After several years on the fence between the duck and beaver legacies, the Eugene Marathon was what put me firming in the green and yellow camp. I hope that doesn’t mean I have to pay attention to football now…
This staple event begins with the Health & Fitness Expo on Friday or Saturday. You get to pick up your bib and goodie bag, see the starting area, check out lots of merch, and envision your upcoming victory. This might also be when you decide to step up to the Krusteaz Doublestack Challenge: complete the Eugene 5K on Saturday and half or full marathon on Sunday. Participants earn a medal for each even plus the bonus challenge medal.
The Eugene 5K on Saturday is a lovely flat course for participants wanting to get involved in race weekend, and may or may not be going for the long distance right now. Along with fellow runners and walkers, participants will be running alongside Krusteaz Flapjack and Flapjill. Any participant to finishes ahead of their assigned breakfast receives a year’s supply of Krusteaz Pancake Mix.
And now, let’s get to the big show…
The Eugene Marathon is one of the best courses I have experienced for a marathon. The marathon and half marathon participants start right in the middle of campus, on Agate Street and alongside Hayward Field (which promises the finish line in 13.1 or 26.2 miles). Runners and walkers explore Eugene neighborhoods, where it is easy to imagine hitting the same spot on the pavement where Olympic athletes once stepped. There are very few hills on the course and lots of support to keep you moving.
The very hardest part of the course is when the marathon and half marathon courses split. The half marathoners head toward the finish line while the marathoners keeping heading on because they are not even halfway through. Luckily the second half is like a new race experience because it is primarily a loop into Springfield and wandering through parks on a multi-use paved trail. Participants get to be part of community life throughout this race.
And eventually all the miles bring participants back to Hayward Field. You will feel like an absolute rock star seeing yourself on the big screen and sprinting (as best you can) those final feet on the track. The celebration after the finish includes lots of pancakes, plenty of space to stretch out, and a new medal that will be envy of all still sitting on the couch.
Eugene Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K, and Kids Duck Dash
- Saturday, April 29: Kids Duck Dash at 8:30am and 5K at 8:45am.
- Sunday, April 30: Marathon and Half Marathon at 7am.
- Where: Hayward Field at University of Oregon (1580 E 15th Avenue)
- Packet Pick-Up:
- Eugene 5K & Kids Duck Dash (Saturday, April 29 7-8:15am; near starting line)
- Marathon and Half Marathon pick-up at Health and Wellness Expo (Friday, April 28: 1pm-6pm; Saturday, April 29: 10am-6pm; Graduate Eugene Hotel at 66 E 6th Avenue).
- Marathon for $160.
- Half Marathon for $130.
- 5K for $40.
- Kids Dash for $20