Eugene Marathon Announces Format Change
15 Apr, 2021
After careful consideration, the 2021 Eugene Marathon will shift to a fully virtual event in late April of 2021.
Over the fall and winter, the Eugene Marathon staff worked with partners at Lane County Public Health, the City of Eugene, the University of Oregon and PeaceHealth to plan for a COVID-modified, in-person event; but due to the current state of the pandemic and the projected timing of the vaccine roll out, it has become clear that putting on a safe, in-person event in April is not possible.
“When we opened registration in the fall, we were hopeful that 2021 would be our year to return to in-person races and to our roots at Hayward Field,” Race Director Ian Dobson said. “But as we have gone through the planning process, it has become clear that our community partners and the medical support staff we rely on will still be very busy serving our community in a significant way by providing treatment and vaccinations.”
“We also acknowledge the impact that our event could have on COVID transmissions,” Dobson added. “The fact that we attract participants from all 50 states and around the globe is something we are extremely proud of, but right now it would clearly be irresponsible for us to put our community at risk by hosting an event with that sort of reach."
The Eugene Marathon, which takes place annually on the final weekend of April, consists of a Marathon, Half Marathon, Eugene 5K, Kid’s Duck Dash, and Health & Wellness Expo. All events, including a live-streaming Finish Festival will now take place virtually. A final schedule will be announced in March. All 2021 registrants have been notified by email and will be provided a week to defer their entry for free to 2022 or to stay in the virtual event.
“Life has changed significantly since we became the healthcare sponsor for Eugene Marathon in 2019. Through the challenges of the last year, it became apparent how socially conscious Eugene Marathon is as an organization. And this decision truly highlights their commitment to doing what’s right for our communities,” said Todd Salnas, chief operating officer, PeaceHealth Oregon. “We are proud to support this year’s virtual event and associated activities and look forward to the possibility of celebrating together in person at Hayward Field in 2022.”
“We are looking at innovative ways to approach the virtual race experience and make it as fun and interactive as possible,” Dobson said. “There will be multiple days of activities available throughout race weekend. “
The Virtual Race Weekend Experience will include:
· A custom Race Kit delivered to your door with special swag for each distance
· A “Hayward Magic” medal (stay tuned for a reveal)
· Drive-Thru Packet Pick-up option for local residents
· Marked courses in Eugene/Springfield with Start/Finish lines and mile markers
· A Race App that serves as a hub for time-tracking, results, announcements and prizes
· Interactive Virtual Health & Wellness Expo
· Virtual Finish Festival and Live-Streaming Pancake Breakfast
· Priority registration for 2022
ABOUT EUGENE MARATHON
Established in 2007, the Eugene Marathon takes place the final weekend in April and features a marathon, half-marathon, 5-kilometer race and 1-kilometer kids run. Runner’s World magazine named it a “Best of the Best” race four times and also recognized it as one of the 10 Greenest Races in North America. The event is committed to sustainability and has been twice awarded Gold Level Certification by the Council for Responsible Sport. The Eugene Marathon is an LLC that not only brings an annual estimated economic impact of over $1.5 million to the local region but also works as a vehicle for philanthropic giving and fundraising for charities and youth groups – raising over $50,000 annually. Visit eugenemarathon.com for more information about the 2021 event.