This COVID-safe, in-person, one-time-only race does NOT replace the Portland Marathon. It is its own event with its own unique experience. Registration, which includes a free coaching program, is open Kickstarter-style through December 31.
- Limited Edition: This one-time-only race does not replace the traditional Portland Marathon in October. It is its own stand-alone event with its own unique course.
- Race Dates: Monday through Sunday, April 19-25, 2021.
- Packet Pickup: There will be no expo due to COVID-19 restrictions. Instead, runners must pick up their packets the day before their race day. Location and hours TBA.
- Wave Times: The first wave each day begins at 5:45AM, and the last wave begins at 6:00PM. Wave assignments may not be made until several weeks prior to race week.
- Course: See course maps
- Parking & Venue: The start and finish lines for both the marathon and half marathon are located at the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry (OMSI). Parking is available in the south "Bridge Lot" at OMSI.
Cancellation, Withdrawal, Deferment, & Transfer Policy
Hitting The Cap
Registration for this race will function similar to a "Kickstarter" campaign. The race will only happen if all 700 entries are sold prior to the registration deadline of 11:59PM on December 31, 2020. If all 700 entries are sold prior to the deadline, the race will move forward and all registered runners will receive an email stating the confirmation of their race. See additional details on the Registration Page.
If the race does not sell out before the deadline, the event will be cancelled and all registered runners will receive a full refund. This is the only scenario in which runners will receive a refund of their entry fees.
Withdrawal, Deferment, & Transfers
Unlike the traditional Portland Marathon, it will not be possible to withdraw from this race and receive a refund; nor will it be possible to defer your entry to a future year of the Portland Marathon. Once registration is complete, your entry is locked in and cannot be undone. However, it will be possible to transfer your entry to another individual per the usual Portland Marathon transfer policy. See the Transfer page for additional details.
If the total cap of 700 entries is met prior to the registration deadline of December 31 and Race Management confirms that the event will proceed, it is still possible that the event will later be cancelled due to any number of factors. Such factors could include, but are not limited to: surges in COVID-19 cases, permit cancellation, health authority mandates, and severe weather conditions.
If the race is cancelled AFTER all entries are sold and Race Management confirms that the event will proceed, no refunds will be processed regardless of the reason for cancellation. Under this scenario, registered runners would receive a complimentary entry to a future Portland Marathon race as well as a complimentary OYO Portland race entry.
Runners are encouraged to not book any travel arrangements until after receiving confirmation that the race will move forward once the registration cap is hit. Under no circumstances will runners be reimbursed for travel expenses, regardless of whether such expenses are incurred after the race reaches its cap and is confirmed to move forward.
Furthermore, runners must be aware that although their race day will be assigned as soon as registration closes, their wave start time may not be assigned until several weeks prior to the event. Travel arrangements should therefore consider the possibility that a runner may start the race as early as 5:45AM or as late as 6:00PM on their assigned race day.
During the registration process runners are required to enter their true expected race pace based on most recent races completed. This data will be used to divide runners into very small waves. The wave start format will allow the race to operate in a safe manner and ensure that social distancing can be maintained at all times.
In order to maximize the amount of time and physical distance between each wave, there will be a buffer between each wave's start time. This buffer has not yet been solidified due to the rapidly evolving health protocols related to outdoor fitness activities in Portland. Although wave start times will be assigned as soon as health protocols for April 2021 become reasonably fixed, it is possible that runners will not receive their wave assignment until several weeks before their race day. Runners booking travel arrangements prior to receiving a wave assignment are therefore advised to assume that their wave start time could be as early as 5:45AM or as late as 6:00PM on their race day.
Health & Safety
The health and safety of each runner is the absolute top priority at this event. Extreme measures will be taken to ensure that public health guidelines are met and exceeded.
- Face coverings MUST be worn by all participants, staff, and volunteers at all times during Packet Pickup and on race day. This policy applies during the race as well. Runners must wear a face covering while participating in the race. A comfortable, athletic Limited Edition Portland Marathon & Half face covering will be provided to each runner in their race packet. Runners may use this gaitor as an approved face covering, or may use another face covering.
- All participants, staff, and volunteers must maintain at least six feet of distance between other individuals at all times. The holding corral, start/finish line, aid stations, and recovery area will all be marked with designated social distancing zones.
- Staff will constantly sanitize high-touch surfaces at Packet Pickup, aid stations, and the start/finish line.
- Hand sanitizer will be available for participants at Packet Pickup, each aid station, and at the start/finish line. Each runner will receive an individual bottle of hand sanitizer that may be carried with them during the race.
- Runners will have their temperature taken prior to being admitted to the start area. Any individual with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will be disqualified from the race and will be immediately dismissed from the venue.
- All participants must submit a form attesting to their health symptoms within 24 hours prior to their race start time. Those who have experienced symptoms consistent with COVID-19 within two weeks of their race day (or have been in contact with any other symptomatic individual within the same time period) will be disqualified.
Law enforcement personnel will not be present at any point along the course and race participants must adhere to all laws related to regular pedestrian traffic while running the route. The overwhelming majority of the course utilizes pedestrian paths that will allow runners to avoid interaction with vehicular traffic.
There are two locations on the course where runners will encounter a stop light (S Moody Ave & S Curry St and SE Tacoma St & SE 6th Ave). At each of these intersections, runners must obey proper pedestrian traffic laws.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will not be a traditional large pre-race expo. Instead there will be a simple Packet Pickup each day preceding a race day. Location TBA. Runners must attend the Packet Pickup on the day before their race day.
A photo ID is required to pick up your race packet. We will allow individuals to pick up someone else's packet, but will require a digital or hardcopy of the person's ID and a written note authorizing them to do so.
If you will be arriving in town after the hours of Packet Pickup or are otherwise unable to attend, you may elect to have your packet shipped to you for an additional fee. This option may be selected during registration.
Parking & Venue Location
The marathon and half marathon both start and finish at the same location. All parking and race operations will take place in the "Bridge Lot" in the far southeast corner of the OMSI property at 1945 SE Water Ave, Portland, OR 97214. Those arriving by car can access the Bridge Lot from SE 2nd Pl. Parking will be free for all participants.
As an alternative to car travel, the race venue is conveniently located immediately adjacent to the OMSI / SE Water MAX Station, which is serviced by the Orange Line as well as Portland Streetcar.
Runners will be assigned an arrival time that corresponds with their wave start time. Those who arrive early will be turned away and not allowed to enter the venue until their arrival time. Those who arrive late will risk disqualification from the event.
Upon arrival, runners will complete a check-in process with race staff. This includes submitting an attestation form related to COVID-19 symptoms, a temperature check, and a safety briefing. Once check-in is complete, runners will be given an opportunity to warmup and prepare for their race in a holding corral. Abundant portable restrooms, hydration, and nutrition items will be available in the corral.
A secured gear check area will be available near the start/finish line. Runners may check their gear with race staff prior to starting the race, and retrieve it once complete. Runners must show their bib number (which will correspond to the number attached to their race bag) in order to retrieve their bag. Alternatively, gear may be left in personal vehicles, which will be parked a very short distance away from the start/finish line.
At the designated wave start time, runners will be released individually with roughly one minute in between the departure of each runner.
Upon finishing the race, runners will be required to apply hand sanitizer and will retrieve their medal. Amenities at the finish area include multiple portable restrooms, pre-packaged food items, single-serving beverages, and a recovery area.
As soon as runners are physically capable of leaving the venue, they will be asked to do so. Each runner will be given a delicious meal to take as they leave. Runners will choose their meal from a variety of options several weeks prior to their race day.
Although conditions may vary greatly from year to year, historical temperature averages for race day are a low of 45 and a high of 61 degrees. Historical chance of precipitation on race day is roughly 35%.
Timing & Bibs
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 wave start time, and will stop when you cross the finish line. 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 staff, course marshals, 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.
This Limited Edition race includes a full marathon as well as a half marathon. Both races start and finish at OMSI's Bridge Lot adjacent to the east end of the Tilikum Bridge. Both courses offer an attractive elevation profile with the start/finish line only 45 feet above sea level, and a maximum course elevation of just 110 feet.
The interactive map below shows the race route, with the numbers representing mile markers and the letters representing Aid Station locations.
The beautiful Limited Edition Portland Marathon & Half route is the best way to experience the Rose City. With three epic bridges, a waterfront start and finish, and a tour through some of the most iconic landmarks and sights in town, the Limited Edition Portland Marathon & Half offers the most unique race experience to be found.
The race begins at the east end of the Tilikum Bridge at OMSI's southern Bridge Lot. Right out of the gate the route takes a breathtaking trip over the Tilikum Bridge to connect to the west side of the Willamette River. Runners will take the newly created portion of SW Bond Ave as they head north to connect onto the Waterfront Park Trail at Poet's Beach under the Marquam Bridge.
The course continues north on the Waterfront Park Trail all the way to the Steel Bridge, where runners will cross the river to join up with the Eastbank Esplanade. Continuing to the south end of the Esplanade, the route then takes a second journey across the Tilikum Bridge to return to the west side of the river.
Upon reaching the west side, the course turns south to run through the chic South Waterfront neighborhood before connecting onto the South Waterfront Greenway. Runners will remain on the Greenway, hugging the riverbank as they continue all the way to the Sellwood Bridge. After crossing the Sellwood Bridge and doing a short jaunt through the Sellwood neighborhood, the route joins the Springwater on the Willamette Trail for a beautifully secluded three-mile stretch enshrouded by trees and river views.
Upon exiting the Springwater Trail, the course returns to the Eastbank Esplanade and runs behind OMSI as far north as SE Clay St. At SE Clay St, the route jogs east to connect onto SE Water Ave and runs back down in front of OMSI as it returns to the southern Bridge Lot where the race began.
Upon returning to the Bridge Lot, the half marathon route is complete. The full marathon will continue on to repeat the half marathon loop a second time.
In the interactive course map above, aid stations are indicated with black boxes containing white letters "A" through "G". All aid stations will be supplied with electrolyte drinks, water, porta-potties, energy gels, and basic first aid supplies.
Aid Stations "B" and "C" are hit twice during the course of the half marathon (and therefore four times during the marathon), ensuring that runners will encounter an aid station every one to two miles.Aid Stations will be available at the following approximate mile points along the half marathon route:
- Mile 2 (Aid Station "A")
- Mile 3.5 (Aid Station "B")
- Mile 4 (Aid Station "C")
- Mile 5 (Aid Station "D")
- Mile 7 (Aid Station "E")
- Mile 9 (Aid Station "F")
- Mile 10 (Aid Station "G")
- Mile 12 (Aid Station "C")
- Mile 12.5 (Aid Station "B")
- Mile 15 (Aid Station "A")
- Mile 17 (Aid Station "B")
- Mile 17.5 (Aid Station "C")
- Mile 18 (Aid Station "D")
- Mile 20 (Aid Station "E")
- Mile 22 (Aid Station "F")
- Mile 23 (Aid Station "G")
- Mile 25 (Aid Station "C")
- Mile 25.5 (Aid Station "B")
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.
Runners are also encouraged (but not required) to run with their own hydration bottles in order to promote a more environmentally conscious event.
Due to the need to minimize the number of participants at the start/finish venue and along the course at any given time, we are required to set course time limits that must be strictly adhered to. The course time limit for the full marathon is based on a 15:00 minute per mile pace, which is a light jog. This equates to a 6:33 marathon. The time limit for the half marathon also based on the same 15:00 minute per mile pace, which equates to a 3:16 half marathon. These time limits will be strictly enforced.
Based on the USATF certification standards the course is measured on tangents or SPR-Shortest Possible Route. Therefore if you run on the inside or outside line the entire length of the race your GPS may reflect a distance slightly greater than 13.1 or 26.2 miles.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, spectators are not allowed to participate in or observe the event in any manner.
As runners cross the intersections of S Moody Ave & S Gibbs St and S Bond Ave & S Lowell St they will encounter a Portland Streetcar crossing. Although pedestrians have the right-of-way as they cross these locations, runners should be aware of potentially approaching Streetcars and watch their footing as the cross the rails.
Portland is the birthplace of modern distance running. It is the city that running calls home. More than any race in the world, the Limited Edition Portland Marathon & Half focuses on putting the runner first. Runners receive the following perks to make their race experience memorable.
All registrations include entry to the race as well as enrollment in the Limited Edition Portland Marathon & Half Coaching Program. The Coaching Program includes beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels, and is tailored specifically for the Limited Edition Portland Marathon & Half course.
Runners will be given customizable training calendars with pre-loaded mileage and workout routines. Instructional videos and tutorials will be provided in the Coaching Program library to assist runners in properly completing the training process. Workout pace calculators and course strategy material is also included.
Once the race reaches its cap and sells out, runners will receive an email with instructions regarding how to access the Coaching Program tools.
Free Photos & Highlight Videos
Multiple photographers will be stationed along the course to take pictures of your race experience. Be sure to smile big, make a tough face, or strike a pose for the cameras as you go by - race signage will give you advance warning to let you know when you are approaching a photography spot. Please make sure your bib is visible during the race as that is the only way to link your photos to you. Photographers will also be at the finish to capture your sprint across the line.
All race photos will be provided to runners absolutely free of charge. The Limited Edition Portland Marathon & Half philosophy is that a runner should be able to remember and share her incredible race experience without paying ridiculous fees. In addition to the complimentary photos, a professional videographer films and produces a short highlight video of the race. All runners receive a free copy of this video and are given the opportunity to personalize it with their own race photos, video clips of themselves running past timing checkpoints, and customized text. Photos will be made available shortly after the race along with results on the Results Page. Runners receive a link via email a few weeks after the race to select photos and insert text to generate their highlight videos.
Upon finishing the race, all runners will be given a delicious meal to refuel and celebrate their accomplishment. Several weeks prior to the race an email will be sent to participants to allow them to select the meal option of their choice.
Limited Edition Portland Marathon & Half swag will be included in all race packets. If rain is in the forecast all runners will receive a poncho in their race packets as well. Every runner will receive a comfortable, sublimated face covering that can be used as an acceptable face covering during the race.
Family and friends can track their runners LIVE during the race using the Limited Edition Portland Marathon & Half tracking page. A location marker will be updated in real-time so that fan clubs can constantly follow runners' progress.
Runners will be given access to the Limited Edition Portland Marathon & Half App, which provides an innovative way for runners to receive race information in real-time during the race. The app allows the user to listen to music and use other apps on their phone per usual while they run, but it chimes in periodically to give audible directions and other information. Users hear a prompt at every single turn during the race, making it impossible to run off-course. The app also alerts runners each time they reach a mile marker and gives an update on overall pace and expected finish time. Additionally, runners receive notifications when they are approaching upcoming aid stations so that they can be prepared for what lies ahead.
Family and friends who are tracking the progress of their runners using the race's tracking page can type messages to their runners. Runners using the race app will have the text messages automatically converted to speech and read aloud to them during the race. Runners can also use the app to reply to their fan club's messages.
Shirts & Medals
Quality permeates every aspect of the Limited Edition Portland Marathon & Half, including the industry-leading shirts and medals.
The flattering construction and modern design of the shirt make it one that you will actually wear after race day, and the medal is a rich tribute to the unique character and history of Portland. Made from a massive 4-inch mold and thicker than the run-of-the-mill comparables, this is a medal that will make your neck just as sore as your legs.
Results & Awards
All runners will receive a large, thick, and beautifully designed result card at the Results & Awards tent at the finish venue free of charge. Cards are available for printing immediately as runners finish the race. Each card indicates the runner's time, overall and age division place, along with Boston Marathon qualification notice if applicable. Those who qualify for the Boston Marathon receive a complimentary luggage tag indicating their qualification.
If you are traveling to the Limited Edition Portland Marathon & Half, the closest airport is Portland International Airport (PDX). PDX is located just 11 miles from the race start & finish lines.
Where To Stay In Portland
Whether you prefer boutique lodging, upscale suites or alternative lodging, Portland has something just right for your stay during race week. The Limited Edition Portland Marathon & Half will partner with a host hotel to provide special rates and amenities for runners. Details will be released once the race reaches its sellout goal.
How to get around
Depending on your choice of lodging, it is possible to get around to the essentials during race week without a rental car. The race start/finish area located at OMSI is within walking distance from several Downtown hotels. Staying somewhere nearby will allow you to do race week completely on foot - the way it was meant to be in Portland.
Getting around to experience more of Portland is made easy by the incredible local transportation options available.
- MAX Light Rail
At the heart of Portland's world-class public transportation system is MAX Light Rail, with 97 stations and 60 miles of track connecting the city, PDX airport, and the surrounding region. Riding MAX will help you avoid potential traffic delays while taking in everything Portland has to offer. The Orange Line includes a stop directly across the street from the start/finish line at OMSI.
- Portland Streetcar
In addition to MAX Light Rail, Portland Streetcar also offers fast and convenient service throughout the city. This modern-day streetcar connects visitors to the Pearl and Llyod Districts, Portland State University, and the start/finsih line at OMSI.
- Portland by Bike
Portland is known as Bike City, USA. Those who prefer two wheels to four will feel right at home as they experience Portland on the paths. The city's amazing bike share program, Biketown, makes getting around town fast and fun without breaking the bank. Biketown's 1,000 bright orange eight-speed bicycles are equipped with integrated baskets, front and rear lights and reflective paint jobs. They also carry communications, payment and locking technology, making them easy to find, reserve, park and ride throughout the central city. Check out Travel Portland's favorite rides and maps to help plan your adventure.
If your plans to experience Portland include venturing outside the realm of Max Light Rail and Portland Streetcar, the Limited Edition Portland Marathon & Half has partnered with Enterprise & National to get you the best rates possible. Book your rental car using this booking link.
*** Material contributed by Travel Portland