The Portland Marathon in beautiful Portland, Oregon, is the standard marathon distance – 26 miles, 385 yards. The course is USATF sanctioned and certified. It is also certified for Boston Marathon qualification. The course and all records will be listed with U.S.A. Track & Field Cert. #OR17019LB. The course has also been sanctioned, measured, and certified by the Association of International Marathons (AIMS).

Sanctioning and certification for the wheelchair division is annually requested. Except for industrial railroad crossings, the course has no obstacles of concern to wheelchair entrants. The course has 31 turns.


The 2017 Portland Marathon course will feature all the signature support and amenities you have grown to love with some new and improved features. Whether this is your first marathon or your fiftieth, you’ll be sure to enjoy over 25 different musical groups, aid stations placed at an average of every 1.25 miles, and the iconic Portland scenery that has continued to make this event a memorable one.

Your start & finish is at SW Salmon Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. From there, you’ll head north on Naito Parkway to a turn around on NW Front Street. Next, snake your way through the streets of Slabtown on NW Nicolai, NW 22nd, and NW Wilson continuing toward NW St. Helens Road. If you are participating in the half marathon, you’ll begin your journey back to the finish line here. For full marathoners, your next section includes some grinning and bearing along a 2 mile stretch of Highway 30 to the infamous St. John’s Bridge climb. Once atop the bridge, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of the city, its bridges, and picturesque mountains in the distance. Coming off the bridge, you’ll head south along the spectator-friendly Willamette Bluffs where you’ll be treated to flat, fast terrain and even more views of the city and Forest Park.  At the end of the bluffs is the last turn around point. From there, you’ll head back the way you came with views of the city getting larger by the mile as you head towards the finish.

View course maps here

Splits and Marking

The course will be clearly marked, and monitors will be at all major intersections. Large mile marker signs will mark each mile during the race. ChronoTrack chip timing system is used. Chip timing includes the start, half marathon, finish, and other distance splits. The chip is also used to facilitate the calling of names of runners and walkers as they cross the finish line. We are proud to call out the names of over 97% of our finishers!


For more than a decade, Team Red Lizard (TRL), a local Portland Running club, has enthusiastically performed the pacing duties for the Portland Marathon. This year, we’re trying to accommodate as many runners as possible, from the runner aiming for their first trip to Boston to the first time marathon runner hungry to reach the finish line. We are offering 15 pace groups: 3:00, 3:05, 3:10, 3:15, 3:25, 3:30, 3:35, 3:40, 3:45, 3:55, 4:00, 4:10, 4:25, 4:40 and 5:00.

Course Aid

Located less than every 2 miles, 19 aid stations on the Marathon course and 10 on half course that will feature water and Ultima Replenisher, a mineral replacement, along the course. Ultima is a drink that replaces vital minerals lost during your race. Ultima is available nationwide at Whole Foods Market and at select health food stores and running specialty stores. As always, to ensure carbo replacement, we will be offering 5 or 6 gummy bear and pretzel stations. As of now, there will not be gel available at aid stations. Food is not served on the course. Slower walkers are encouraged to carry water bottles and other necessary food supplements.

Volunteers for aid stations are recruited from businesses, school groups, service clubs and non-profit organizations who compete for awards; including the best organized, best decorated, and most enthusiastic aid stations.

Medical aid points along the course at aid stations and at the finish will be equipped with limited medical assistance, tape, band-aids, heat sheets, and Vaseline. Ambulance service will be available and roving vehicles will transport non-finishers to the reunion area from aid stations when necessary.

Rest Rooms

There will be plenty of portable toilets in each start corral, finish area and at the 12 aid stations.

Off-Street Course

The Portland Marathon maintains a minimum of 15 minute per mile pace for runners and walkers to be on the closed to traffic portion of the course. If you fall behind this pace, at approximately 1:00 p.m. course officials and volunteers will direct you to use the sidewalks for the remainder of your race.

NOTICE: Due to permit and safety restrictions, runners & walkers who are on Highway 30 and are behind pace will be transported off this section. There are no sidewalks in this portion of the course.

For all runners and walkers, the Portland Marathon will maintain support for those maintaining a 20 minute per mile pace all the way to the finish. Runners and walkers who fall behind this time will be notified and are forfeiting support.

For those who are in this pace group, our late finish is setup until 4:30 pm and is located on SW Salmon Street between SW Naito and 1st Avenue.

Off Street Course Details

The off-street course is the same routing as the on street course. However, to utilize sidewalks the entire way there are the following differences:

  • Right Turn at NW Nicolai and Front Street – Cross Front street to the east (river) side of the street, then head south using sidewalks
  • Cross to west side sidewalk at NW Davis – Cross Naito at Davis to the west (city) side of the street, continuing south on sidewalks

Please obey all traffic and crosswalk signals on your way to the finish. The off-street course is not certified and distances will vary from the certified course distance.

Interested in traffic impacts? Visit our Road Closures page here.


"Best Race in October" - Runner's World