Marathon on Oregon Coast Brings 900 Runners, Thousands of Spectators
(Newport, Oregon) – Some 900 runners will fill the streets of Newport this weekend, with the 14th annual Newport Marathon on June 2. The run weaves around this central Oregon coast town's streets and backroads along 26 miles, and these days hosting literally thousands of people cheering them on.
Registration closed back in February, reaching its limit of 900. But it is still open to spectators, who can catch a variety of buses which move around the course of the run in a loop.
The Newport Marathon starts at Yaquina Bay State Park, near the older but less used lighthouse – just above the bay. Runners then sprint through the streets of Nye Beach, loop back around to run through the Bayfront district, and then along the Yaquina River, its estuary and then back to the waterfront where they will finish.
Along the way, runners 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.
The Newport Marathon started in 1999, but by 2004 it had reached its limit for runners. It's been rated as one of the fastest in the nation, and some have come to qualify for larger events like the Boston Marathon or even the Olympics.
Organizer Tom Swinford said that about 21 percent of the runners qualify for the Boston Marathon.
The Newport Marathon has attracted all sorts of accolades and professionals. The event was featured in the national publication Marathon and Beyond Magazine. Even their awards win awards: their medals have received prizes for design.
Swinford said each runner brings an estimated three supporters, causing these spectator crowds to swell into enormous numbers.
“We want the community to really come out and welcome the runners and their families and friends,” Swinford said. “This is becoming more and more a community event.”
There is a special category for walkers this year: they begin at 6 a.m. Runners begin at 7 a.m. at Yaquina Bay State Park. Awards will be presented at the Embarcadero Resort at 2:30 p.m. following the race.
Contact the Newport Chamber for viewing options and place: 541-265-8801
Glass floats will be available for awards and purchase. These floats are made from the recycled medals from last year.
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