To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

2012 Prefontaine Classic

Goose bumps. Nerves. Excitement. Eye Candy. Speed. Prefontaine.

That pretty much sums up my Saturday at the Pre Classic in Eugene, Oregon. I had never been to a track meet before in my life. I had no idea what a steeple chase even was. I was familiar with the javelin (having almost signed up to do that in high school track until I learned I'd have to run - and I do NOT run!) but had never actually seen one being thrown. I was in store for a whole new world of track and field!

After an early morning run, I hopped in my car for the rather short drive up to Hayward Field. I parked where I park for the Eugene Marathon and excitedly walked over to the track. As soon as I saw banners with my "boyfriend's" face on them I had to whip out my camera. This was a Prefontaine fan's paradise! Before I even entered the gates I was forking over a few dollars for the official program that I would then delicately place in my backpack and not touch. I hit the potty then stood over the practice area watching the athletes warming up. Yeah, their little gentle warm ups alone were faster than my fastest sprint! Then it was off to my seat. Talk about cozy. Gee whiz! It was like sitting at Fenway Park where you better not mind being smashed against the people next to you, in front of you and behind you!

Once everything started I was completely absorbed. There was so much going on all at once. I'd be watching a woman get ready for her long jump and then realized on the other side someone was mid-air on the pole vault. And then as I was cheering on the long jumpers a guy would be throwing his javelin. And how on earth do those people do the high jump?? I can't even imagine! So much!! (Shot put? Uninteresting - sorry guys throwing the ball, just NOT my thing.)  But it sure helped to never allow for a moment of boredom!

When the men took to the track for the first race I was completely absorbed with that. My main point of going was to see the runners after all. I don't even know what to say about it. I could talk about each distance and blah blah blah. But I'll just say they were VERY impressive! So fast right from the get go. Crazy muscles everywhere - and I'm talking about the men AND women! I loved watching the female runners especially. I guess they were more inspiring to me since we kind of have a few things in common! ;) Perhaps I should start putting money down on this, on only two races I declared who I wanted to win ... and on both races those women did! And let's talk men, shall we? Um, hello eye candy!! Let's just say there are more than a couple pictures zoomed in on a certain runner before his race started. Yum-my!!

Hello gentleman!

The Bowerman Mile was the final event - and that was over in less than 4 minutes. Can you even imagine running a mile faster than 3:50?? Yeah, me neither. That was pretty fascinating to watch. Another race that I was really into was the 5000m. That was Pre's distance, so seeing the best of the best running His race at His track felt appropriate, a little tribute to The Man, if you will!

Sanya Richards-Ross - Awesome!!
Once it was over I was in no hurry to leave. I wandered down toward the track and over to the merchandise tent. I wanted one of everything. I settled on two shirts instead ... still kicking myself about not getting the third, but oh well. One thing I really enjoyed was seeing and hearing people from all over the world. At the track I had a brief conversation with a pack of Jamaicans, who seemed just as thrilled to be there as I was! Walking back to my car I stopped to get a photo of an Olympics inspired sign. I realized I was right by a little woman and didn't want to bump into her. I look over my shoulder and about fell over. It was Steve Prefontaine's mom and his sister! Now normally I'd start crying and talk to them. This time I kept my cool! They were mid-conversation with a couple so I decided to just take in the coolness of their presence, snap my photo and go on my way. A pretty fabulous way to end my first experience at the Prefontaine Classic! Next year I will be back!

Bowerman Mile


  1. Hehehe, your picture of the scoreboard says "In Ass" on it.

    What an awesome time!! SO glad you got to go. :)

  2. i would have LOVED to be there. track and field is my passion. Actually went to college for high jump- looking back now, I have no idea as well how I did it- its amazing what your body can do.

    I think I may be adding this as a bucket list race to spectate (since I won't be competing, obviously)

  3. I love that your first track meet ever was the Prefontaine Classic. That is hysterical. I LOVE track but admit that almost every other meet is boring as all get out ;) Is Haywood gorgeous or what?!?

    1. Good to know about the boredom! ;) I'm sure I won't be back at any until next June when it is Prefontaine time again!

  4. AnonymousJune 05, 2012

    Dammit. I had some cool comments, stories all ready to post here and then I clicked "Publish" and it failed because my network connection had been dropped. I'm not going to re-type my comments (sorry!), but I'm leaving a comment to let you know I read it.

    Some point when I get my life together enough to organize "vacations" I am going to schedule a beginning of June vacation scheduled around running the Newport Marathon and spectating the Prefontaine Classic. :)


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