Running - Page 4

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.”

Corbett Reminds Individuals of No Jogging at Refuges


If you’re in the area of a Willamette Valley refuge and planning to take a jog, you may want to be careful where your tracks take you, as a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service deputy assistant regional director has issued a reminder that jogging/running is prohibited within these areas.

Miel Corbett of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service felt the need to remind individuals of the odd rule after many had inquired about a sign that read “no jogging” at one of the trailheads of Baskett Slough refuge. Though this sign does not figure prominently at all the parks, the no jogging/running rule is one that has been in place for a few years, and for good reason too.

A trail at Baskett Slough (
A trail at Baskett Slough (

One of the challenges with jogging is that it could have an adverse impact on wildlife in the process of breeding,” mentioned Corbett in an article in the Statesman Journal. “Activities with higher speeds can be disruptive and cause stress to the animals. We identify compatible uses on a refuge by refuge basis — we just look at which activities are best for each one.”

While hiking remains permitted at several Willamette Valley refuges, the no jogging policy has been enacted at the Baskett Slough, William L. Finley, and Ankeny refuges.

As of right now, warnings are being issued to individuals caught breaking this rule, with fines also being a potential punishment for violating the no jogging policy. Jogging at these areas of recreation and wildlife join a list of prohibited activities that include biking, pets, and horseback riding.

While hunting is restricted and prohibited for most of the year at most locations, it is permitted in the fall at Finley.

Oregon Takes Early Lead After Day One


Competing in a men’s dual meet against the second-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks at the Oregon Relays this weekend, the fourth-ranked Ducks jumped out to an early 17-1 advantage with most of the competition scheduled to begin at noon today.

Using impressive efforts by Parker Stinson and Greg Skipper to lead the way, Oregon took the top two spots in both dual events yesterday–the 5000 meters and men’s hammer throw. Skipper got things going for the Ducks in the hammer throw, taking home first after throwing for an impressive distance of 62.80 meters on his final throw of the day. The Oregon freshman had reached a distance of 62.56 meters on his previous throw. He would also take home a victory in the non-dual meet hammer throw with a distance of 64.64 meters.

(Gary Breedove)
(Gary Breedove)

Miles Walk and Tanner Harris capped the impressive event for Oregon, finishing in 2nd and 3rd to give the Ducks a 1-2-3 finish in the hammer throw. Throwing for a distance of 56.42 meters, Walk bested teammate Harris for second, with Harris reaching a distance of 54.84 meters.

Devin Randall finished fourth in the event for the Razorbacks, with his best throw reaching a distance of 44.75 meters.

Leading the way for the Ducks later in the competition was Stinson, who paved the way for a 1-2 finish by Oregon in the 5000 meters. Separating himself from the other runners, Stinson finished with a time of 13:59.83, 10 seconds faster than teammate Matthew Melancon, who recorded a time of 14.09.37.

Solomon Haile of Arkansas placed third with a time of 14:13.08.

Competing in the non-dual meet portion of the Oregon Relays, the Ducks recorded wins from Jordan Hasay, Alyssa Monteverde, Lauren Crockett, Sammie Clark, Maggie Pietka, Ryan Pickering and Ryan Hunter-Simms.

Hasay found a relatively easy win in the women’s 5000 meters, finishing with a time of 16.01.54. Though Bridget Franek of Oregon Track Club Elite would finish just .04 second behind her with a time of 16:01.59, the two runners bested the rest of the field by 21 seconds.

Monteverde delivered one of the more thrilling performances of the night, dashing her way to an impressive victory in the 100 meter hurdles. Finishing with a time of 13.41 seconds in the event, Monteverde took first and also recorded the second-best time in the event in school history. Brianne Theisen currently holds the school record with a time of 13.30.

Another victory for the Ducks came in the women’s high jump, as Crockett set a personal best in the event to lead her to the win. Topping out at 1.81 meters (5-11.25), Crockett’s clearance also moved her up to sixth on the all-time list at Oregon.

Clark took home a win in the women’s pole vault, clearing a height of 3.80 meters (12-05.50) to see herself over Anna Jensen of Lane, who reached a height of 3.50 meters (11-05.75).

The final win for the Oregon women on day one of the Oregon Relays came in the form of Pietka, who finished with a distance of 11.72 meters in the women’s triple jump to see herself finish in front of Michele Turney of Oregon State.

Competing in the non-dual meet portion of the Oregon Relays, Pickering bested Layne Nixon of Arkansas in the men’s 10000 meters, finishing with a time of 29:48.52. Tate Kelly of Gonzaga finished in third.

Also competing in the non-dual meet portion was Hunter-Simms, who placed first in the men’s shot put with a distance of 16.30 meters. Finishing in second was Ron Perkins, a sophomore at Oregon who threw for a distance of 15.78 meters.

Competition on Saturday will begin at 10 am.

All photos are property Gary Breedlove

Patrignelli Sets Fourth-Best UO Steeple Time


Competing as the sole Oregon Ducks in the Mt. SAC Relays on Thursday, Megan Patrignelli ran the fourth best 3,000 meter steeplechase in Oregon track and field history, finishing with a time of 10:17.29.

A junior for the Ducks, Partrignelli’s time was good enough for eighth in the event and bested her previous personal record by an impressive eight seconds.

Megan Patrignelli (Geoff Thurner/
Megan Patrignelli (Geoff Thurner/

Taking home first in the event was Alicia Nelson of Adams State with a time of 10:03.70. Michelle Finn (unattached) finished second, and Leslie Boozer of Georgia finished third.

Held at Historic Hilmer Lodge Stadium at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California, the Mt. SAC Relays bring together some of the best track and field athletes in the nation, at all levels, to compete against one another. From high school to community college to elite competitions, the relays span the course of a week, with this years’ events kicking off on April 13 with the Mt. SAC Community College Invitational. Currently taking place are the Mt. SAC Collegiate/Elite/High School events.

The relays are considered to be one of the top track and field events of the early season, as it is one of the first opportunities for some of the top athletes in the nation to test their physical strength before the championships in the coming months.

Aside from Patrignelli, the Ducks have sent Katie Conlon, Alexandria Davidson, Phyllis Francis, Becca Friday, English Gardner, Anne Kesserling, Annie Leblanc, Chizoba Okodogbe, Sarah Penney, and Jenna Prandini to the 55th Annual Mt. SAC Relays.

Today’s participants from Oregon include Leblanc and Kesserling in the 1,500 meters, Okodogbe in the 200 meters, and Prandini in the 100 and 200 meters.

Eugene Selected to Host 2016 Olympic Trials

Runners Space
Runners Space

After being host in both 2008 and 2012, Eugene has once again been selected for a third straight time and will be host for the 2016 Olympic Trials.

It’s the first time that Track Town USA has been host for three consecutive trials since it hosted for 1972, 1976 and 1980.

The last trials saw quite a bit of excitement with former Oregon track sensation Ashton Eaton setting a world record in the decathlon. Eaton and a large number of other local athletes will compete again with the hopes of making it to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Nick Symmonds of Springfield is another one those athletes. Symmonds has competed in each of the last Olympics in the 800m and represented team USA with first place finishes.

According to Kari Westlund (CEO of Travel Lane County) the past two trials generated close to $60 million dollars ($28 mil in 2008, $31 mil in 2012) in regional impact. With the continued development of Historic Hayward Field and an expansion of seating available, the number will likely be even higher than in previous trials.

[gn_quote style=”1″]“I don’t think it’s an event that we’ll ever take for granted,” Westlund said. “It’s one that needs to be approached with a great sense of stewardship anytime we’re honored to receive it.”[/gn_quote]

Vin Lananna, president of TrackTown USA and a University of Oregon representative, made the announcement at the State Capitol building in Salem. Lananna and a handful of other representatives accepted the bid from USA Track & Field CEO Max Siegel.

[gn_quote style=”1″]“The 2012 Trials were nothing short of spectacular and we are excited to continue our collaboration with Tracktown and the University of Oregon for what we know will be a spectacular event in 2016,” Siegel said. “Last year, Hayward Field provided the backdrop for our Olympic team which went on to dominate the Olympics in a way that was the best performance in a generation. We believe that bringing the Trials back to TrackTown will prepare the team for an equally impressive performance in Rio de Janeiro.”[/gn_quote]

The Trials will run July 1-10 of 2016 with the Olympics themselves taking place August 5-21. Comment below and join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter @EugeneDailyNews

Lane Leads Decathlon and Heptathlon After Day One

Two track and field athletes from Lane Community College are currently in first place in the decathlon and the heptathlon after using big Saturday’s to open up the Lane Multi Qualifier.

Kara Hallock of Lane (
Kara Hallock of Lane (

Sophomore Thomas Cranor–from Eugene–is currently in the lead in the decathlon with 3,230 points while Kara Hallock is sitting in first in the heptathlon with 2,623 points. Cranor established his lead on Saturday by winning just one of five events but placing well enough to see himself in front of the pack. The lone event he won was in the long jump, where he reached a distance of 20 feet, 1 inch.

Hallock found her way into first place of the seven-event heptathlon by winning three of her four events on Saturday.  Heptathlon’s traditionally feature four events on one day and three events on the next. Yesterday’s events included the 100 m hurdlers, high jump, shot put, and 200 m. The final day of the heptathlon will feature the long jump, javelin throw, and 800 m.

Events finished yesterday in the men’s decathlon were the 100 m, long jump, shot put, high jump, and 400 m. The combined event will culminate today with the 110 m hurdlers, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw, and 1500 m.

Hallock After the 2012 OSAA State Championships for Lebanon

De’Anthony Thomas Steals Show at Oregon Preview

De'Anthony Thomas (Gary Breedlove)
De’Anthony Thomas
(Gary Breedlove)

The men and women’s outdoor track and field season started with the Oregon Preview Saturday at Hayward Field.  The women have aspirations for a sweep across the board, already winning the national title in cross-country and indoor track and field.

The Oregon Ducks won an astounding 15 events during unpredictable weather conditions.  Although the women were the main attraction to the Oregon preview, De’Anthony Thomas captivated Track Town USA.

Thomas won three events this afternoon including the 4×100, which he anchored.  The time put together by teammates Dior Mathis, Arthur Delaney, B.J. Kelley and Thomas was a meet record.  They finished with a time of 40.35 just ahead of the ‘B’ Oregon team with a time of 40.96.  Due to some marvelous exchanges help set the pace for a record time for the meet.

The previous record was set 21 years ago set back in 1992 by the Oregon Ducks.  First year head coach Robert Johnson hopes this foreshadows big things to come early in the outdoor season for Thomas and the men’s team. Although Johnson has to be pleased with Thomas like any coach he sees room for improvement.

“The more time he can put in, the better he’ll get over time,” Johnson said. “Technically there are things he still needs to improve on but the talent’s definitely there.”

The crowd was electric as always with the climax coming as Thomas pulled away from the other competitor during the final leg. Thomas was impressed with the crowd today at Historic Hayward Field.

[gn_quote style=”1″]“The crowd is really good. It feels like being at Autzen. Hayward is great for the track team and fans.” – De’Anthony Thomas[/gn_quote]

Meanwhile, for the women another multi-sport superstar Liz Brenner competed in Javelin placing 3rd behind Amanda Shumaker from Western Oregon and Allison Burkett of Portland State. Brenner decided to leave softball earlier this year.

(Gary Breedlove)
(Gary Breedlove)

“I have more fun doing track,” Brenner said. “I wanted to try something new. I miss softball, but I’d rather be throwing javelin.” Brenner looks continues her training. “I had two practices this week. Practice is going well. I’m learning a lot and having fun.”

The more experience under her belt expect her to keep moving up the charts. The women’s 4×100 look to be running away from the other competitors until the second exchange.

“Anything can happen,” sprinter English Gardner said. “We are always changing positions; I can’t really say what went wrong. Just glad it happened today instead of 6 weeks from now.”

The Ducks have a week and half to build upon the success of the first meet of the outdoor season.  The Ducks head off to Austin Texas for the Texas Relays next.  The competition will be much stiffer in with University of Texas in the field.  The Oregon Preview is a building block for the Ducks as they move onto more competitive meets down the road.

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Oregon Track Lands Huge Commitment From 400-meter Runner


Oregon track and field picked up a huge commitment to the team when Foss High School’s Marcus Chambers chose Track Town USA for his next four years.

Marcus Chambers (Lui Kit Wong/Tacoma News-Tribune)
Marcus Chambers
(Lui Kit Wong/Tacoma News-Tribune)

“It has been a big weight for me,” said Chambers. “I’ve just been really excited the past couple of days to do this … and now I can focus on track and breaking records.”

Chambers narrowed his decision to LSU, UCLA and Baylor. The speedster placed a heat for each university on the table in front of before donning the Ducks gear and shouting “University of Oregon!”

Chambers dominated the 400 finals at the USATF National Junior Olympics in Baltimore last July with a remarkable time of 46.18. That time made him one of the fastest prep athletes in the country and therefor one of the most targeted recruits.

Oregon, not known for its short-distance runners, now has a star in the making to dominate and start right from day one. Chambers will likely run in both the 200 and 400 meter distances for the Ducks and could see some time doing relay events.

In 2012, Chambers ran a 200 time of 21.33 also putting him near the nation’s elite. He also ran in the 60-meter, 100-meter and 800-meter during his high school career.

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Adjusting When Injuries Strike


Unfortunately, no matter how healthy you’ve been throughout the course of your life, the chances you will deal with an injury while running are extremely high. It all depends on the individual, though. Some runners spend years plagued by injuries, while others have dealt with one or two different injuries in a career.

Me? I’m currently dealing with my second injury in the five and a half years since I started running. My first was in the summer of 2008. I had just come off completing my first half-marathon in a stellar debut time for my age, and I felt like I was invincible. Less than a month after the race, I suffered a stress fracture, and wouldn’t be healthy again for four months.

runinjuryNow, I am dealing with a muscle injury sustained during a speed workout while training for next month’s Los Angeles Marathon. It has been five weeks since I’ve been able to run. Just last night, I was forced to make the tough decision of withdrawing from the race that is just three and a half weeks away. The past five weeks has taught me a valuable lesson in running. Sometimes, things don’t go according to plan, and you are forced to adjust.

Luckily in running, just as in life, when one door closes, another opens. My door to the Los Angeles Marathon might have shut when I injured myself, but last night another door opened for me, the door to the Eugene Marathon in April.

After speaking with my family and my coach, we determined that running the Eugene Marathon would be best for my long term goals and health. As a result, the stress of the Los Angeles Marathon creeping up on me is now gone, and I’m able to reset my focus to recovering from this injury, and getting back towards marathon training.

When dealing with an injury, the hardest, yet most important step is to rest. This can be a challenge for many runners dealing with their first injury. Most runners want to get back out on the roads as quickly as possible because they are afraid of losing fitness. The good news is that when you return from injury, it doesn’t take long for your body to remember its’ fitness level. Returning from injury too quickly is risky, as you could re-injure yourself and fall back to square one. Don’t return to running until any pain you’ve been experiencing has completely gone.

When you do get back to running, don’t be worried if you feel sluggish or sore. Today, I ran two miles, and even though just last month I could run 16 miles comfortably, the two miles felt like a challenge. Luckily, like I said above, this is normal, and it will not be long before your body is back to normal. The important part when you return to running is to come back slowly, building up your distance gradually. When you can run a simple distance like a mile comfortably, add another mile to your next run. Before you know it, you’ll be back to your normal groove in no time.

Comment below with topics you’d like to see covered in later TrackTown columns. Make sure to follow our Eugene Daily News Facebook page and on Twitter @EugeneDailyNews

Taking the Steps to Run Your First Marathon


In every sport, there is a holy grail in which the athletes of the sport set out to achieve. Team sports have goals of hoisting trophies, but what about individual sports like running? There may not be a trophy, but there is a number, and that number is 26.2.

Such a unique number can only be tied to one thing, the marathon. A grueling test of the human spirit, both mentally and physically. The marathon lasts for 26.2 brutal miles where people truly learn what they are made of. In 2011, the average marathon time for males was 4:37 (10:34/mile pace) and 4:52 (11:08/mile pace) for females. To get an idea what that feels like, imagine what if feels like to run. Then, imagine something that takes nearly 5 hours. Now, imagine what it feels like to run for that long.

The popularity of the distance has taken off in the last decade. In 2000, about 299,000 people finished a marathon. In 2011, that number rose to over 525,000 finishers. What is the cause for this rise in marathon finishers?

I believe that it is due to a more widespread knowledge of how to safely conquer the distance for the first time. There are local running clubs, online coaching plans, and a number of other resources that runners can find to help them run a marathon for the first time.

So what if you feel like you are ready to tackle a marathon for the first time? Here are some ways to get on the path to tackling your first 26.2 mile adventure.

682cf865f7000caec29a5f4e847ff1afSign Up For A Race

Financial commitment is key in the marathon. As you’ll learn, marathons aren’t cheap. They are perhaps the most logistically complicated race to host due to the distance, number of participants, and resources needed. A smaller marathon such as the Eugene Marathon, will cost roughly $100, depending on when you register. A big city race, such as the New York City Marathon, will cost over $250. So by signing up for a marathon, you have made the financial commitment, which is a good source of motivation. Nearly all marathons have a no refund policy, so once you hit the register button, that money is in the pocket of race organizers with no way of getting back to you, so you might as well run the race you invested in.

0f90e146eef1f5dd_half-marathon-training-scheduleFind A Training Plan

There are endless numbers of training plans floating around there on the web, ranging from those with the goal of just getting you to the finish line, to plans tailored for you to run faster than ever before. When I ran my first marathon in 2010, I used a free online training plan from I entered a recent race time, how much I currently run, how hard I wanted to train, and several other items of info, and I was instantly given a 16-week plan. For those of you who haven’t run a marathon before, 16 weeks is the standard length of marathon training plans. You can safely train for one in as little as 12 weeks, but not until you have a few marathons under your belt first.

Navy_triathletes_at_the_Finish_LineFollow the Plan (With Room for Adjustments)

Having a plan laid out is perhaps the best motivation of training. You have a daily goal, and it feels great when you can come back and cross off the run after completing it. But the most important thing to understand about training plans is that in no way are they binding. Training for a marathon is time consuming, and sometimes life gets in the way. Out of the six marathons I have run, only once have I been able to follow the plan nearly 100 percent. More often than not, you’ll miss some runs, or have to adjust the plan to fit your schedule. This is perfectly acceptable. For a beginner, the most important part of your plan is the long run on the weekend. This run is how you will build your endurance to safely reach the finish line on race day. The shorter runs during the week are more of a way to maintain your fitness more than anything. You can afford to miss some shorter runs, but make it a priority to complete every long run on your calendar.

The most popular time for marathons is generally during the spring (April and May) and fall (September and October), because the weather is usually best for running during these months. Once you feel ready to take on the distance, do a search on the web for a marathon during these months and get yourself signed up. I’ll leave you with my favorite quote about the marathon from Dick Beardsley, a former top American marathon runner.

When you cross that finish line, no matter how slow, no matter how fast, it will change your life forever.” 

Comment below on when you wish to run your first marathon and how you plan on getting there. Make sure to follow EDN on Facebook and @EDN_Sports