The Portland Marathon is back on and the 2018 edition will be run on a familiar route for those that have taken in the event in past years.
The race that was previously known as the best-organized marathon in the world was cancelled due to financial maleficence by the director as was announced on Friday, May 18 this year.
According to details of a settlement released by the Oregon Department of Justice, former Race Director Les Smith, who was in place since 1982, was ordered to pay the Portland Marathon $865,000 and is banned from future races. Apparently, Smith had “borrowed” funds from the non-profit organization that operates the event.
The Portland Marathon Board (PBOT) decided to fold. The race was cancelled, however, the marathon is on again and scheduled for Oct. 7, 2018. This is the same day as the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon, an event that is already months into the planning and organizing. For Portland, time is of the essence.
“For 2018, we’re working on a very tight time frame to be able to plan and accommodate a marathon in October of this year,” said Dylan Rivera, Public Information Officer for the Portland Bureau of Transportation. “We created a streamlined process for selecting a qualified organizer for this year’s event. We asked them to agree to use the same route as last year (downtown to Willamette Boulevard and back downtown) but we are open to small adjustments.”
In early June, the Office of Mayor Ted Wheeler and the Portland Bureau of Transportation announced that Portland-based Run With Paula Events has won the solicitation for the 2018 Portland Marathon.
Run With Paula is an event firm owned by Paula and Dave Harkin. The award-winning event operator has created and operated a variety of successful distance-running events in the Portland area, including the Hippie Chick and Helvetia half marathons in Washington County. The couple also owns Portland Running Co.
“I believe our great city deserves an equally great race,” Paula Harkin said. “Fall just would not be the same without a marathon in Portland.”
Rivera added, “Oregon is the epicenter of distance running in the United States, and we understand how important it is to the community that we are able to have a marathon in Portland, the state’s largest city. We’re so pleased that we were able to find an experienced, qualified, local business to offer a marathon in Portland this October.
Asked if a major course change could happen the following year, once the tightly scheduled 2018 edition takes place, Rivera said, “We’re open to other ideas for routes for 2019.”