eugene marathon

Eugene Marathon Dates Announced

Eugene Marathon 2014EUGENE, Ore. — Start training, Track Town. We now know the official dates for the ninth annual Eugene Marathon.

Organizers say next year’s marathon and half marathon will take place Sunday, May 10, 2015, kicking off at 7 a.m.

They expect runners from around the world to participate.

Details for the 1k Duck Dash and other community events will be announced at a later date.

Thousands Run the Eugene Marathon

Eugene Marathon 2014EUGENE, Ore. — The 8th annual Eugene Marathon kicked off Sunday morning near Hayward Field. Fourty nine states and 17 countries were represented.

Like all the runners stretching and anxiously awaiting for the Eugene Marathon to start, Loren Cushing trained for race day.

“I probably got about 25 miles a week, slowly building up,” said Cushing, who participated in the half-marathon.

Every runner, whether it was the half-marathon or full, came prepared to push their boundaries and spread a message of strength.

“My niece died about in 2001, 8 years old, from a drunk driver and i just kind of remind everyone that stuff like that happens and pay attention to what you’re doing,” said Tim Henshen, a full-marathon runner.

“Breaking down boundaries and doing things I never thought I’d do. I never thought I’d be a runner. I always said, ‘I don’t have a runner’s body, a runner’s mindset.’ But I’m like, ‘You know what? If you run, you’re a runner,’” said Laura Pifer, who participated in the half-marathon.

For cushing, this is his first big race.

“This is the first half marathon. Never did a marathon,” said Cushing.

He had to push a little harder than the other 5,000 racers.

“I wanted to get to the top of the hill and beat the elite runners there and I did,” said Cushing.

Cushing did the 13.1 miles all in a wheelchair.

“Since I was six years old and contacted Polio, it’s been important for me to challenge myself,” he said.

Although parts of the course were challenging, he had a fan club to push him through.

“I think those shirts are just awesome. Can you guys put your chests out and show?” Cushing said to his grandchildren who made shirts to show their support.

Those little faces carried him toward the finish line and as he raced toward Hayward Field, the crowd gave him one last surge.

“I’ve heard about the energy that Hayward Field gives on a kick towards the finish line in races and I felt a little of that,” said Cushing.

His training prepared him for that 1 hour and 44 minutes.

“I thought if I got in under 2 hours, I’d be happy.”

But the last push, he didn’t have to train for.

“I want to encourage other wheelchair users to do all they can and I just encourage anybody in a wheelchair to get out and push somewhere,” said Cushing.

Three different records were broken at this year’s Eugene Marathon.

Eugene Marathon 2014 Route

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EUGENE, Ore. — Sunday is a big day for Track Town U.S.A.

Thousands of runners will hit the pavement at 6 a.m. for the Eugene Marathon.

The Eugene Police Department says roads along the route will be closed, so avoid the area if you can.

Click on the video to look at the course runners will be following.

Eugene Marathon Moving to Late July for 2014

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Eugene Marathon
Eugene Marathon

The 2014 Eugene Marathon will look a little bit different than in years past. Next year’s Eugene Marathon will be held in July, not in April.

The new date will be July 27th in response to the IAAF World Junior Championships, which will finish its six-day meet on the same day. The Eugene Marathon/half-marathon is intended to be a celebration of the running community and inspire more to compete.

“As people come in for the track meet, they’ll get to watch people finish the marathon,” Eugene Marathon founder Andy Heily said to the Register Guard. “The whole idea is create that overlap between track and field and road racing, and really celebrate running.”

And it’s all about creating more of a track connection into the already strong TrackTown community.

“From the inception, our mission has been to reinforce TrackTown USA as a mecca for running,” Heily said. “I think we’ve done a pretty good job of that.

“We have one of the fastest and most scenic marathon courses in the country. Twenty percent of our participants qualify for Boston. The community is absolutely amazing and the fan support is incredible. Participants always talk about that.”

Of course the major question will be how the change in date will impact the runners weather-wise. It’s pretty common knowledge that the weather in July is much warmer than April, but Heily says he and the Eugene Marathon team is well aware of this and don’t think it will impact the race.

“The average morning temperature in July in Eugene is 56 degrees,” race director Richard Maher said. “By 10 a.m., it’s still in the low 60s.”

“The demand is there,” Heily added. “A lot of fit people have been running all spring and early summer, and they’re ready to run a fast marathon. What an amazing opportunity if I’m living in Atlanta, Georgia, and I come out to Eugene, Oregon, to be a part of this incredible community event. Watch a track meet and run on one of the fastest courses in the country.”

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Laney, Marty Win Eugene Marathon

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David Laney and Jaymee Marty took home the men’s and women’s individual titles at the Eugene Marathon on Sunday under a heightened security presence due to the Boston Marathon Bombings. Laney came in first in the men’s race with a time of 2:22:34 while Marty finished with a time of 2:48:50 in the women’s.

The Eugene Marathon saw thousands of individuals pushed to the limit (Eugene Marathon)
The Eugene Marathon saw thousands of individuals pushed to the limit | Photo: Eugene Marathon

Laney, a resident of Ashland, took a lead halfway through the race and never looked back. Outpacing the likes of Ben Mangrum, Henry O’Neill, Sam Robinson, and Jacob Goertz, Laney crushed the rest of the field by over three minutes, with Mangrum finishing second behind him with a time of 2:25:56. Rounding out the men’s top-5 finishers were O’Neill (2:27:52), Robinson (2:28:45) and Goertz (2:31:07).

On the women’s side of things, Marty surged to her first marathon victory after 20 previous attempts. Not allowing herself to be caught like she did in 2008’s Eugene Marathon, the Sacramento resident outpaced the rest of her competition from the get-go, finishing 40 seconds ahead of Elizabeth Young. Marianne Falk came in third with a time 2:50:12, Kir Selert in fourth with a time of 2:50:37, and Natasha Sossie in fifth with a time of 2:51:29.

The Half Marathon was won by former UO runner Diego Mercado, who sped off the starting line and pushed past Brandon Dworak, finishing with a time of 1:06:37. Dworak came in second with a time of 1:06:50. The fastest woman to finish the half marathon was Renee Gordon, who had a time of 1:19:40.

Aside from a moment of silence for the victims at the Boston Marathon this year, the Eugene Marathon gave black ribbons to all participants and encouraged them to place a hand over their heart at the finish line. The bombings in Boston claimed the lives of three individuals while injuring hundreds.

April 28 – Sunday Headlines

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Morning Headlines

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Salpino!  Eugene Marathon
Salpino! Eugene Marathon
  • Spring Game: What You Missed on the Field
    When you watch a game on TV or observe in the stands, there’s going to be pieces of the game you miss out on. Here I’ll dive into the key parts of the game you may have missed.
  • Soccer Spring Exhibition Ends in 0-0 Draw
    The Oregon Ducks women’s soccer team tied Oregon State 0-0 in an exhibition game after what was a beautiful Saturday afternoon at Pape’s Field in Eugene, Oregon.
  • Photos: Oregon Spring Game
    The Oregon Ducks put the exclamation point on spring ball with a high-scoring 65-10 game in front of 36,000+ Ducks fans. The Spring Game saw huge performances from wide receiver Bralon Addison, DE/OLB Christian French and RB Byron Marshall. All photos
  • Barner and Boyett Drafted in Sixth Round
    Oregon’s Kenjon Barner and John Boyett were selected in the 6th round of the 2013 NFL Draft, with Barner going to Carolina and Boyett to Indianapolis. Barner and Boyett round out an Oregon draft class that saw five former standouts drafted, with Dion J
  • Two-homer Day for Ryon Healy Lifts Oregon Past Stanford, 6-4
    It was a great day at the plate for Ryon Healy who blasted two home runs to give the Ducks a 6-4 win over Stanford and the series victory.
  • Photos: Baseball vs Stanford
    The Oregon Ducks took care of business on Saturday to the tune of a 6-4 win at home over Stanford. The win gives the Ducks the series clincher and keeps them strong in the hunt for first place in the Pac-12 conference and a chance at hosting a regional
  • Ducks’ Offense Plows Through Spring Game
    Oregon’s football team finished out its spring football practices with an explosive offensive performance during its Spring Game on Saturday at Autzen Stadium. The Ducks offense roared to a 65-10 win over the Oregon defense.
  • LeGarrette Blount Finds New Home in New England 
    Legarrette Blount, a former Oregon Ducks running back, has been traded by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the New England Patriots in exchange for speedster Jeff Demps and an NFL Draft pick. Blount was extremely productive in his 2010 campaign but has sinc

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For UO running instructor Joe Henderson, his lifelong passion has become his career

In his first race, Joe Henderson began the mile run with so much speed and exertion he couldn’t make it past the first lap. Discouraged and wanting to quit, his high school track coach urged him to run once more and finish, to give it a fair try. He did, and after that, he never gave up . Before he knew it, he crossed the finish line of his 700th race. Not only did running become a sport for him, but it also became a passion that led him to a satisfying lifelong career.

While he is now a University of Oregon running instructor and heavily involved with the running community in Eugene, he was editor of “Runner’s World” magazine for seven years, writing for the publication for more than 20. He has also written more than 30 books on running, offering advice and techniques from past experiences. In his slim frame and short stature, he has run everything from less than 100 meters to more than 70 miles — including 50 marathons, four of those in Boston.

His first Boston Marathon in 1967 is one he describes as flawless, where everything came together “perfectly.” It was where he ran the best time of his career, at two hours and 49 minutes — and he hasn’t beaten it to this day.

“Once you’ve run Boston, you’re always there on marathon day,” he said. “I tune into Boston as I do to no other event.”

He says he felt the effects of the Boston Marathon bombings from Monday of last week.

“It will probably be felt in every big event, including at the Eugene Marathon,” he said. “It definitely hit close to home.”

Although the last time he ran it was in 1978, he has been back many times since to watch runners from around the world participate, including friends and family.

“The last time I was there, years ago,” he said, “I was standing in the spot where the second explosion went off, watching my wife’s son running by. I remember it well, standing there.”

Fortunately, none of his colleagues were hurt in the bombings.

In the years following his first marathon, he decided to move to Eugene after his first visit in 1971 and immediately fell in love with the city and its running culture. Other than instructing running courses for the UO’s Department of Physical Education and Recreation, he also leads a marathon team sponsored by the Eugene Running Company.

Bob Coll of the ERC says it is an honor to work with Henderson.

“Joe is an iconic figure in the world of running; it’s a privilege to know him,” Coll said. “He has coached our marathon teams at the store for nine years, and to this day, he hasn’t had one single person not finish a marathon.”

Each mile marker of the Eugene Marathon is dedicated to local running legends such as Steve Prefontaine. Henderson’s own is Mile 25, the last full mile.

He will be rooting for his marathon group and students this Sunday along the course of the seventh annual Eugene Marathon. From the 7 a.m. start, he will watch the race from the sidelines and patiently wait at Hayward Field to congratulate his team.

“When they finish, I’ll be there right at the finish line to greet them,” Henderson said. “I’m there for them, not for me.”

Security Increased at the Eugene Marathon

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In light of the atrocious bombings that claimed the lives of three individuals while wounding hundreds at the Boston Marathon, officials part of the Eugene Marathon have decided to ramp up security for this year’s marathon that is set to take place over the weekend.

Featuring over 8,500 runners, the seventh edition of the Eugene Marathon will implement both old and new policies dedicated to ensuring the utmost safety for participants, spectators, and volunteers.

[gn_quote style=”1″]”It’s something we hat to do in the aftermath,” said race director Richard Maher in an interview with The Associated Press.[/gn_quote]

The Eugene Marathon will kick off its weekend festivities with increased security (Eugene Marathon)
The Eugene Marathon will kick off its weekend festivities with increased security (Eugene Marathon)

Aside from prior policies such as random bag checks and the quick procession of runners through the finish chute, people seeking to attend this weekend’s marathon can expect a larger police presence, a limiting of pre-race shuttles to participants wearing their racing bibs, immediate towing of vehicles parking in “no parking” areas, and no re-entry will be allowed into the participant only area–otherwise known as the finisher food area–once an individual exits to the Finish Festival.

While the above security measures are far-ranging, the Eugene Marathon has also released a statement noting that, “In addition to our existing policies there will be increased security around the entire race weekend — details of which we cannot release.”

The festivities for this weekend’s events kickoff on Saturday with the 5K and Kid’s Duck Dash. Sunday’s marathon and half marathon will begin at 7 am in front of Hayward Field, with pre-race shuttles departing from Valley River Inn, Hilton Eugene, Lane Event Center, and Gateway between 5:30 and 6:40 am.

To honor all of those affected by the Boston Marathon bombings, the Eugene Marathon will be supplying black ribbons to all participants, will send a banner that reads #Eugene4Boston to the Boston Athletic Association, will have a moment of silence on race day, and officials have asked runners to place their hands over their hearts as they cross the finish line.

Boston elite members Craig Leon and Stehanie Rothstein-Bruce will be in attendance.

Eugene Marathon attracts more than 8,000 runners, community support

Ducks were out in full force at the Eugene Marathon on Sunday to volunteer, support and run in the community event.

The 26.2-mile race began at the corner of East 15th Avenue and Agate Street and finished with a lap around Hayward Field. More than 8,000 runners were in attendance.

The marathon attracted elite runners like Meb Keflezighi, the 2009 winner of the New York City Marathon,, who spoke at the Eugene Marathon’s pre-race Health and Fitness Expo.

“We had about 1,300 volunteers and a large amount of that group was from the University,” said Richard Maher, the marathon’s director and founder. “We really want to thank the University and the students for their help.”

University student Abigaelle Mulligan volunteered at the University Alumni Association tent to pass out water to runners.

“As a student, I feel that you need to make the most out of every event that is here and the Student Alumni Association is how I get involved with the community and not just the University,” Mulligan said. “Being here, simply giving water, is awesome because I want to be active in my community.”

Oregon Marching Band member and University student Kate Rohrich volunteered with members of her music fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi, to play music for runners passing Hayward Field.

“We played last year, and so we decided to come back and support the runners this year,” Rohrich said. “It’s awesome for us to get involved and to have people see what we do.”

International students Nataly Arevalo from Ecuador and Meiyi Fong from Singapore, ran the half-marathon to experience Eugene culture.

“We wanted to participate in a popular activity like running and there is no better place to do it than in TrackTown USA,” Arevolo said. “The running community was excellent.”

University faculty members and alumni were at the race to volunteer as well.

“The Alumni Association and faculty are here to support all of Eugene, not just the Oregon Ducks,” said Lisa Fortin, director of events and student recruitment.

Fortin, who has run in the half-marathon for the last two years, decided to volunteer passing out water to runners this year instead.

“It’s TrackTown USA, and we are here to represent,” she said.

A Conversation With Matrisha Armitage of Bajuana Tea

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Nate Gartrell, EDN

Bajuana Tea, photos courtesy of Matrisha Armitage

Bajuana Tea is a local duo, formed by Matrisha and Austin Armitage. The couple, now married, met in high school, and recently celebrated the 15th Anniversary of both their band and relationship. They’ve been playing gigs for about eight years, and have recorded three albums since their beginning. They’re also scheduled to play at the Nima’s Wish Foundation Spring Forward event on May 3, at the McDonald Theater.

Recently, Eugene Daily News got a chance to speak with Matrisha Armitage, the drummer for Bajuana Tea. Matrisha is also the head of Grrrlz Rock, a local promotional company dedicated to increasing female participation in music and the arts. In this interview, Armitage discusses Bajuana Tea’s background, as well as the ins and outs of being married to your musical collaborator.

Eugene Daily News: So, how did you two meet?

Matrisha Armitage: A girlfriend of mine had a crush on Austin, but they were just friends. She started seeing that we might like each other, and she was a really good friend–instead of getting jealous, she started having us go to places with her, and set us up. Within a few months, we were high school sweethearts. He’s been my one and only since I was 15.

EDN: How does being in a relationship/marriage affect the band, and how does being in a band affect your relationship?

MA: The fact that both of our creative energies are in the same house really helps the band; we can jam anytime we want, and with scheduling and marketing, we don’t have anyone we need to check things with.
On the relationship side, it’s been different over the years, because we’ve been together so long. At first, it was really exciting, and then when you get into original creativity, you have to be sensitive to each others needs. If there is ever creative tension, as soon as we hit the stage, it doesn’t matter. We focus on being in the band, in that moment.

Emotionally, we’ve changed over the years, and we’ve had different dynamics, and we have to be sensitive with each other about those things. But we really work well together in music, run our own business together and have a special kind of relationship that enables all these many facets of our lives to come together and tackle them all as a team both professionally and emotionally. We are an awesome, unique couple.

EDN: Why have you decided to keep it a duo?

MA: Austin would probably give a different answer than me. I’ve always thought that you stand out more as a duo. When we first started playing, a lot of people would come up and say, “Wow, we turned the corner expecting to see five people on stage from the amount of music you’re creating.”

But, we also have had bass players who’ve played with us for a year or two, and did gigs with us for a while. We’ll have one do a cameo onstage for the McDonald Theater show, for the very last song.

EDN: What can people expect to see at your live performances?

MA: We do original rock music, but you really don’t always know what to expect–we can do a blues gig, we can do an acoustic mellow gigs, we can do heavy rock. Austin has really developed this skill to keep the rhythm and still play guitar leads. He’ll have this killer lead, and then go right back to rhythm guitar. I’m a busy drummer–I keep my feet going a lot, and that kind of fills in the bass.

EDN: It’s been reported that you were the first band to sign onto the Nima’s Wish event. How did that come about?

MA: We used to play at World Flavors Cafe regularly, and so we got a pretty good relationship with its owners [and Nima’s Wish founders]

Eliman and Alex. Then, when they quit running the cafe, I told them, “Let me know if you ever need anything from us.”

So, then I got the call from him [Eliman] to years later, and it was a real honor that they thought of us right away. We jumped right on.

EDN: What are some of your musical influences?

MA: Electrically, Hendrix and Clapton, Allman Brothers. Acoustically, our idol is Neil Young. Austin could probably play 150 Neil Yong songs without even trying. Also, Pearl Jam, Nirvana–stuff like that.

We do original rock, but more recently, we’ve been doing a lot of jazz and trying to mix in the genres. Usually, we can format it to the gig–I’ll usually ask someone, “What do you like?” and present it like a menu. We can usually then put together a set on the spot.

EDN: Have you got any CD’s out, and do you have any upcoming shows?

MA: We’ve made three CD’s. Our first is, “100% Natural.” Our second one is called, “Something’s Gotta Change,” and that one’s more political. Our third, an acoustic CD, is called “Take a Sip.” We got really good feedback on that one.

We’ll be playing an acoustic set at the Eugene Marathon on Sunday (April 29), playing for the runners. We’ve done it before, and it’s really fun. But lately, we’ve been working to get some of our original music recorded, and we’re not doing as many live shows as we used to.