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Portland Marathon

Portland, OR

Race Dates

2017: TBD
2016: Sunday, October 9, 2016

Course Information

Profile: Rolling Hills
Type: Mostly Loop
Surface: Road/Pavement
Certified?: Yes

Race Day Weather

Mean Temp.: 56°F (13°C)
Average High: 66°F (18°C)
Average Low: 46° F (7°C)

Historical Weather

PR Score & Course Score

PR Score: 98.70
Course Score: 98.70

Race Size

2016: 4,421 Finishers
2015: 5,716 Finishers
2014: 6,258 Finishers

BQ Percentages

2016: 6.9%
2015: 7.5%
2014: 6.6%

Miscellaneous Information

Pace Groups?: Yes

Marathon Pace Bands

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Course Description

The first five miles of the Portland Marathon course are in downtown Portland. The start is a gradual 1 mile downhill with the next 2 + miles along Waterfront Park. This stretch has a gradual elevation gain of 140 feet followed by an immediate 2 mile downhill returning to the waterfront. The next section of the course from the 5+ mile mark to mile 12 is flat and travels through the northwest section of town.

The course makes another gradual downhill and heads along the flat border road of the Forest Park area through mile 17. The course gains approximately 150 feet over the next mile as runners go over the St. John's Bridge.

The next section runs along Portland's east bluff that faces the Willamette River from approximately mile 18 through mile 24. There is an elevation loss of about 140 feet from mile 22 to ~24 with a slight rise as runners go over the Broadway Bridge. Then it is back down to Marathon Avenue and onto Naito Parkway along the waterfront to the finish.

Marathon Rankings

The Portland Marathon was the 13th largest marathon in the U.S. last year and was the 12th largest in 2014.

This year 6.9% of finishers qualified for the Boston Marathon and 7.5% of runners qualified for Boston in 2015.

This gives the Portland Marathon the 292nd highest percentage of Boston Marathon qualifiers in the U.S. last year and the 215th highest percentage so far in 2016.

Its Course Score of 98.70 ranks it as the 226th fastest marathon course in the U.S. and the 8th fastest course in Oregon.

The typical race time temperature and humidity levels are the ideal range for optimal marathon performance. This, coupled with the Course Score, gives the Portland Marathon a PR Score of 98.70. This PR Score ranks it as the 166th fastest marathon in the U.S. and the 5th fastest in Oregon.

Learn more about PR Scores and Course Scores on the FAQ page.

Elevation Chart

Max Elevation: 213 feet (64m)
Min Elevation: 7 feet (2m)


Ratings & Reviews for the Portland Marathon

4 Stars from 2 Reviews

review of 2015 Portland Marathon.   

3 / 5 Stars


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!

Race Tips

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.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Take the MAX transit to the starting line, if possible, if you're not staying downtown.

review of 2013 Portland Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


Lots of spectator to cheer you on. Beautiful scenery.

Race Tips

The Hill at mile 16 is one of the hardest points.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Finish Time Equivalent

If you ran the Portland Marathon in 3:37:00, what would your time in the Boston Marathon be?

See how your race times would compare on other marathon courses using the Marathon Time Converter Tool.