After much deliberation and thoughtful consideration, the Portland Marathon Board of Directors has decided not to hold a Portland Marathon or Half Marathon in 2018 and to begin the process of dissolving the organization. While this was a difficult and painful decision for all involved, board members reached this decision after considering input from our many stakeholders and determining what we feel is best for the running community and the City of Portland.
First and foremost, we want to assure all 2018 race registrants — approximately 2,500 — that they will receive a full refund of registration fees through our race registration platform, Active.com. All remaining funds from the organization, after accounting for expenses and consistent with state law, will be donated to local charities.
The Portland Marathon has operated in the City of Portland for 47 years, building the race from a small, local event into one of the premier marathons in the world. We are proud of the event’s tradition as a marathon of the people and are grateful for the opportunity to have been part of successfully hosting this great event in the Rose City for so many years.
Our decision was based on a number of factors, including a decline in race registrants for 2018 and the board’s understanding of the City of Portland’s desire to move in a different direction. Upon taking oversight responsibility, we made diligent efforts to move the Portland Marathon organization in a positive direction and resolve past challenges. Unfortunately, the state of the organization has proved too fragile. We concluded that the only responsible choice is to dissolve the organization and distribute the remaining funds to charitable organizations.
We believe Portland is a city that deserves a world class marathon. We are confident that Portland’s running community and City officials can meet this challenge, and that Portland has the necessary local talent to produce a world class marathon.
We are grateful to the Oregon Department of Justice and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum for working tirelessly to assist us in recovery of funds taken from our organization. As a result of their work, remaining funds will be used to support important causes and organizations in Oregon.
We extend our deepest thanks and most sincere gratitude to all of our participants, volunteers, charitable partners, sponsors, vendors and city leaders who, over the last 47 years, have worked tirelessly to ensure a successful race. We cannot begin to express what a pleasure it has been to work with you all and how grateful we are for your commitment to our shared tradition.
As longtime supporters of the Portland Marathon organization, today represents the bittersweet end of an era, but we remain hopeful that a new organization will take up the torch and give Portland an annual, world-class marathon for years to come.
– Richard Busby, Julian Smith, Andy Ritchie, Jim Schaeffer and Gina McVicker are members of the Portland Marathon Board of Directors.