Race Preview: 2021 Columbia Gorge Marathon (Hood River)

Returning once again for 2021, the Columbia Gorge Marathon & Half Marathon is one of the most scenic courses in the area. This run comes with a backdrop of colorful fall foliage and stunning views over the Columbia River Gorge – along with some pretty challenging rolling hills!

Race options include a marathon, half marathon, and a two-runner half marathon relay. The Dog Leg half marathon is open to runners with their dogs.

Both courses are out and back, and run entirely on paved trails. These courses have some rolling hills throughout, with a total 1,882 ft of elevation gain on the marathon course and 1,112 ft for the half marathon. But when the weather is good your focus will be on those breathtaking views over the Columbia River! 

The half marathon starts at the finish area at the Hood River Event Site, and the marathon start line is a short shuttle ride away. (Note that there’s no parking at the marathon start.) Shuttles will start running at 7:00am, and while the official race start time is at 9:00am, runners who anticipate taking longer than 5 hours can also get an early start at 8:00am. Walkers are welcome in the half marathon, with a time limit of 6 hours, but strollers are not permitted. 

For the two-runner half marathon relay, the second runner will drive to the exchange and turnaround point just past the Mosier tunnels, and run back to the start/finish.

Well-stocked aid stations at frequent intervals throughout the course provide water, Gatorade, gels, gummy bears, and fruit. Every aid station also has porta-potties.


Columbia Gorge Marathon 

When: Sunday, October 24

  • Half marathon & relay: from 9:30am (in waves every 10 minutes)
  • Marathon: 9:00am (shuttles run to the start line between 7am and 8:40am)

Where: Hood River Event Site, Portway Ave, Hood River, OR 97031


  • Marathon: $125 ($135 after October 1st)
  • Half marathon: $115 ($125 after October 1st)
  • Dog Leg half marathon: $125 ($135 after October 1st)
  • Half marathon relay: $135 ($145 after October 1st – price includes both runners)
  • Registration includes: finisher medal, custom beanie, catered lunch. Option to purchase a long sleeve tech shirt during registration.

Register online 

Registration closes October 20, 5:00pm.

About Heini Tallent (11 Articles)
I'm a sports massage therapist, running coach, and owner of Elements Running Education. I ran track in my native Finland in my teens, but focused on basketball until finally, at the age of 34, I picked up a couch to 5K plan. It snowballed from there: my first 10K, then a half marathon, coaching certification... I've been a runner and a student of running ever since. I love long, slow trail runs and fast 10Ks equally! Having lived in England and California, our family landed in Oregon in 2018. I love all the outdoors adventures in the beautiful PNW.

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