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About 7,000 participants, some 3,000 for the full marathon, are expected for the race first staged in 1972.

PMG FILE PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - Kallin Khan crosses the finish line to win the 2019 version of the Portland Marathon. The 50th edition of the 26.2-mile footrace happens Sunday, Oct. 2.Some of the 3,000 or so expected to tackle the Portland Marathon on the morning of Sunday, Oct. 2 will be chasing a Boston Marathon qualifying time. A few will be racing to win. Many will be pursuing a personal record, or a first-time marathon finish.

All will be participating in a milestone edition of a footrace first run in 1972 around Sauvie Island.

This is the 50th edition of the Portland Marathon — it wasn't held in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the about 3,000 of those registered for the 26.2-mile marathon, another 4,000 or so will run or walk the 13.1 mile half-marathon route. Runners from 17 countries and all 50 states are among the roughly 7,000 expected to participate, according to race organizers.

Both the full marathon and the half marathon start and end on Naito Parkway at Salmon Street. Both races start at 7:10 a.m.

The marathon course remains the same from last year. Runners loop through downtown a couple of times. The course takes runners across the Willamette River four times, twice via the Broadway Bridge, once eastbound on the Sellwood Bridge and finally westbound on the Burnside Bridge.

The early miles loop through downtown, Old Town, Northwest 23rd avenue and the Pearl District, then a loop through the Rose Quarter via the Broadway Bridge. Runners then circle through Old town and follow Naito Parkway and First Avenue south to Macadam Avenue.

The course crosses the Sellwood Bridge and winds through the Sellwood and Eastmoreland neighborhoods, including a loop through the Reed College campus. The route heads north using Milwaukie Avenue, the Eastbank Esplanade, and Water Avenue before returning downtown via the Burnside Bridge. One more loop through Old Town, then runners finish the race heading south on Naito Parkway to the finish line at Salmon Street.

The half marathon sends runners south from the start and follows the part of the marathon course that visits the South Waterfront before crossing the Sellwood Bridge and following the second half of the marathon course through southeast neighborhoods and north to the Burnside Bridge.

Except for on the bridges and a couple other spots, spectators are welcome along the course, but should be aware that road closures will impact traffic throughout the morning. The course officially closes at 1:45p.m. but road closures will vary according to the times participants pass through specific neighborhoods.

The staging area at Tom McCall Waterfront Park will open at 4:30 a.m. The course maps and complete details are available here

For the third time, the event is staged by Brooksee, a Utah-based events company that took over management of the Portland Marathon in 2019. After no race in 2020, the 2021 races drew about 4,000 participants, so this year's turnout is expected to see a significant increase in participation.

Citing privacy rules, organizers declined to say if 2021 winners Matt Spear (overall champion in 2 hours, 28 minutes, 47 seconds) and Kari Hamilton (women's champion, 2:53:29) will return to try for repeat victories.


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