PORTLAND, Ore. — Utah running event company Brooksee has been chosen by Mayor Ted Wheeler to be the organizer of the Portland Marathon this October.
Wheeler is hoping to return the Portland Marathon to its prior glory, and more. He said the company's goal is have 20,000 runners by 2023 and 35,000 by 2030, Wheeler said in a prepared statement.
Brooksee was the company that initially won a request-for-proposal, which Wheeler scuttled and sent out again. Wheeler said the company was chosen again for a "strong vision."
The company said it will create a local marathon council for feedback. The vision is to have the course wind through many Portland neighborhoods.
Brooksee learned through media reports last November that Wheeler was starting the RFP process all over again, seeking an unspecified "bolder vision" and to "revise some of the constraints and reopen the application process.”
In its original proposal, Brooksee estimated that the cost to run the Portland Marathon would be about $750,000, not including police and other costs. It included a $75,000 fee for event organizer Paula Harkin, hired to hastily organize a scaled-back 2018 marathon after a scandal with the prior organizer left the event in tatters.
Harkin's participation in the 2019 Portland Marathon is part of the new bid, the company said in a prepared statement.
In June 2017, KGW first reported that the marathon was under investigation by the Oregon Department of Justice for conflicts of interest and misuse of funds.
The DOJ found director and board president Les Smith had loaned himself more than $800,000 from the marathon.
Smith resigned from the board and is no longer allowed to work in nonprofits, foot races or as a lawyer in the state of Oregon, per a settlement agreement.
Smith was the Event Director at the Portland Marathon for more than 30 years.