Eugene Marathon & Half Marathon Race Reports

“It never rains for the Eugene marathon” read a sign near mile 7 of the race.  A week of unusually fine, sunny weather yielded temporarily to ideal running conditions, an overcast sky in the morning and race start temperatures in the mid-40s.   Indeed, nothing seemed to be able to dampen the spirit of the event in TrackTown, USA.  Thoughts of Boston were palpable.  Many runners wore black ribbons or wore Boston One (fund) and Boston Strong shirts.  Runners at the Expo signed every inch of banner to be sent to Boston.  Local elites who represented Oregon at the Boston Marathon inspired with some pre-race words.

Some 9,000 runners participated in the marathon and half marathon events.  The running-crazy local community provided a large presence and audible degree of support. People were out with there family, friends, and dogs nearly everywhere along the course in Eugene.   Pace setters held signs adorned with blue and yellow balloons. Many blue and yellow Boston marathon jackets dotted the course and conveyed a silent and reassuring message of empathy and encouragement, “I got through what you’re going through.  You can too.”

Runners finished on the track at Hayward Field, site of the last two Olympic Track and Field Trials and host of the upcoming trials in 2016.  The finish line in any race is particularly sweet.  Finishing at Hayward is particularly special.  It’s not every day where recreational runners cross the line in front of a packed grandstand.  Perhaps that explains why many runners got caught up in the moment and forgot to put their hand over their heart to show a solidarity between Eugene and Boston, and perhaps the entire running community.  A summary of the Boston banner might be encapsulated  in the words “United we stand.  Together we run.”

PS – It rained Monday morning in Eugene.  (Matt Tarka)

On a side note… Natira ran the half with her dad.  Especially sweet for he has run Boston 8 times and wore his 100th Boston jacket in support. I am in admiration of the running community in general and how supportive and strong we all are! I hope to qualify for Boston one day.  (Natira Jones)

Finish Line

Eugene 2013 Finish Line

After the race

eugene-2013 finish natira matt

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