While sometimes overlooked, the volunteers who mark the 5k, half and full marathon courses in Eugene set the standard for effort and reliability. Al and Patty Whalen and their “cone crew” are hard at work well before dawn on race day. As runners themselves, they understand the importance of a well-marked course to participants’ enjoyment, planning and safety. These course gurus have been on board with the Eugene Marathon since ’07 and will bring their skill and expertise to the 2016 race.
As anyone involved with marathon planning or running knows, sponsorships and race partnerships are often as crucial to an event’s success as the course layout. We’ve been fortunate at the Eugene Marathon to enjoy long-standing relationships with many local community-minded organizations:
- Harris Design & Print, which has supplied longtime printing services for our Health & Fitness Expo signs, road signs, banners and the crucially important “find your bib number” mural.
- Cambria Sportswear and John Wells have provided apparel printing services for our volunteer t-shirts, kids’ shirts and other merchandise year in and year out.
- Accommodation partners are important and working with Cody Peterson and the excellent staff at the Eugene Hilton has been instrumental in building the Marathon over the years.
- And who can forget Gorilla Capital, a mile-marker sponsor since day one? They set up all of the mile markers on race day and runners know the people in gorilla suits mean much-anticipated bananas to refuel.
Because of the commitment and enthusiasm of such partners, we’re able to host an unforgettable event each year that puts runners and their experience first.
That stability and dependability extends to the leadership of the Eugene Marathon as well. While I’m proud to have served as race director since ’07, over 75% of our race committee members have been with us since the very first year, providing the needed experience and knowledge that helps us improve, grow and put on one of the country’s premier marathons year after year.
And last but never least, we honor the thousands of runners who have participated over the years, including hundreds of repeat racers. This year is especially exciting as we’re thrilled to welcome ten devoted runners to the 2016 Eugene Marathon who have participated in every single previous race. Such loyalty and allegiance year in and year out speaks to the fun and exciting atmosphere the Eugene Marathon has come to be known for.
As we prepare for the 2016 Eugene Marathon this May, we look back with humble appreciation on all those who have made it possible. To all of the past, present and future runners, volunteers, staff, partners and leadership, we offer a sincere and heartfelt “thank you” as we look forward to the next ten years of running in the footsteps of legends in Eugene, Oregon.