There are a few places in the world that could be considered pilgrimage sites for runners.
The track and stadium in Olympia, Greece, site of the ancient Olympics:
That’s Hayward Field, home of the University of Oregon track team and a few people kinda famous in the running world — Prefontaine, Nike co-founder and Oregon coach Bill Bowerman, marathon star and coach Alberto Salazar, for example.
And I won’t just be visiting Hayward Field to peek in the gate and say hi — I’ll be running the last 150m of my next marathon on the track. Literally, running in the footsteps of legends. Cool, no?
So I swore up and down that I wouldn’t run a marathon this spring because I wanted to ride my bicycle and PR the shit out of my half Ironman and just generally be happy. I didn’t sign up for Boston, and I committed to the National Half in March as a prep race for an early season 70.3. Then I had a pretty decent day in Savannah a few weekends back, and it got me 1) motivated to run again/reminded me why I was a runner in the first place and 2) curious about what I could do if I properly trained for a full 26.2 for the first time in my life. So the idea stuck. And after a lot of research and dithering about courses and timing and travel plans (and some gentle encouragement from this girl and these ladies, who both ran the race last year), I used Black Friday as an excuse to burden my credit card with an entry fee.
Eugene Marathon, on April 29, 2012, I’m coming for you.