Newport Marathon Brings in Thousands to Central Oregon Coast
Published 05/23/2016 at 6:11 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff
(Newport, Oregon) – June 4 is when thousands smother the streets of Newport for Oregon's largest-yet-unknown sports event: the 17th annual Newport Marathon and Half Marathon. It brings over 1,1000 runners to this part of the central Oregon coast and between 3,000 and 4,000 fans, spread over miles of a coastline course that includes the “haunted lighthouse” at Yaquina Bay, through fields, picturesque neighborhoods and along the working fishing village of the Bayfront district.
This year's event features 700 runners for the full marathon and 350 for the half marathon. There's also a special category for walkers.
The Newport Marathon is a nice booster shot to the region economically, at a time when summer has not quite kicked in yet for the central Oregon coast. Besides being one exciting moment after another, it's also a benefit for the Newport Boosters Club, where proceeds go to the club's help with sports and other activities at Newport High School.
Special shuttles will be ferrying spectators to various areas of the race. Bay Boulevard – the road along the historic Bayfront – will be closed until 1 p.m. to allow the presence of cheering throngs. At the finish line – the Yacht Club on the Bayfront – awaits beer, chowder, t-shirts and even a live band for watchers and participants.
Walkers begin at 6 a.m. Runners begin at 7 a.m. at Yaquina Bay State Park. The Half Marathon starts at 7:45 a.m. Awards will be presented at the Yacht Club at approximately 2:30 p.m. following the race.
The course is USATF certified and numerous runners have used it to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
Along this scenic route, runners and spectators alike get an eyeful of the town, its beaches, shops, its fishing industry and even an oyster farm. The course is mostly flat, with a few minor inclines along the neighborhoods and to the east of Yaquina Bay.
In the first few years of the Newport Marathon it's popularity exploded quickly. After the first year or two, registration has always closed out a good month or two before the race, always reaching its maximum weeks before. Now, it's the crowds that are growing exponentially. Organizer Tom Swinford estimates each runner brings about three supporters. Where to stay for this event - Where to eat - Map and Virtual Tour
More race information is at http://www.newportmarathon.org . Contact the Newport Chamber for viewing options and places: 541-265-8801. 800-262-7844. More on the Newport area below and at the Newport Virtual Tour.
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