I’ve been a little quiet around here lately, but I managed to injure my “good” knee at the height of last summer’s training cycle and have been slowly coming back from that (more on that coming up in another post). Things are looking up and picking up now, and I’m looking forward to my spring races. Of course, this includes the Eugene Marathon weekend!
Despite spending the first quarter-century of my life in “Track Town, USA,” I didn’t start running until several years after I moved away. I grew up as the “chubby, slow girl” who hated/feared running laps in gym class. Twelve-year-old me would be astonished to know that I now crazy long distances by choice.
I ran my first Eugene half marathon about a year after I started running. I loved both the course and the crowd support. And making that final turn into Hayward Field was such an incredible experience, I was hooked. When I decided to go for my first 26.2, the only choice was Eugene. Marathon weekend in Eugene has since become my annual “must run,” event. I typically stick with the half-marathon, my favorite distance, and last year completed the Doublestack Challenge for the first time. We also had a new course last year, finishing on the 50 yard line at Autzen Stadium.
After five marathons, including two World Majors, I can easily say that Eugene is my favorite course. While not quite as flat as Chicago or Berlin, nothing in my experience beats running along the banks of the Willamette River with the rushing of the water putting you into almost a zen-like state.
This year will be my fifth time running the Eugene Marathon weekend. Since I’m still recovering from a bad knee, I’ll be running the half again and looking forward to pancakes and grilled cheese at the finish line. I’m also applying to be Eugene Marathon EMbassador this year. I’m constantly promoting the event to my running groups, so I’d love to make it “official!” I think it’s important that races show that anyBODY can run if you put in the work, regardless of shape, size, or pace.
If you are considering your first half marathon or marathon or just looking for a great race experience, the Eugene Marathon weekend is – hands down – a must do!