Home to the national Nike and Adidas headquarters, a cadre of Olympic-caliber runners (including silver medalist Galen Rupp) and more than 100 miles (160.9 km) of trails and paths, Portland enjoys a well-earned reputation as a runner’s paradise. A vibrant race scene also makes the Rose City a must-visit for aspiring marathoners, with first-rate running events peppering the calendar from spring through fall. Discover the region’s spectacular beauty and welcoming athletic community with these classic local races, from 5Ks to marathons.
Distances: Half marathon, 15K, 8K, 5K
Racing season kicks off with the Shamrock Run, Oregon’s largest running and walking event. Run through dynamic downtown Portland in a sea of green at this St. Patrick’s Day-themed race, with live music, salmon chowder and Widmer Brothers beer waiting at the finish line.
Foot Traffic Flat
Distances: Marathon, half marathon, 8K, 5K
Fly past charming family farms and pumpkin patches on Portland’s pastoral Sauvie Island in the Foot Traffic Flat, one of fastest races on the West Coast. (A nearly flat course all but guarantees plenty of personal bests.) This Fourth of July tradition ends with all-American hot dogs and fresh-baked strawberry shortcake, with plenty of ripe berries sourced from the surrounding farms.
Pints to Pasta
Distances: Half marathon, 10K
The city’s most carbo-loaded footrace, Pints to Pasta winds past Widmer Brothers Brewery and along the Willamette River, ending at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Southwest Portland. Fuel your run with fantasies of the post-race feast, complete with pasta, salad, bread and pints from Portland’s original craft-brewer, Widmer Brewing — you’ve earned it!
Distances: Marathon, half marathon
Oregon’s premier road race, Portlandathon (formerly “Portland Marathon”) is known for its family-friendly atmosphere and epic swag — finisher freebies have included technical T-shirts, a ready-to-plant fir tree seedling and a rose grown right here in the Rose City. Expect a wide range of lively course-side entertainment to spice up the 26.2 miles; past acts have included jug bands, cheerleading squads, aerobic dancers and a mandolin orchestra.
Run Like Hell
Distances: Half marathon, 10K, 5K, kids’ half-mile
Feeling good about your 10K pace? Try running the race in full costume! This zany Halloween-themed event invites thousands of participants to “Run Like Hell” through the streets of downtown Portland dressed as zombies, witches, superheroes and other wacky characters.