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Eugene Marathon spectator guide: a safe driving route to cheer at multiple miles

First and foremost: 1. Follow all instructions from Eugene Marathon volunteers and course monitors, and of course, the Eugene PD providing the course safety. 2. With your car, stay far, far away from the start/finish area. Not only will there be thousands of pedestrians, but half of them will be tired and not so good at walking or making judgments. 3. Bring your running shoes. You'll be able to park and jog (or at least quickly walk) to a place to see your runner, instead of spending time finding a closer parking spot. Note: if you see any errors or have more information or suggestions, please email us at runoregonblog@gmail.com - I haven't lived there since 2003!

Hayward-Field.JPG

Your goal. It’s too awesome to finish on Hayward Field.

Now for the fun stuff:

If you have a course map, which you can print off here, just draw a big bubble around the route and assume everything within the bubble is inaccessible. Below are a few places where can see the runners with only a short jog or walk between multiple locations; or places you’ll get to see them come through before heading off again.

Miles 1, 2, and 8:

You’ll want to park west of campus and north of E. 19th Street. You can then walk through campus to actually see the starting line, or walk south of campus to see the race in the first two miles. You can start out at E. 24th and Harris, see the runners come through mile one, then jog west to Hilyard (the runners have to run three blocks north, then over to Hilyard, and then three blocks south until 24th, so if you can jog you should be there ahead of them). This will let you see them again just before mile 2 – perfect for collecting any layers they want to shed! Without moving your car, you can walk five blocks north and wait for them to come back around and see them as they pass through mile 8 at Harris and E. 19th Street. This is where there’s the first decent hill, so bring your cowbell.

Miles 2.5 & 6 or 3.5 & 5.5:

The Amazon Parkway section of the course offers you the chance to see your runner as they come down East Amazon Drive and then back up West Amazon drive, you just have to cross over the small grassy area separating the two streets.

If you have a car, you can drive south on Willamette Street, which runs roughly parallel to Amazon. You can not drive ON Amazon, because it’ll be full of runners! Instead, what you can do, is turn left (east) off Willamette on E 31st Ave and then park somewhere between Willamette and Ferry Street. Ferry Street is one block west of Amazon, which you can access from 31st, 33rd, or 34th (but not 32nd). This will put you close to the 2.5 and 6 mile markers.

Further down Willamette, if you turn left (east) on E. 46th and then take another left (north) onto Fox Hollow Road, you will be able to approach Amazon around mile 3.25 and 5.5. You’ll want to look for parking around either 44th Ave (which you’ll come to after Y Way or 43rd; or you may be able to park at Eugene Christian School, but I am not certain you can get there without driving on Amazon (which would put it off limits). You will also want to be respectful of any churchgoers parking there or off Fox Hollow Road at Calvary Fellowship Church. I would only try this spectator location if you have a GPS or know the area, as the roads in that area are full of twists and turns.

The Springfield Loop, Miles 11-15:

To get there, your best bet is to take the Ferry Street Bridge to the I-105, continue over I-5, and exit at Mohawk. This will let you approach the course from the east. You’ll head south (by turning right) onto Mohawk, passing Centennial, and then turn right (west) on I Street. I Street dead-ends at Springfield Middle School, where you could park, then walk a block either through the campus and playing fields or along J Street (north of where I Street ended) or G Street (south of there) over to 10th Street where the runners will pass by right about 13 miles. Or, if you’re feeling like a little running yourself, park at the school as recommended above, but then jog all the way south to D Street.

It’s on D Street the runners will come, taking a left on 10th, and then another left on Centennial. If you run run west on D Street, you’ll be running upstream from the runners; you could run to the 12 mile mark at 5th street or a little further to Pioneer or Mill, then once your runner goes by, run the roughly 8 blocks up to Centennial where you could see them again somewhere before mile 14.

Then to get back over to Eugene, just go back out the way you came and get on the I-105 heading west at Mohawk.

Miles 17-just before Mile 21:

If you’re familiar with Eugene, you’ll know some of the best places to see runners this Sunday as they follow the Willamette River on the North Bank. Essentially, you’re looking at Alton Baker Park, where they pass mile 17; Valley River Center, where they will stick a fork in mile 18 and start mile 19.

You can also catch them at mile 20 or just before they cross the Owosso Footbridge and reach mile 21. To get to mile 20, drive north on Goodpasture Island Road. Just past Alexander Loop, there is another road and then trail access. You can park along here and walk on the trail access to where the runners will be.

Further down, just before they cross the bridge, is your last chance to see them on the north side of the river. Keep going on Goodpasture Island Road to Riverwalk Loop, where you can park and walk to the path. You’ll actually come out north of the footbridge, so you’ll have to walk a tiny little way back south to see them before they cross the river.

Miles 21-25:

You can access the path on the south (west) side of the Willamette from a few places off River Road. To greet them just as they come over the Oswosso Footbridge, wait for them on Copping Street (you can get there from River Road via Rosewood or Howard Ave). Other access points off River Road include Hillcrest, Hilliard, and Stults Ave; or at Maurie Jacobs Park which you can access via Fir or Thomason and is very close to mile 23.

If you want to cheer your friends on after mile 23, there are the Rose Garden, Kiwanis Park, Skinner Butte Park and EWEB Plaza; after that, there’s not too much unless you want to wait for your runner at Millrace, where they’ll climb the little (but it will seem enormous) hill to get back up to Franklin Boulevard.

The Finish:

You will be able to see your runner coming in along Agate as they head towards Hayward, but all the action will be inside the stadium at Hayward Field. However, if you’re not expecting your buddy for a while, or they’ve already finished, this stretch will be a really good place to cheer people on. The last mile is pretty much all mental, and the distance from between Franklin and 15th will seem like an eternity!

To get a seat to watch the finish, enter Hayward via 15th at the northwest corner of the track. You’ll be able to sit in the west grandstands, see your runner enter, and watch them on Duckvision. If there are multiple people in your viewing party, you could even snag pictures or video of both them, running, and their image on screen; just a little more to show off on Monday when people wonder why they can’t walk.

About Kelly Barten (1148 Articles)
I started the Run Oregon blog in February 2007, because I felt like running in Oregon and SW Washington deserved more positive coverage. I also wanted to level the playing field so that small, non-profit races could compete with big events; and to support LOCAL race organizers. I'm a Creighton Bluejay (undergrad) and an Oregon Duck (Sports Marketing MBA), and I live in Tigard with my husband and two kids. My "real job" is working for an incredibly awesome math textbook company doing marketing and production.

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