When he got back, we loaded up LilRunr in the bike trailer (along with his water, crackers, stuffed animal, two toy trains, and a blanket…the kid travels light, ha!) and headed out for my 2nd run of the vacation. We learned that the pros don’t sleep in as late as I do (we had the trail mostly to ourselves) and that LilRunr will fall asleep in the bike trailer every. single. time he’s in it.
LilRunr riding in style (he’s probably already asleep by this point).
Scott likes this photo…it’s ME passing an OREGON DUCK. Only time that’s going to happen, I can tell you!
Tracktown USA sign we saw on our run.
We returned to the hotel, and Scott decided to take the whole “when in Eugene, exercise” thing to extremes by immediately heading out for a run. That makes 3 workouts in one morning for anyone who’s counting. LilRunr and I decided to spend some time in the indoor pool. It was FREEZING cold, but the little guy had fun splashing me in the face. Awesome.
Brr. The things I do to make that kid happy. So cold!
When Scott returned from his third workout of the morning, it was time to get cleaned up and find some fuel. We opted for the Original Pancake House, where Scott saw Allison Felix. (I caught a glimpse of her back as she was leaving…Scott is way better at celebrity runner spotting than I am.)
The rest of the day was a bit lazy. We spent some time at the hotel where — miracle of miracles — LilRunr actually took a lengthy nap. This was great for us, as we intended to keep the child up past his bedtime and watch “Distance Night” at Hayward Field.
Hours before the meet was scheduled to start, we got antsy and made the 1/2 mile walk to the track. Wow. There’s something about a track — any track — that instantly transports me back to my days of competing. The fact that the track we were ogling was the famous Oregon track only made things that much more exciting. We made an entire circuit of the stadium, watching athletes warm up and doing the tourist thing of buying up multiple “Prefontaine Classic” t-shirts.
Outside Hayward Field.
A cute little boy enjoying a track meet. What’s not to like?
Little boy, his mama, and a nearly empty stadium. (This is still an hour or so before the meet started.) And his shirt says “Gold Medalist in Training,” if anyone is wondering.
Pre Classic sign.
The great thing about Distance Night is that there was no assigned seating and a half-empty stadium. This is maybe bad for the sport of distance running, but it’s handy for parents of a toddler. LilRunr enjoyed exploring our nearly empty row of seats and could be as wiggly and restless as his little heart desired without annoying anyone.
We went to the track that first night unsure how long we’d be able to stay before LilRunr got tired, cranky, and ready for bed. “Well,” we said to ourselves, “at least it’s the free night! We’ll just stay as long as we can.” The toddler lived up to his easygoing reputation by doing just fine. We were able to stay through the 10k, and Scott and LilRunr were even trackside for a victory lap high five. (Which, of course, I did not record in any kind of decent manner because I am a terrible photographer.)
You can JUST BARELY see the 10k winner about to give Scott a high five. I have mad photography skills.
The next day passed in about the same manner — bike ride, run, track meet. The main difference was that on Saturday, the meet was sold out and started at 12:00pm. LilRunr’s naptime. The child, bless his sweet heart, went so far in accommodating us as to TAKE AN EARLY NAP. This is unprecedented.
LilRunr and I taking a running break.
Off we went to the track once more. We had tickets on the home stretch, at roughly the 40m mark of the 100m dash. To my complete and utter surprise, LilRunr was happy to sit (mostly) still in a crowded stadium for over two hours, sometimes watching the action (he particularly enjoyed the triple jump and pole vault), sometimes playing games on my phone, and sometimes eating Red Vines, the candy currency with which we bought his silence and continued good behavior.
It looks like he wants to punch something, but I promise the child is just eating candy. Wait. Is that worse?
Nom nom nom…
Our little family at one of the most famous tracks there is.
I had the impression that we were surrounded by friends — crazy nuts who happily paid money to come watch a track meet and loved the sport. The boys behind us were distance junkies. They knew the stats and season bests for just about every distance runner. The crowd in general was enthusiastic about every performance. The announcers were knowledgeable and WAY less annoying than their TV counterparts.
My favorite performance of the day would have to be the high schooler Mary Cain running the 800m. It is completely unreal that a 16-year-old can hang with some of the best middle distance runners in the world. I am simply in awe of her talent, and her sweet enthusiasm in the post-race interview was endearing. The rest of the distance races were awesome, too, and it was incredibly refreshing to be able to watch an ENTIRE 5000m without commercial interruption.
Women’s 100m dash.
Dibaba on a victory lap. She’s amazing.
Men’s 100m dash.
Mary Cain in lane 2 in the 800m. So darn talented.
Ashton Eaton and fiancee (whose name I should remember, but always forget. Sorry, chica.)
Lots of big names in the men’s 5k.
Nick Symmonds getting ready to race. He retweeted a photo of mine once, so I feel like I’m a super fan. Scott always has to remind me that everyone knows who is and likes him. FINE. Lol.
Scott was in charge of taking pictures, while I alternated between watching the meet and keeping LilRunr occupied. After the meet, we took a seriously tired little boy to Tracktown Pizza. He slept through most of the meal, then woke up grumpy. Before long, it was back to the hotel for our last night in Eugene.
Oh, little buddy. It was a long day for you, wasn’t it?
Boy, do I love Eugene. It helps that the weather was gorgeous all four days we were there, but I think I’d love it even when it rains. Maybe someday we’ll be able to make a return trip. It’s a special place, but after 4 days of track fan fun, the time had come for us to move on to the second half of our vacation.
Next up, the Oregon Coast!