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Tuesday, March 16

Dreams of Hayward Field

In my dreams…. running around Hayward Field as the crowd cheers. Finishing strong as the timer blinks away the seconds…

"People want to come down and jog a lap on Hayward Field and think 'Pre' is running alongside them step by step…" Oregon coach Vin Lananna
All through the last 3 Eugene Marathons, the gates were locked – we could only peer in and wonder...
This year the Eugene Marathon will finish with a lap around this hallowed landmark!
Apparently the original Nike-OTC Marathon in Eugene started and finished on Hayward.
I discovered this tidbit of trivia while standing in a Porta-Potty line-up during the Inaugural Eugene Marathon. (Actually reborn 2007 event.)
A sage looking runner – with head band and baggy shorts said he came up from California for this marathon to reminisce and renew his youth. He had a lot of talk about NIKE and why its headquarters were no longer in Eugene…, but I will save that for another day. He had run the Eugene Marathon in 1982! And running along with him - Joan Benoit ! She set the American record that year with a 2:26:11 and won $20,000!

Other tidbits about Hayward Field:
  • It was originally a football field 1919.
  • It wasn’t till 1970 that it became just a track and field venue.
  • Hosted four US Olympic Track and Field Trials.
  • And will be the place for the 2012 Track and Field Olympic Trials!
For a brief moment I too will be an elite athlete following the footsteps of champions as I round that final curve.

Image (mine) 2008 Olympic Trials