EUGENE, Ore. -- It’s the final countdown to this year’s Eugene Marathon weekend. Months of planning are about to end as thousands of runners hit the pavement.
“Race weekend is coming along great with the new finish here at Autzen on the fifty-yard line. There were a lot of logistics to change, and the course change, but it’s all certified and we’re ready to go and it’s coming along,” says Richard Maher, Eugene Marathon Race Director.
Maher is ready for race weekend, which starts Friday with the Health and Wellness Expo at the Lane Events Center. Vendors and sponsors will be ready to help runners with any last-minute needs.
On Saturday morning hundreds of kids and 5K runners will stretch their legs running through Alton Baker Park or around Autzen Stadium, before finishing on the fifty, this year’s finish line.
Once those races are over, the weekend continues to ramp up in preparation for Sunday morning.
“There are deliveries, there are porta potties along the course, there is medical, we have a medical staff, we have eight red cross stations on the course, there are a ton of things you have to think about to make sure people are safe out there,” Maher said.
Thousands of those people will be taking their marks on Leo Harris Parkway before running 13.1 or 26.2 miles. This year’s course will take runners across the Ferry Street Bridge, through downtown, through the University of Oregon, and along the river paths.
“The course is a huge undertaking. Working with a lot of city groups, Springfield, and county and all of that. I don’t think people realize how difficult it is to plan 26.2 miles,” Maher said.
Forty officers and countless volunteers will be working to keep runners safe and on track, for a successful #FinishontheFifty.