Winding Downhill Through The Woods: 2023 Vernonia Marathon & Half Marathon

Vernonia Marathon and Half Marathon uses one of my favorite courses in the Pacific Northwest. It is point-to-point, so every step is toward the finish line. And it is net downhill, so most steps are downhill toward the finish line. And the after-party in Banks Middle School has soup and baked potatoes, so those steps end at a warm place with warm food.

As a point-to-point events, participants start by getting bused from the finish line to their starting positions: marathoners at Cedar Ridge Retreat Center and half marathoners inside Stub Stewart State Park. There are bag drops and porta-potties at the start lines so participants can stay warm until setting off. The Banks-Vernonia State Trail provides 21 miles of the marathon path, and the majority of the half marathon adventure, with beautiful forest views alongside and paved support underneath.

Speaking of support…Vernonia is a cupless event so participants need to bring their own water bottles. Aid stations are located throughout the course with water, Gatorade, Gu, and sweet and salty snacks. Plus volunteers to help refill your bottles or your spirits.All participants get a pair of Fitsocks at packet pick-up (a beloved ORRC tradition). And of course medals are earned at the finish line. For those interested in an event shirt, long-sleeved tech t-shirts are available for $20 via pre-order. There will also be event and raffle awards beginning about 12:30pm for half marathoners and 1:30pm for marathoners with prizes including running gear and pies.

Vernonia Marathon & Half Marathon $70-95


When: Sunday, April 16. Marathon at 8am. Half Marathon at 9am.
Where: Banks High School (13050 NW Main Street)
Packet Pick-Up: Saturday April 15 3-6pm at Banks Middle School (12850 NW Main Street. Or race day 6-8am.

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Educator. Learner. Runner. Writer. TBD.

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