I loved, LoVed, LOVED, Eugene, OR... Everything about it. The small, college town-ish-ness (with walkable streets, bike lanes, running paths and parks; integrated, and meticulously maintained, throughout the city). The innate outdoor beauty (tall, tall pine trees, mist, ferns -- not bought at Home Depot or Costco ;D -- and moss). The propensity to think outside the box, with a live-and-let-live attitude. And an alive counter-culture, thanks to a Hippy Migration from San Francisco. Gotta love the Cow Bell!
Eugene is Green -- literally and figuratively --, Clean and Serene, where Priuii (Prius plural), Recycling (paper, plastic and compost) and Coffee, rule. My kind of place! So, without further adieu:
- The Oregon Relays at Hayward Field. College and high school athletes competing at Track and Field's (most?) famous field in the nation!
- The Eugene Legends. Longtime running legends, leaders, and olympians: Mike Manley, Joe Henderson and Cathie Twomey Bellamy. What fun to see the three of them bantering on stage, and answering questions.
Me and Olympian Cathie Twomey Bellamy. Cathie is considered one of the best US runners, in events from the 1500 meter to the marathon. As a kid who wouldn't let her older brothers 'best' her, Cathie's running career started just after Title IX. Her feelings about the era: "I didn't think badly/think much of the (inequalities) because I didn't know any differently. I was grateful for the opportunity to compete and I was just happy to be there." Cathie is a Mom and a Coach.
Joe Henderson and me. Joe commented on the HUGE boom in women's running (thanks Kathrine Switzer!! -- Joe also ran the Boston Marathon that year). Joe is a coach and writer for Marathon & Beyond Magazine, but was, for many years, a columnist and editor for Runner's World.
Me and Masters Marathon World Record Holder, Tatyana Pozdnyakova. Tatyana (I hope you are sitting down for this) holds the record for women over 45, with a time of 2:29:00!!
Mike Manley escaped my photo-op. Mike is considered a Steeplechase Champ and was part of the Olympic Team in Munich in '72.
Favorite Quotes of the Legends
Success is not what you once did,
It is what you keep doing...
Winning is doing the best you can,
With what you have...
- Running in the Footsteps of Legends. Literally. This is The Town and The Track where Olympians are made, and track records are broken. The scenic marathon course took us through city streets, along and across the Willamette River (twice), with a finish at historic Hayward Field (last 200 meters). Had a serious 'runner's high' and finished with one of the best KICK's ever. Couldn't let the GREATS down...
- Learning and Living (for the weekend, anyway) the History and Mystique from the Running Capital of the World! Bill Hayward (father of the Oregon Duck's T & F, and coach for World Record Holders and Olympians), Bill Bowerman (coach and co-founder of NIKE, who invented the nub-sole running shoe (still in use today) from a waffle iron, and a new track surface from recycled running shoes. Steve Prefontaine (70's Running Legend)...
Steve was a distance star for the University of Oregon, who earned 7 NCAA Track and Cross County Titles, Conference Crowns, and 8 Collegiate Track Records. At one time, Steve held EVERY American record from the 2,000 to 10,000, some of which STILL stand today. Charismatic and involved in the community (volunteered and started a running club for prison inmates), Steve tragically died when his MG convertible hit a rock and flipped, killing him, at 24. His death shocked the running community.
Bill Bowerman Statue (above) at Hayward Field. Notice waffle iron base...
Pre's Memorial (below) in a nearby neighborhood. Notice the shoes, the notes and the medals left behind...
- Slow Leg Turnover. I felt strong and ran pain-free, but the legs didn't want to turn over. Guess the marathon (OKC) the Sunday before took a little toll... And I thought I was invincible...
- Yippee, no 'ugly' here. Felt strong and confident throughout!
- Have been a little quiet of the RunningBrooke fundraising activities but, planning is underway for some exciting events. Stay tuned!! And, thanks to everyone who have already made a donation to the RunningBrooke Fund this year, and for my Sponsors (see links below in my email signature). Remember, I pay all of my own travel expenses and entry fees. Your donation goes to Alexandrians in need, and is 100% tax deductible.
- Was named an 'Inspirational Woman' by the Washington Running Report! See the Special Section: Salute to the Half Marathon in the May/June Issue, page 16.
- Next Marathon: Great Wall of China, May 16th. Another continent DONE! Remember: I have committed to running a marathon on every continent, in each of the 50 states, and the 5 marathon majors -- one marathon a month -- in order to bring awareness to and raise money for at-risk Alexandrians.
Cheers, and it is a beautiful day for a run! More Eugene picture are below...
some alternative culture
rhodies and azaleas
and a cool fern unfurling...