Meet our Team!

Are you curious about who’s behind the magic of the Eugene Marathon? From our Race Director to our interns, each Eugene Marathon team member plays a supporting role in making the Eugene Marathon “run” smoothly.

Get to know the 2017 Team by reading the Q&A below!

Race Director: Richard Maher

Q: Tell me some of the history of the race and where you see the race going forward.

RM: Our first year, in 2007, we put on a great event and were named to the top 10 new races to start up in 2007. We have also won “10 Greenest Events in North America” and “Best of the Best Marathons” by Runner’s World. In 2010, when we first finished on Historic Hayward Field, it would be one of the most important milestones for the race. I can see The Eugene Marathon being one of the premier marathons in the world.

Q: One aspect of the race that stands out is that the majority of it runs along the Willamette River. Would you say that your course is something that differentiates your race from other races?

RM: Absolutely. We’re blessed with a tremendous amount of natural beauty in and around Eugene and Springfield. We’re also lucky to have a world-class system of running and bicycle paths. We do our best to take advantage of those factors to give our racers a course that’s interesting, inspiring, fun to run, fast and different from other marathons.

Q: You proudly proclaim the number of “willing volunteers” on your homepage. How important are volunteers to a race?

RM: They’re truly crucial to whether our marathon is a success or not. Putting on a race for thousands of participants is a daunting task and we couldn’t do it without our army of dedicated volunteers. We make it fun for them and show them the appreciation they deserve and it becomes a win-win for us, them, our community and our runners.

Q: At the same time, we have to talk about that pancake number. Can you tell me the backstory to the 92,000+ pancakes eaten?

Pancakes are a great post-run breakfast, so we serve thousands and thousands of pancakes after the races. Also, if you beat Flap Jack in the 5K you receive a year’s supply of Krusteaz pancake mix. While the Eugene Marathon is the only road race that Krusteaz sponsors, they do a lot of great things in the communities they serve, including providing 1 million pancake breakfasts annually through food shelters and other non-profit organizations to those in need.

Volunteer Coordinator: Jenny Ray

Jenny Ray is the Volunteer and Charity Coordinator for the Eugene Marathon. It is her job to make sure that all the volunteers are in the right spots at the right time. She started with the Marathon in 2015 so this will be her second marathon.

QWhy did you join the Eugene Marathon Team?  

JR: I joined the EM team because I thought I would have a lot of fun and be challenged in new ways with my event planning skills. The volunteer mentality as a whole is amazing in Eugene, and I wanted to be able to be a part of that while increasing the influence of the marathon.

QWhat was your favorite part about last year’s race?        

JR: Hmmm, that is a hard one. Since it was my first race I have a lot of really great memories or accomplishments from 2016. I guess seeing the event actually happen. Seeing everyone in the right spot and the runners finishing the race. Having everything come together is always magical.

QWhat plans do you have for this year’s race?  

JR: I am also really excited about further developing and expanding our Eugene Has Heart charity program. Runners can commit to fundraising a minimum amount and receive a free race entry in exchange. But I want to note that this is not just for runners. Volunteers and spectators can join in the fundraising fun and raise money for one of our amazing charities. Check out details at

QWhat is a fun fact you are willing to share?  

JR: As an undergraduate at U of O, I was in the Marching Band!  It was such a fun four years and I have so many memories.

Expo Coordinator: Christa Olsen

Christa is the Expo and Finish Festival Coordinator and has been with the marathon since early 2015.  She came with extensive experience in trade show production and management which has been vital to her three races.

Q:  What is the best part of working for the marathon?    

CO: Seeing all of our hard work pay off in one big event. Basically, seeing it all come together and everyone’s excitement and enthusiasm for the race.

QWhat is your favorite memory from 2016?

CO: Reading and hearing about all the inspirational and personal stories about our participants and being able to see them either start or finish.

QWhat are you looking forward to for 2017?

CO: I am looking forward to bringing new events and experiences to the already great marathon. Being able to provide a DJ flow yoga to participants on Saturday night is a big one. As well as seeing everything come together—it never gets old ?

QWhat is a fun fact you are willing to share?  

CO: While I have always wanted to be a runner my knees say different. I love seeing everyone push forward to achieve a marathon goal and I am partial to seeing my husband finish every year.

Event Coordinator: Kiana Jensen

Kiana started out as an intern for the 2015 race and her role morphed into a part time position as a general event coordinator.  Kiana is our Jill-of-all-Trades and takes on lots of random projects between her going to school full time and other organizational commitments.

QWhat is your major at UO? 

KJ: Business with an emphasis in Marketing

QYou just completed your third race, what is one thing you are most proud of accomplishing?

KJ: I had the idea and implemented the Ambassador program.  This program has resulted in lots of race entries as well as engaging more running communities across the country.  Seeing something go from idea to reality was amazing!

QWhat was your favorite highlight from 2016?

KJ: Watching one female racer finish two marathons back to back in honor of her fallen brother. She ran the course twice in a row with her friends and family supporting her. It was really inspirational to watch.

QWhat are you in charge of organizing this year?  

KJ: I am part of the Corporate Wellness challenge as well as helping our interns organize our Spirit Groups. Proving great on course entertainment is important and the spirit groups are a huge part of that. Finally, I am helping to get our new race app developed for the 2017 race. Stay tuned for details but you can have all the race info in the palm of your hand.

QWhat is a fun fact you are willing to share?

KJ: It is my goal to visit every continent by the time I am 30.  Currently, I am at 3—N. America, S. America, Europe.  I hope to go to Antarctica with my grandfather in the next year.

Interns: Kara Shea and Justin Hanes

Every year the Eugene Marathon hires a few Interns from the University of Oregon. Since we have a small staff, we want to provide students the opportunity to gain work experience planning and executing a major regional event.

QWhat is your major at UO?  

KS: Business with a concentration in Sports Business (Marketing and Management)

JH: Journalism with an emphasis in Public Relations and Media Studies

QWhat are you most excited about for this year’s race?  

KS: I am most excited about having our Spirit Group competition and seeing all the awesome teams and organizations on the course cheering on our runners! Also, just being able to contribute my talents and strengths to put on such an amazing event like the Eugene Marathon is something I am excited about.

JH: I am really excited to feature the DJ Yoga Event. It is a great opportunity to be engaged with race weekend, and will prepare your body for the race on Sunday!

QWhat made you apply to be an intern?                                                                              

KS: I ran the Eugene Marathon this past year and just felt an incredible sense of community, inclusiveness, and really took note of the positive and uplifting energy I felt the whole weekend, especially on race day. From then on, I knew I wanted to be a part of the team who made an event like this possible and knew I had the potential to add value to the whole process of pulling off a major racing event.

JH: I really have enjoyed running the Eugene Marathon over the past 5 years and thought that it would be an amazing experience to help plan and coordinate it instead. I am so excited to be a part of this!

QWhat is a fun fact that you are willing to share?                                                                

KS: When I was 13 years old I had the opportunity to kiss the Stanley Cup (NHL) after the Boston Bruins won in 2011. A moment I will never forget especially being an avid Boston Bruins and Red Sox fan.

JH: I have a strong passion for airlines and aviation. I want to work for Alaska Airlines and eventually be the CEO!

Meet our Team!