Vancouver USA Marathon: Get ready, get set …

Weekend of fitness activities will fill downtown

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter



Marathon Road impacts


The Freedom 5K will start at 10 a.m. at Esther Short Park (in the park, not on the road).

Start line to Evergreen will be shut down for approximately 15 minutes

10-11 a.m. — Columbia Shores/Landbridge Entrance – 2 flaggers. Cars will be bumped through in between runners/walkers

10-11:30 a.m. — Columbia & 6th Street. Cars will be stopped for all finishers. Runners and walkers will be on the walkway on Columbia not on the street

Freedom 5K complete by 11:30 a.m. Saturday.


5 a.m. to 2p.m. road closures along the route (Course is to participants until 2 p.m.)

8 a.m. — C Street and Broadway are closed from 6th to Evergreen.

5 a.m. to 2 p.m. closures —

6th to 8th on Columbia; Esther to Broadway on 8th.

9th Street from Daniels to Broadway.

Westbound on 6th from Columbia to Esther. (Eastbound on 6th will be open).

6:30 to 7:15 a.m.

Franklin from 8th to Mill Plain.

8:15 to 8:45 a.m.

Franklin from 8th to Mill Plain.

12th from Franklin to Esther

Esther between 12th and 13th

13th from Esther to Lincoln.

8:30 to 8:45 a.m.

Mill Plain at Franklin.

5 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Main Street from McLoughlin to 25th Street.

C-Street from McLouglin to 25th Street.

Broadway will be open both northbound and southbound traffic. Flagger at 25th & Broadway

Other impacted major intersections controlled by flaggers

7 a.m – 12 noon:

Fourth Plain at Mill Plain

Lower River Road at Frenchman’s Bar.

McLoughlin at Franklin, Daniels, Columbia, Washingtonand C streets.

Fort Vancouver Way at Mill Plain.

8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Officers Row at Fort Vancouver Way.

Fred Meyer Grand Central.

Grand and Columbia Shores.

Evergreen Boulevard and Shorewood Drive.

Shorewood Drive at Beach Drive .

Columbia Way and Columbia House.

Columbia Street at the landbridge.

The preferred method of moving around Vancouver this weekend will be by foot.

With an estimated 3,000 runners expected to hit the roads of Clark County this weekend for the first Vancouver USA Marathon, downtown Vancouver will be abuzz with activity, and motorists will find some roads closed and some intersections controlled by flaggers.

The hub of the action will be downtown Vancouver, where Esther Short Park is the start and finish line for the races, and the Hilton Hotel Vancouver is the site of the Fit Right NW Sports and Fitness Expo.

The Vancouver Farmers Market will be open as usual.

About 1,000 runners have registered for the first Vancouver USA Marathon, which starts at 7 a.m. Sunday. Even more — at least 1,800 — are expected to run in the half-marathon, which begins at 8:30 a.m.

Those races are the cornerstone of a weekend-long celebration of running in Vancouver.

Saturday, the Freedom 5K, a 3.1-mile fun run, will start at 10 a.m. and be followed at 11 a.m. by a pair of short runs for children 12 and younger.

The Fit Right NW Sports and Fitness Expo opened on Friday and continues from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Hilton, 301 W. Sixth St. The Hilton is the place for participants to pick up their race packets or to register for the marathon or half-marathon.

There is no race-day registration for the Sunday events.

The courses close at 2 p.m. Sunday.

With runners coming from near and far to race, with the fitness expo today, and with post-race entertainment scheduled Sunday at Esther Short Park, event organizers are promoting the Vancouver USA Marathon as something for the entire community.

“I don’t think you have to be a runner, or participating in one of the races, to be downtown,” said race director Brian Davis of Energy Events, which is staging the event. He encourages spectators to line the course in support of participants, and to take in the post-race scene at Esther Short Park.

Runners have registered for this race from England, Japan, Canada and many states, Davis said.

Boston qualifier

The marathon route, which underwent a slight adjustment because of flooding along the Waterfront Renaissance Trail, will be a certified qualifier for the 2012 Boston Marathon, meaning runners who finish within age-graded time standards are eligible to enter the storied Boston race.

Among the road closures from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday will be Columbia between Sixth and Eighth streets, Eighth Street between Broadway and Esther, and Ninth Street between Broadway and Daniels.

Franklin Street will be closed between Eighth and Mill Plain from 6:30 to 7:15 a.m. for the start of the marathon and 8:15-8:45 a.m. for the start of the half-marathon.

The marathon route sends runners from downtown out west to Frenchman’s Bar Park, then back through downtown and Officers Row. Runners go as far east as Wintler Park before doubling back for the return leg to the finish line at Esther Short Park.

The half-marathon course does not include the out-and-back to Frenchman’s Bar Park.

The expo has about 40 exhibitors, and includes presentations from Running World Magazine’s Bart Yasso, a discussion about the race courses, and other fitness-related workshops.

For links to other marathon information, visit