Eugene Half Marathon Race Review

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Established in 2007, the Eugene Marathon offers marathon, half marathon and 1K Duck Dash races on University of Oregon campus where legendary athletes such as Steve Prefontaine, Galen Rupp and Raevyn Rogers trained.

At this event, attendees can experience a health and wellness expo with music, food and vendors. Furthermore, runners are invited to support their favorite charity through Run for a Reason’s fundraising initiative.

Runner’s World Magazine Names It the “Best Marathon for Running History Nerds”

Eugene has long been known as an ideal marathon destination. Established in 2007 with the tagline of “Running in the Footsteps of Legends”, its reputation continues to grow each year as more and more runners participate. Now offering half marathon, 5K, and kids races as part of its event package.

The race is certified by USATF and qualifies participants for both the Boston Marathon and US Olympic Marathon Trials, offering prize money based on time for elite runners who finish. In 2019, over 5,000 runners took part and 30 elite athletes participated – this event attracted over 5k attendees and 30 elite runners!

Eugene’s course pays homage to some of running’s iconic locations. Runner’s World Magazine hails the event as “a tour de force,” noting its fast and flat route that allows participants to retrace in some part the footsteps of iconic athletes like Bill Bowerman, Phil Knight, Bill Dellinger and Steve Prefontaine.


Runner’s World also noted the course’s passage past iconic landmarks like Skinner Butte Park, University of Oregon and Autzen Stadium, while also emphasizing how its organizers go out of their way to ensure each runner has an enjoyable and fulfilling experience.

Hayward Field has hosted Olympic trials, NCAA championships and various national and world record attempts over its long history, so its start line for both marathons is located there as well. Once underway, runners head west along Agate Street across the Willamette River toward Eugene before turning south via Amazon Parkway which boasts softball fields, open green space and walking trails before hitting Old Day Island Road which leads them through Springfield towards Knickerbocker Footbridge before crossing Autzen Footbridge before finishing at Autzen Stadium of University of Oregon.

No matter whether you run in the full or half marathon distances, Eugene Half Marathon stands out as one of the premier marathons for running history enthusiasts. It offers scenic yet flat courses and allows runners to experience Eugene’s welcoming environment first-hand.

Run in the Footsteps of Legends

Eugene has long been recognized as “Track Town USA.” Now, Eugene Marathon builds on that reputation with a weekend full of running events: 5K/Kids Duck Dash on Saturday; Half Marathon/Marathon combination on Sunday – both boasting competitive courses that qualify participants for Boston Marathon qualifying events.

Running enthusiasts are treated to an exquisite route through Eugene. Starting at Alton Baker Park, runners cross over Willamette River into Downtown Eugene and University of Oregon campus before winding through neighborhoods and landmarks like Skinner Butte Park, Autzen Stadium and Pre’s Trail.

As runners head south toward Hayward Field for their finish, they will pass by where Jacqueline Hansen made her mark in women’s marathoning history. Her time of 2 hours, 43 minutes and 54.5 seconds at the 1974 Western Hemisphere Marathon in Culver City set a world record, breaking Chantal Laglace of France who held onto her earlier time of 2 hours, 46 minutes 24 seconds two months prior. That record stood for over 10 years before falling.

The course passes South Eugene High School before continuing through Amazon Parkway – home of running and walking trails, softball fields, restored wetlands, and running and walking trails – before turning north for a detour on the west side of Willamette River before returning back to Autzen Stadium and its finishing line.

Eugene Marathon will return in 2023 as planned following cancellation due to Covid-19 pandemic, with tightened security expected but don’t let this deter you from enjoying this historic race!

Eugene has an enviable running heritage, which is celebrated each April at the Eugene Marathon. This popular half marathon and 5K offers friendly competition in an inviting environment; additionaly, participants may run for their chosen cause through its Run for a Reason program.

Run for a Reason

Eugene, Oregon, is widely known for being “Track Town USA.” Eugene hosts an annual marathon and half-marathon, alongside 5K races for children and other forms of competitions such as kids’ races. These races provide runners with an incredible experience while testing themselves physically while supporting local charities such as CASA of Lane County, American Cancer Society, Lane County food bank and Pre’s Trail.

The course boasts an enjoyable scenic route that winds its way past many of Eugene’s iconic landmarks, such as the University of Oregon, Skinner Butte Park and Autzen Stadium. Due to its flat and fast course design, Eugene Marathon’s flat and fast course has earned it recognition among runners seeking entry into either Boston Marathon or US Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier events. Running in the Footsteps of Legends refers back to Eugene’s longstanding tradition in sports as well as University of Oregon’s history in producing world-class athletes over its history.


Starting at Hayward Field, the 26.2 mile course winds its way through south Eugene and Amazon Park before passing by University of Oregon and crossing Knickerbocker Footbridge where participants split into half marathon and full marathon routes. From here runners follow Springfield Loop past Island Park and Springfield High School before finishing up in historic Hayward Field for their last push toward completion.

Thousands of runners are expected to participate in this year’s events, in addition to two main ones. There will also be a health and wellness expo and 5K run on Saturday and a 1K Duck Dash for children on Sunday.

The Eugene Marathon and half-marathon are USATF-certified championship events, meaning any record-setting performances qualify as new world records. Furthermore, both races are part of IAAF’s Road to a Gold Medal series; proceeds from both benefit the Oregon Track Club, supporting programs for Eugene youth as well as maintaining Pre’s Trail here in Eugene.

Run in Track Town USA

By participating in Eugene Half Marathon, you’re following in the footsteps of legendary athletes right here in Track Town USA. Eugene, known for being home to University of Oregon’s capital city and for being known for its friendly community spirit and beautiful course is home to rich athletic history as well as being well known for welcoming community spirit and scenic courses.

Runner’s World Magazine has named this event one of America’s premier races, boasting a fast and flat USATF-certified race course through beautiful parks and tree-lined paths that crisscross Willamette River. Additionally, it qualifies for Boston Marathon and US Olympic Trials qualifier and provides 5K and Kids Duck Dash events on the same day.

The 26.2 mile marathon takes runners on an exhilarating journey through Eugene’s streets and landmarks such as Skinner Butte Park, Autzen Stadium and Pre’s Trail. Meanwhile, the half marathon starts alongside its counterpart before diverging after mile 11 at Knickerbocker Footbridge onto a course that winds west along canal paths toward Old Day Island Road before crossing Agate Street towards Hayward Field for its conclusion.

Closing Thoughts

Curnow Trail Marathon provides a more challenging course. Running through rugged woodland trails from Spirit Mountain Ski Area near Duluth to Carlton, this point-to-point marathon used to support Voyageur 50 Mile trail ultramarathon; now this popular race has grown into its own standalone event!

Be part of Eugene Marathon weekend by participating! Whether it’s the 5K, Duck Dash, full or half marathons taking place on Sunday morning – no better way to experience its excitement and camaraderie! You will receive a medal, technical t-shirt and goodie bag as a token of our appreciation.

Are You Thinking of Running the Eugene Marathon? Join Let’s Do This for a 14-Week Virtual Training Program featuring weekly team meetings via Zoom and personalized training plans from Let’s Do This coaches! Click here to find out more and register.

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