: Hayward Field

Get a Running Start in Eugene

April 26, 2016 (Updated May 18, 2016)

In less than two years, the running world will descend on Eugene for the 2021 World Athletics Championships. It will be the first time the championships take place in the U.S., so the excitement is building fast. It’s time to lace up your sneakers and get a little running inspiration for a trip to Eugene — known as Track Town USA for good reason.

The University of Oregon’s Hayward Field is undergoing a major renovation in time for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials.

Root for runners: Check out the Prefontaine Classic at historic Hayward Field June 6-7, 2020; this premier track and field event is a chance to see world-class athletes compete. From June 19-28, 2020, witness the nation’s best as American athletes will converge here for the U.S. Olympics Team Track and Field Trials. And start booking your flights for the 2021 World Athletics Championships, which will be hosted in the United States for the first time ever.

Be inspired: Considered the birthplace of modern track and field — thanks to the origins of Nike footwear and legendary runners like Steve Prefontaine, Eugene is destination for sports history buffs. Spot vintage TrackTown memorabilia at the Eugene Nike Store and Eugene Running Company, as well as the Graduate Eugene, where 40+ pairs of vintage Nikes are on display.

Hit the trail: Local runners train on the elaborate trails and paths across Eugene. Go for a run on Pre’s Trail, Eugene’s first soft chip trail, which winds through Alton Baker Park and past Autzen Stadium. The 12-mile Ruth Bascom Riverbank Path connects several parks and scenic stops, including the Delta Ponds and Island Park. For an elevated experience, take the short but steep trek up Spencer Butte for the best view of Eugene.

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Spencer Butte rises some 2,000 feet from the valley into the clouds and is accessible via the Ridgeline Trail.

New duds: The fire is in the belly, but a new outfit can fire you up, too. Visit the Eugene Running Company or the newly remodeled Nike store for retail encouragement — shoes, shorts, techwear, water bottles and snacks. Feel faster already, dontcha?

Run for fun: Join up with a local running or walking group like Eugene Running Company’s weekly Monday run or Run Hub Northwest’s destination run held every last Saturday. A host of annual running events, from the Turkey Stuffer Race on Thanksgiving day to the Eugene Marathon in April, will keep you training all year long.

Carbo load: When its time for carbo-recovery, we’re thinking Beppe & Gianni’s Trattoria: lasagna della casa, bruschetta mista and prosciutto e melone. How about a beer chaser at one of Eugene’s many fine breweries — Ninkasi Brewing Company, Oakshire Brewing or Hop Valley, for starters. Check out the Eugene Ale Trail for more.

Sweet dreams: Rest those tired legs in style at Inn at the 5th, Eugene’s boutique hotel. Enjoy a state of the art fitness room and the elegant design of comfortable guestrooms. Spa anyone? Massage? If you need anything else, you’re likely to find it a few steps from your room at the Fifth Street Public Market.

Oregon21

Learn more about the 2021 World Athletics Championships at Oregon21.com.

Sweepstakes

Enter by October 14 to win a special trip to Eugene. Restrictions apply.

About The
Author

Eileen Garvin
Eileen Garvin lives and writes in Hood River. When she’s not hunched over her keyboard or digging in the garden, you can find her mountain biking, kiteboarding, hiking, skiing or camping somewhere in Oregon.