May 1st was the first of my half marathons planned for this year. I chose the Eugene Half Marathon for many reasons:
- It’s in my home state of Oregon, just south of my hometown.
- The race finishes on historic Hayward Field (home of Olympic champions)
- It’s a cool May race
I drove down to Eugene Saturday afternoon. I arrived to pick up my race bib, gear and volunteer at the soles for souls booth. A great charity that gives your old, slightly worn shoes to people in need. Pretty cool. I also dropped off a few pairs of my own shoes. The expo was easy to find and navigate.
I finally met one of the other ambassadors, Monica, and we had a blast chatting about the upcoming race. She was running the full (and she got an awesome PR the next day!)
Following my volunteer duties, I headed out to stay with a friend from high school. It was so good to catch up!
The morning of the race came quickly. I headed to the start at 6am. Parked my car and boarded the bus to the start. I met a fun woman who was run/walking her first ever half! We chatted race strategy and parted ways at the start.
I met Karena at the start line – the lucky winner of my Eugene Half Marathon race entry giveaway a few weeks back. We took a quick selfie and were on our way. Pardon the sleepy eyes!
I started slower and tried to pace myself. I had worn a long sleeve over my tank since it was cold at the start but I quickly regretted it and had to tie it around my waist for the second half of the race. The course itself was beautiful. It went all through back roads in Eugene, over the river and was relatively flat. The weather was also gorgeous and perfect for that morning and post race.
I honestly loved every minute on the course and that doesn’t happen often! Running to the finish, about a quarter mile out, I spotted the Nike Eugene NRC Pacers cheering us on and recognized a few friendly faces. It was great to have them push me to the finish with their cheers!
The finish was on Hayward Field and you get to run 200 meters on the track to the finish line. It’s a pretty amazing feeling, to run where running legends ran before. I highly recommend this race to anyone who has a love for the history of running and track. It is inspirational.
The finish line itself was well organized with volunteers helping out and ushering us through to the finish festival where I got pancakes and a massage. That is the way to finish any race! A big thanks to sponsor, Krusteaz!
After scarfing down my pancakes and more water, I waited for a few friends to finish the marathon and we planned our post race brunch. Yes – we went out for more food! I also got to meet Tim, from BibRave, in person! It was fun to chat about how the program works and learn more since I just became a BibRavePro a few months ago.
What I loved about the Eugene Half Marathon
I loved the people here and the excitement on course. You can truly feel why they call this TrackTown. Everyone is excited for you to run and to cheer you on to the finish. The energy is electric.
This year was also the 10 year anniversary of the race and the medal was very well done. I am excited to display this one! Solid work!
I also loved the course and how flat it was. I am even considering running a marathon here in the future – maybe. No promises yet!
In my opinion, this should be a bucket list race for anyone who loves running and wants to visit the home of legends and be steeped in history. I really hope I can come back next year!