As we embark on the final seven months until the U.S. Olympic Trials begin here in Eugene — and with the Thanksgiving holiday upon us — we thought it was a perfect day to dedicate the TrackTown Thursday blog to what we’re most thankful for here in TrackTown:
1. The Trails – From Pre’s Trail to the Ridgeline and beyond (the city limits that is), there are just too many great running trails in TrackTown to count – which is why we’ll let this link give you all the great details.
2. Hayward Field – It is hallowed ground in the sport of track and field. Just one meet at Hayward has converted many a non-believer into a die-hard track and field fan. Here’s a little glimpse at some recent “good times” at Hayward.
3. The University of Oregon Track and Field Team – What can we say, in TrackTown USA, we love our Ducks!
4. Record-Breakers – From the legendary Prefontaine, to those who came before him, and those who have come since — at events like the annual Prefontaine Classic — record-breakers tend to be as prolific as the rain here in TrackTown USA.
5. The Oregon Track Club – Attend a week-night run, compete in one of the OTC’s summertime All-Comers meets, run the Butte to Butte, or volunteer to work at a Hayward Field meet, and you’ll see just how valuable the OTC is to TrackTown USA.
6. OTC Elite – This group of elite athletes deserves its own number. Eight of them competed at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu. Five were finalists, two were silver medalists (Sally Kipyego and Ashton Eaton), and one (the high-flying Jesse Williams) brought home gold.
7. The Starting Block – This is a fun and popular interactive Kids Zone at Hayward Field, which gives kids of all ages an opportunity to high jump, long jump, shot put, etc. Building track athletes (or fans), one kid at a time.
8. Future Events – Speaking of kids, in July of 2014, the world’s best junior athletes (under 20) will arrive in TrackTown for the IAAF World Junior Championships, bringing an IAAF event to the U.S. for the first time since 1992.
9. Team USA Athletes – Without them, and all the hard work they put into becoming the best in the world, Hayward Field would be a ghost town every June. Get to know Andrew Wheating, Angelo Taylor, Ashton Eaton and Allyson Felix in our TrackTown Spotlight video series.
10. The Olympic Trials – The biggest team trials in the world will take place at Hayward Field, June 22-July 1. It sold out in 2008 and it’s on its way to doing so in 2012! And what better holiday gift to buy that track fan in your life than a pair of tickets to the Trials.
Happy Thanksgiving from TrackTown USA! We hope to see you here in June!