What You Need to Know About This Year’s Willamette Valley Marathon and Wine Festival

woman preparing to run

view of valley with words Celebrate the arrival of spring in the Willamette Valley by participating in a marathon! Explore the streets of Salem and the spectacular natural beauty of the Willamette Valley all in one when you attend the Willamette Valley Marathon and Wine Festival.

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What is the Willamette Valley Marathon and Wine Festival?

Each May, the Willamette Valley Marathon and Wine Festival provides a fantastic way to get outside and enjoy the lovely weather while challenging yourself with a marathon. The 2019 Willamette Valley Marathon takes place starting at 8 a.m. on May 19th in Oregon’s state capital, Salem.

You’ll get to see both the city and gorgeous natural scenery, as the marathon takes you through downtown Salem as well as different parks depending on the race that you choose—whether it’s the marathon, half-marathon, 10K, or relay.

The marathon begins directly in front of the Oregon State Capitol and finishes at Riverfront Park, where you can catch your breath and relax as you enjoy the beautiful views of the Willamette River. Reward yourself after the marathon with a delicious catered lunch paired with a wine tasting festival!

In addition to the catered lunch and the wine festival after the marathon, you can expect chip timing, a commemorative shirt and wine glass, custom finish medals and even a free post-event massage!  

Marathon | 26.2 miles

The scenic course for the full marathon takes you through downtown Salem, Riverfront Park, Wallace Marine Park, Minto-Brown Island Park, along River Road, and over the Union Street Bridge and the Peter Courtney Bridge. With this route, you’ll enjoy a wide range of breathtaking sights, including forests, farmlands, and the habitats along the banks of the Willamette River.

Half-Marathon | 13.1 miles

With the half-marathon, you’ll still get to experience downtown Salem, Riverfront Park, Wallace Marine Park, Minto-Brown Island Park, and the Union Street and Peter Courtney Bridge. Follow paths throughout both of the parks as you enjoy the balmy springtime weather and vibrant blooming flora and fauna, ultimately finishing at Riverfront Park.   

Half-Marathon Relay | 13.1 miles

The half-marathon-relay follows the same course as the half-marathon, but it will be split up between two runners. The first runner will start at the Oregon State Capitol and run to Minto-Brown Island Park, where they will meet the second runner who will finish the route and end at Riverfront Park.

10K | 6.2 miles

The 10K will take you from the Oregon State Capitol to Riverfront Park, the Peter Courtney Bridge, and the Minto-Brown Island Park. Once you’ve circled the park, you’ll cross the Peter Courtney Bridge once more and finish at Riverfront Park.

Willamette Valley Wine Festival

Enjoy wine tastings from 10 different local wineries at the Willamette Valley Wine Festival! All ages are welcome, though you must be 21 or older to taste! You can purchase a glass and tasting in advance online, or the day of the event for a slightly elevated cost.

Specifics of the Willamette Valley Marathon and Wine Festival

You can’t register for the marathon the day of the race, so be sure to register before the deadline passes. There will also be a cap of 1,500 runners for the marathon, which gives you another good reason to register early! For deadlines and pricing, check the Willamette Valley Marathon website.

There will be ample free parking and aid stations every three miles along the course. Walkers are allowed, as are strollers, though you’ll have to be in a separate class as a courtesy to the other runners.  

Wine Country Half Marathon

Once you’ve had a chance to experience a picturesque marathon through the Willamette Valley and topped it off with a wine festival, you very well may get hooked! If you can’t get enough of the festivities, you’re in luck—in early September, the Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon gives you another opportunity to enjoy the bounty of the Willamette Valley, both in natural beauty and its incredible wines.

The marathon begins with a breathtaking view of Mt. Hood at Stoller Family Estate, then winds 13.1 miles through rolling vineyards and bucolic farmland, ending ultimately in downtown Carlton with a Wine & Music Festival.

Stay at a Gorgeous Vineyard

youngbill hill viewMake an occasion out of the marathon and plan to stay and explore after (or before) the event! There are so many things to in the Willamette Valley, which definitely makes it worth your while to spend some time here.

Youngberg Hill is in an excellent home base for exploring the Willamette Valley. We’re within 20 minutes of over 150 excellent wineries, tasting rooms and vineyards and about 10 minutes outside McMinnville, which offers fantastic restaurants, shops, galleries, and more.

wine and cheese at youngberg hillOf course, there’s enough to do on our property that you could spend most of your time here! Our tasting room showcases the incredible wines produced from our organic, biodynamically-farmed vineyards, and we often have an event happening.

The views from our inn and tasting room are truly spectacular, and our tranquil location will leave you feeling entirely rejuvenated and refreshed.

Take a moment to learn more about Youngberg Hill, and be sure to reserve your stay in advance! We look forward to hosting you.

Member Only Sunday

This Sunday, April 21st, our tasting room will be closed to the general public for a member-only event. non-club members are welcome to join us for $50 per person.