Eugene, OR — At 7:00 a.m. on the morning of Sunday, April 28, the 2024 Eugene Marathon will start on Agate Street just outside of Hayward Field with the biggest field of marathoners and half marathoners in the race’s 17-year history.

Over 8,000 runners are expected to be at the start line on that last Sunday in April; and the day before, 4,000 additional runners are expected to toe the line in the Eugene 5K and Kid’s Duck Dash presented by OCCU. Participants in all four race distances share the same goal: to cross the iconic finish line on the track at Hayward Field.

“The rapid growth that our event has seen in the last two years is a testament to our community and to our team,” Race Director Ian Dobson said. “We’ve worked hard to innovate and refine our event, and the wider community has volunteered and supported our race  from the very beginning. The Eugene Marathon is embraced by this community and that’s why people from all over the world want to come here to run.”

The marathon distance sold out six weeks before race day – on Friday, March 15. The half marathon and the 5K also sold out a few weeks later on Wednesday, April 3. There is still room left in the Kid’s Duck Dash, a youth 1-kilometer race, which typically sells out a few days before the race.

The Eugene Marathon started in 2007 and grew quickly to just under 10,000 runners in 2013. Between 2014 and 2022, the event moved dates, shifted courses and venues (when Hayward Field was under construction from 2018 to 2020) and weathered the global pandemic which meant a 2020 cancellation and a virtual event in 2021.

In 2022, the event returned to Hayward Field and with a new presenting partner in OCCU on board for Saturday’s 5K and kid’s run, the field size experienced immense growth and the 5K sold out for the first time ever. The 5K sold out again in 2023 and the Duck Dash followed suit, selling out the day before last year’s race.

As preparations began for the 2024 race last summer, organizers had high hopes that the marathon and the half marathon would be the next race distances to sell out. By the end of 2024, the marathon was well on the way.

“We set our goals and capacities for each race in the summer, then we make plans and place orders for runner amenities like medals, bags and water bottles in the fall – based on those numbers,” Director of Marketing Becky Radliff said. “We set what I thought were lofty goals – to grow our Sunday races by 25% and to grow our Saturday races by 20%. But, by the end of December, we were tracking over 50% growth in the marathon distance, so we had a quick team meeting, made a couple calls to our suppliers, and decided: let’s try to make some more room.”

The Eugene Marathon team increased capacity and expanded spaces to accommodate more runners. And still, three races sold out. In just over two weeks, the 2024 Eugene Marathon will see approximately 3,000 more registrants than it did in 2023.