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Portland Marathon a Tradition Since 1972

Graeme Queen

At the Standard Insurance Company of Portland, OR, Graeme Queen serves as the senior director of IT solution delivery, providing guidance on essential operating technologies. A dedicated runner, Graeme Queen has competed in six long-distance events, including the Portland Marathon.

The event kicked off in November, 1972, when athletes ran a course on Sauvie Island, northwest of Portland. By 1977 the race had grown and moved to the city’s northern area. A few years later the course was shifted downtown, starting and ending first at Memorial Coliseum, then at City Hall.
The marathon’s expansion paralleled the city core’s revitalization. It created a festive atmosphere during its late September-early October weekend time slot.
By 2008 the marathon had become a significant economic boost, attracting some 9,000 racers, mostly well-off out-of-towners. By then the field included mostly women (58% in 2007). It was one of the few major races to allow walkers.
The tradition nearly ended in 2016, amid problems related to insufficient medical information distribution and a major error in marking the course. The organizers hired an outside consultant to resolve these problems, and the marathon received city approval for 2017.

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