A Runner’s Bucket List to the Olympic Trials
By: Kyle Markley
With the United States Olympic Trials kicking off tomorrow, it seems fitting to put together a bucket list for an epic runner’s trip to the Trials. If you're lucky enough to make the trip to Eugene, here are all the spots a runner should visit.
(Photo: NBC Sports)
Hayward Field is widely considered sacred ground when it comes to running in America. This stadium will be the epicenter of the trip, the place where runners from all across the country will toe the starting line in hopes of qualify for the Olympic Games in their event. The brand new Hayward Field has some incredible features that you can read about here.
As a runner, going to Eugene and not running on Pre’s Trail is the equivalent of going to the Louvre and not seeing the Mona Lisa. This trail is dedicated to one of the trailblazers in American distance running. Running on the mulch, where so many greats in this sport have ran, will bring new meaning to what it means to be a runner. Who knows, you might even see an Olympian running on the trail.
This memorial is the site where Steve Prefontaine had a car accident that tragically took his life. Runners from across the country and world come to this site to pay homage to this titan of the sport. When you visit, you'll often see pieces of running memorabilia that people have left as a sign of respect to Pre. Pre's Rock is a short drive from Hayward and Pre’s Trail making this is another great location for a runner to visit.
The Original Pancake House
(Photo: The Original Pancake House)
This is a sure fire hit when you want to eat at the best pancake place in Eugene. The Original Pancake house was started in Portland, Oregon and the Eugene location has been a staple since 1965. Stop in for breakfast after your morning run and you might just see the who’s who of the running world having a cup of coffee the next table over. At some point you'll have to fuel up before watching some track action--the OPH is sure to provide the needed nourishment.
These next two stops are located outside of Eugene but are still great places for a runner to go during one of the rest days at the trials.
Michael Johnson Track
This Michael Johnson Track is located at Nike Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon; the center of the Swoosh Empire. This track is world famous not just because of the location and the athletes that run on it, but for the natural beauty that inhabits the infield and surrounding area. After running a lap or two on this track you will feel like a professional athlete ready to run a 4:00 minute mile. Afterwards, any runner should also take a lap on the mulch trail that surrounds the headquarters showcasing the buildings that make up the kingdom that Phil Knight built.
(Photo: Oregon Coast Visitors Association)
Finally, this quiet coastal town is the perfect place to end the trip. This quaint little town is where Pre grew up and began his status as America’s next great distance runner. Here you will be able to visit the museum dedicated to the man himself and see the track where he started his career. This is the perfect ending to the trip as it provides an opportunity to enjoy the vast forests and coastline that makes Oregon what it is.
These are just a few of the stops that a runner should see when traveling to the Olympic track and field trials. But there are plenty of other hidden treasures around the state to see as well.
Drop in the comments what your most excited to visit!