I'm not the best person to ask. It rained, the course was mismarked, they didn't adjust my time accurately.
The city was nice, and the brave folks who came out were awesome. There were a lot of aid stations that were fully manned and didn't run out of things.
There are some sections of the race in no man's land, out and back through a warehouse district, along a highway (with tractor trailer traffic). Those were tough miles in the rain.
I stayed near the convention center, it was less expensive, but the public transportation was great, ran early and took me right to the start.
Im used to really big races, so I was pleasantly surprised at how relaxed the start was. My spectating husband stood with me almost until I started running. The bathroom lines were managable.
By tsj about 2016
Not the fastest course as there are some hills. Great scene with lots of bands around the course. Usually perfect running weather although 2016 was rainy. My main complaint is the mile markers were way off. The overall course was right on, but some mile markers were off by as much as 0.15 miles. This made for some added uneasiness that I did not need.
By JBR about 2016
2016 was my third year on the course. I missed 2015, but the quality of the race organization has declined since 2013 & 2014. The course is good aside from the segment opposing fast-moving traffic on highway 30. In past years, there was name-brand athletic nutrition at the aid stations, a reusable backpack, and pace wristbands available. In 2016, there were only gummy bears and pretzels at the aid stations, no backpack or swag, and the red lizard pace teams said they didn't have financial support from the race organization to print the wristbands as they usually do. Additionally, there were news reports of a course mishap in the back of the pack which resulted in people running a 4h+ pace to run an extra mile. For an expansive large city race, these things combined to substantially change my opinion of this marathon.
If the aid stations are like they were in 2016, bring your own food. The only substantial climb is in mile 16, although there is a gradual climb around mile 24 that is worth saving a bit in the tank for.
By Anonymous about 2016
Nice start and finish location downtown. Easy access on public transit.
Residence Inn Portland is a good place to stay. Have kitchenettes and healthy choices at included breakfast buffet. It is on the public transit rail lines and by the river path for Saturday easy run.
By JW about 2015
Some mile markers in the wrong spots, but this problem "averages out" as the race progresses in terms of one's overall pace. If you're a faster runner, be aware that you'll be doing your last ~1.5 miles on the same course as the finishing, slower half-marathoners, so a bit of dodging is required. And your near-finish photos will have other people in them for sure. Great weather to be expected!
The hill at mile 17 up to the St. John's Bridge is rough, so don't charge up it. It WILL be a much slower mile, so accept this and compensate elsewhere on the course. Bring your own source of sodium--the aid stations offer an electrolyte replacement drink that does not contain sodium. Tasty, though. I used Nuun tablets for sodium.