are something like 75 90-degree turns on the course, but there are very few runners so running the tangents wasn’t too bad. I ran a huge PR thanks to the pacers, who did a great job. That being said, this is probably the most unfriendly race I’ve ever done. Just about zero spectators, no camaraderie at all at the race start or at the finish, no one helping each other through the course. It seems to be the nature of Portlanders. Not one person said a word to me at the finish, I had my free beer alone and went back to the hotel. No one said anything to each other at the start line and the streets were mostly empty for 26 miles. It’s a very local race where they just want to hang with their friends. When I compare this to my experience at a marathon like Chicago, there’s really no comparison. If all you want to do is run a qualifying time for something, and you can do it without any support, then it’s not a bad race. But the whole experience is kind of sad and unfriendly.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    5

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    issymoo73 FIRST-TIMER '19

    This was my first marathon and I thought it would be the only one I would do but I had so much fun, it's going to be a yearly thing … MORE

    This was my first marathon and I thought it would be the only one I would do but I had so much fun, it’s going to be a yearly thing for me. Very happy to have pacers and a huge energetic crowd to cheer me on the entire way. Aid stations galore, many neighborhoods I had yet to see ( I live here), bridge crossings and perfect weather. I made sure to read the race website and study the course map due to trains and streetcars. I also familiarized myself with the course signage so I would know what to look for in directions and mile markers. The race organizers could have chosen brighter colors for the signs (they were white and blue) as some runners did not see them. Excellent electronic tracking for pace and overall finishing times, broken down into several segments so your family/friends could follow where you were and met you on the course for cheering. Tons of photos you get to download for free! Beer, doughnuts, ice cream, pizza…Cool tech shirt and medal as well. I can’t wait to do it again next year.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    Stephen26.2 FIRST-TIMER '08

    It was an awesome race on a beautiful course. Before the start the race director said it had never rained in the races history. 20 minutes later, yup, it was … MORE

    It was an awesome race on a beautiful course. Before the start the race director said it had never rained in the races history. 20 minutes later, yup, it was pouring rain. It didn’t matter because I ran a PR that day!!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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