City officials and the organizers of the Portland Marathon have started negotiating a new route for the October race, after a permit denial threatened to end a 45-year tradition.

A spokesman for the Portland Bureau of Transportation says marathon organizers have agreed to discuss a race route that would require 33 police officers or less.

"There's talk of a potential new route," says PBOT spokesman Dylan Rivera. "But there is not yet even a draft of a new route."

For more than six months, the Portland Police Bureau and PBOT asked marathon organizers to submit a race proposal that would require no more than 33 cops to staff the event, citing staffing shortages at the Police Bureau.

Marathon organizers rejected those entreaties. Executive director Les Smith said the race route is a 25-year tradition too important to change, even though it requires 80 officers to staff the streets.

On June 9, PBOT declined to issue a permit for the race. That decision imperiled one of the biggest sporting events in Oregon, just four months before the Oct. 8 event.

Marathon organizers say they plan to appeal the decision.

Rivera now says the city has hit the pause button on reviewing any future appeal, while city officials and marathon organizers negotiate. "The denial is not rescinded," he says, "and should these negotiations fail, the appeal process could be reinstated."

Marathon director Smith could not immediately be reached for comment.

WW intern Elise Herron contributed reporting to this story.