track town USA - Page 2

Cain’s Performance Highlights Outstanding Prefontaine Classic


The Prefontaine Classic may have come to an end yesterday, but plenty around the nation are still buzzing about the performances that were turned out at the 2013 meet. One of the main highlights for the thousands in attendance was high school phenom Mary Cain‘s showing in the women’s 800 meters.

Competing in a field that included Francine Niyonsaba (BDI), Brenda Martinez (USA), Janeth Jepkosgei (KEN), and Alysia Montano (USA), Cain used a fast field to finish with a time of 1:59.51, a personal best for the budding track and field star that also saw her set the high school and U.S. Junior records in the event. Finishing up her junior year in high school, Cain has yet to announce where she will attend college, though there were plenty of fans encouraging her to bring her talents to Eugene, as they familiarized her with the “Come to Oregon!” chant.

The first high schooler to run the 800 meters in under two minutes, she bested the previous high school record of 2:02.04 that was set by Amy Weisenbach in 2011. Placing fifth overall, she finished right behind Montano, who edged Cain with a time of 1:59.43. After the race Montano gave her signature orchid to the high school phenom, signaling the emergence of a great track and field athlete.

Mary Cain astonished the Hayward faithful at the 2013 Prefontaine Classic | (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)
Mary Cain astonished the Hayward faithful at the 2013 Prefontaine Classic | (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

“I’m just so thrilled, I broke two minutes,” said Cain after the event. “Part of me was out there thinking today, no one has ever done this before. I’d be the first person to do it. That’s been my goal since eighth grade. I’m going to be that kid, I’m going to do it.”

Coming in first place in the women’s 800 meters was Niyonsaba, who finished with a time of 1:56.72 to set a new meet record while becoming the world leader in the event.

Aside from Cain’s astonishing finish and Niyonsaba’s world leading finish, plenty of other athletes set records and bests at the 2013 Prefontaine Classic, with one area record being set, 13 world leaders established, five meet records set, and three national records broken.

Setting the lone area record at the meet, Mutas Essa Barshim (QAT) cleared a height of 2.40 meters in the men’s high jump to overcome a strong field that included Erik Kynard (USA) and Derek Drouin (CAN). His clearance also made him the world leader in the event while also setting a new meet record and national record for his country. Drouin’s clearance of 2.36 meters set the new Canadian national record.

Silas Kiplagat (KEN), meanwhile, established a world leading time in the Bowerman Mile with a time of 3:49.48. He narrowly edged Asbel Kiprop (KEN), who finished right behind Kiplagat with a time of 3:49.53. Aman Wote of Ethiopia placed third in the event with a time of 3:49.88, a personal best for the 29-year-old.

Hansle Parchment (JAM) also established a world leading time in the 110 meter hurdles, finishing with a time of 13.05 seconds that also saw him set a new Jamaican national record.

Renad Lavillenie (FRA) finished just as he did at the Olympic Games, placing first in the men’s pole vault to once again overcome Bjorn Otto (GER) and Raphael Holzdeppe (GER), who also finished just as they did in the past Olympics. Lavillenie cleared a height of 5.95 meters to become the world leader in the event this year.

Aleksandr Menkov (RUS) took home first in the long jump, as he reached a distance of 8.39 meters to become the world leader in the event. Mauro Vinicius Da Silva (BRA) placed second in the event, reaching a distance of 8.22 meters.

The men’s discus was won by Robert Harting (GER), who also became a world leader, throwing a distance of 69.75 to overcome Piotr Malachowski‘s (POL) distance of 68.19, a seasonal best for the 29-year-old.

James Kiplagat Magut (KEN), who did not finish in the Bowerman Mile, made up for his performance in the men’s international mile, becoming the world leader with a time of 3:55.24.

Edwin Sheruiyot Soi (KEN) became the world leader in the men’s 5,000 meters, finishing with a time of 13:04.75 while Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) finished with a time of 27:12.08 to become the world leader in the men’s 10,000 meters.

Several women’s records fell at the 2013 Prefontaine Classic as well, with Niyonsaba’s impressive performance leading the way. Aside from her effort, meet records in the women’s javelin and 1,500 meters were also set, as Christina Obergfoll (GER) threw for a distance of 67.70 in the javelin and Hellen Obiri (KEN) ran a 3:58.58 in the 1,500 to set the new meet records.

Tirunesh Dibaba (ETH), meanwhile, became the world leader in the women’s 5,000, finishing with a time of 14:42.01 to pace the field. A new world leader was also established in the women’s 400 meter hurdles, as Zusana Hejnova (CZE) finished with a time of 53.70 to see herself finish in first.

Olha Saladikha (UKR) rounded out the new world leaders at the Pre Classic, as she reached a distance of 14.85 in the women’s triple jump for the leading distance.

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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

Report: Olympic Trials returning to Eugene in 2016

It won’t be officially announced until Thursday, but a state official told The Register Guard that the Olympic Trials will be returning to historic Hayward Field in 2016 for a third straight Olympiad.

According to the report, the announcement will be officially made in Salem tomorrow afternoon at a press conference featuring Track Town USA president Vin Lananna, University of Oregon President Michael Gottfredson, and several other state officials including Governor John Kitzhaber.

The 2016 summer games will be in Rio De Janero, Brazil.

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.

Make sure to comment below and follow the conversation on our official Facebook page and Twitter @EugeneDailyNews

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

Top Three Tips to Start Running


Getting started in running can be a daunting and intimidating task, especially in a town like Eugene where it seems as if everyone is a runner. However, becoming a runner in this town is the complete opposite of daunting and intimidating. There might not be a better town in the United States to get started. Here are three tips on how to get started in running.

Shoes1. Get Yourself a Quality Pair of Running Shoes

A proper pair of shoes are the most important item a runner can have. Not using proper shoes can lead to injuries later down the road. Head on over to the Eugene Running Company over at Oakway Center off of Coburg Road to get fitted for the perfect pair of shoes. They will have you jog on a treadmill, record you as you run, and then play back the footage in slow motion to see how your foot lands. Then, they can recommend the best shoe for you. When you try on the shoes, jog down the sidewalk outside the store to get an idea how they’ll feel when you run. Remember, comfort, not style, is key here. Mention you’re a student at the University of Oregon, and you’ll receive 10% off your entire purchase.

Logo - Eugene Running Co2. Join a Local Run Club

You have the shoes, now it’s time to run! Every Monday night at the Eugene Running Company, local runners gather for an easy run of three, five, or seven miles. During the summer months, the route takes you on Pre’s Trail. During the winter months, you’ll run on the Willamette River Paths, which are lighted. There are runners of all ages and abilities, so you won’t have to worry about running alone. The group meets at 6:00 pm, and after the first Monday night run of each month, the group enjoys a post-run dinner at Track Town Pizza on Franklin Boulevard. If you have further questions, you can call the Eugene Running Company at (541) 344-6399. Then, on Wednesday, head across the Oakway Center Parking lot to the Nike Running store for their run club. They meet at the same time, cover roughly the same distance, and you’ll probably see some familiar faces from the Monday night run at the Eugene Running Company. For longer runs, the Eugene Running Company hosts a run club on Sunday mornings at 9:00 am. For beginners, running three times a week is the perfect way to start, and making a trip to each of these run clubs during the week will get that done for you!

tshirt3. Sign Up For a Race

Many runners need some form of motivation to get out the door each day. Signing up for a local road race can be that motivation as you train to achieve a goal. It also adds a level of financial commitment as you will want to see something through knowing you already paid for it. Eugene is the perfect town for road races. Many take place across the river at Alton Baker Park on Saturday or Sunday mornings. During the spring, there are races happening just about every weekend around town.

In next week’s column, we’ll take a look at the best running routes in Eugene, including the routes used by the local run clubs mentioned above. Make sure to follow Sean on Twitter and Eugene Daily News @EDN_Sports

Adventure Run #1: Camp Creek Road

McKenzie River on our way to Camp Creek Rd.

“Don’t you get bored running?” is a question that I get asked a lot as a runner. My answer to this is “Yep, sure do! But only sometimes.” I’d venture to say that most runners have made it to the point of monotony during a run where they’d rather just stop and go home than do one more loop that they’ve done countless times before.

I’ve been there, and the situation makes me feel restless, which is an ironic thing to feel while you’re out running of all things! Obviously, because of busy schedules, every run can’t be an adventure run, but making time once a week or so to go for a fun run can keep you on the love-side of the love/hate relationship that I talked about in a previous post. In short, though, if you’re consistently bored while you’re running, you’re doing it wrong. 

The best way I’ve found to solve this problem is to break up my routine; it’s no wonder that running gets old when if I’m running down the same streets every day! I’d like to help out my fellow runners by reviewing runner-friendly routes in the area that have captivating scenery, and that you (hopefully) haven’t already explored. And, with increasing mileage comes increasing opportunities for restless running, and so as I progress with my marathon training you can expect more and more adventure run suggestions coming your way.

Camp Creek Rd.

Now, I know that global warming is a bad thing, but if there’s an upside to any issue, a warm and sunny run during November is definitely the silver lining to global warming.This week I went on an adventure run up Camp Creek Road in Springfield. I heard about the route from my marathon training partner, who raved about it after running there while training for the Portland Marathon. On this particular run we only ran 4 miles deep before turning back, but the road is long enough to accommodate a 17 miler, round trip.

We parked at a gravel lot about a half a mile away, crossed over the McKenzie and turned right onto Camp Creek Road. As soon as we made the turn onto Camp Creek we were greeted by orchards on the left and hills of autumn-colored calico on the right. These seasonal surroundings almost seemed out of place on this run because we went this weekend while it was 70 degrees out.

Even if you can’t get out to camp creek while we’re still in this sunny stage, I’d recommend trying it out before the trees are bare. Running under oaks clothed in goldenrod and pumpkin. In fact, this run is especially friendly to fall and winter running in the Willamette Valley since it is paved the whole way, which means you don’t necessarily have to end up a muddy mess every time you want to switch up your scenery.

View of McKenzie along Camp Creek Rd.

Leaves definitely puts this run at the top of my list for an autumn run in a place you haven’t been before (because we all know that Hendrix Park and Alton Baker are equally beautiful this time of year, but are not someplace new for you veteran Eugene runners out there).

At less than a mile in, the road meets up with the river and the two continue with each other intermittently from then on. The road is made up of continuous hills, but they are gradual enough that we didn’t notice them until we were halfway through our run.

A convenient way to get an extra bit of strength training while still being comfortable. Speaking of being comfortable, neither my training partner nor I truly felt good on this run—it was just one of those off-days, you know?

Despite our physical discomfort, we were reveling in how glorious it was outside and what perfect a place to run it was. That’s a characteristic of an ideal adventure run—a route that is fresh enough to give you an enjoyable run even on an off-day.To get to Camp Creek Road, head east on 126 towards Springfield, take the 42nd street exit towards Marcola, and then turn right onto Marcola Rd. There’s a gravel parking lot on Marcola just before the river where you can park. Camp Creek is a half mile up the road. Like I said, I only went 4 miles in, so that leaves much uncharted water, or in this case pavement, to explore!

Until next time, I’ll see you on the trails!

Excitement, Heartbreak, Inspiration: My New York City Marathon Story


This past weekend, Sean traveled east to run the 2012 ING New York City Marathon as a member of a team of writers assembled by Asics. This is his story of the excitement, heartbreak, and inspiration he experienced while in New York. 

Four months ago, when I began training for the 2012 ING New York City Marathon, if you were to tell me the race would be cancelled for the first time in its history due to a hurricane slamming into the area leaving a wake of destruction, and tragically, death, in its path, I would have thought you were crazy. However, that is exactly what happened.

Last week, Hurricane Sandy slammed full force into the city. The country hadn’t seen a natural disaster so catastrophic since Hurricane Katrina back in 2005. I instantly became  consumed in the event practically 24/7 for two reasons. First, my sister lived in Brooklyn. I was only getting updates from her maybe once a day, and I was worried for her safety. Once I learned she was safe, my thoughts shifted to the marathon I was supposed to run on Sunday.

For the past four months, I spent hundreds of hours training for the New York City Marathon that was scheduled to be run less than a week after Sandy. Many believed the race should be cancelled immediately, saying that it would be disrespectful to the victims of the hurricane to hold such an event. We would be running through the streets entertained by live bands along the way while millions were forced to eat dinner by candlelight. We’d take some water, splash some on our faces, and dump the cups, all while millions more didn’t have access to clean drinking water. When you look at it that way, it seemed that there was no way the race could go on.

A banner of Ryan Hall hangs in New York two days before the ING NYC Marathon was scheduled to be run.

On Wednesday afternoon, Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City, announced that despite the effects of Hurricane Sandy, the race would go on as scheduled. His reasoning was that New Yorkers were resilient, and they would use the race as a way to help the city cope with disaster and tragedy to get back on its feet.

The race was re-branded as a “run to recover,” with the New York Road Runners, the organization hosting the race, promising to donate $1 million to relief efforts. The attitude of the race would be much like the 2001 New York City Marathon, held less than two months after the 9/11 attacks. But there was one major problem in comparing the race in 2001 to this year’s.

Back in 2001, they had nearly two months to recover and prepare. This year, they would have less than a week. Would they have run the marathon in 2001 if the attacks had occurred less than a week before the race? That would have been highly doubtful.

Either way, with a green light for the race on Sunday, I packed my bags and flew to New York. Friday was a pretty incredible day in the city. At the race expo, there was still the same pre-race buzz that there would be at any marathon. I attended a pre-race run with Asics and got to meet Ryan Hall, the Michael Jordan of American distance running.

I was fortunate to have a breakfast sitting at a table that included Molly Pritz, the top American finisher at last year’s race, as well as Deena Kastor, who won an Olympic bronze medal in the marathon in 2004. I returned to my hotel later that afternoon to relax. That’s when the weekend was turned upside down. As I flipped through the channels and stopped on the local news, I heard the news anchors utter words I thought I’d never hear.

Ryan Hall and I. Hall is the owner of the fastest American marathon under any conditions ever.

“We are getting reports that the New York City Marathon, scheduled for Sunday, has been cancelled.”

I immediately began to panic. This couldn’t be happening. I had to be dreaming. They couldn’t just pull the plug 40 hours out from the race right? They could, and they did. Within minutes, the reports were confirmed, and there it was in big bold letters across the screen: NEW YORK CITY MARATHON CANCELLED.

To be quite honest, my immediate reaction was anger. How could they take this away from the 47,000 of us who sacrificed so much to train for this race and get here? We had travelled from all over the world just to find out we might as well turn around and go home. On my way down to the lobby, we informed a runner of the news that she hadn’t yet learned. After we told her the race was cancelled, the look in her eyes was like she found out a family member had died. The hotel lobby was chaos. When looking around at other runners, you would have honestly thought the president had just been assassinated.

The mood was that grim. I had to get away from the lobby, away from other runners. Within thirty seconds of leaving the hotel, a reporter from the New York Time interviewed me to get my opinion on the race being cancelled. Not wanting to say anything stupid, I gave him a very textbook answer on how it was more important to focus on the relief efforts of the hurricane.

On Friday, I found my name among the 47,000 runners who would have run in the ING NYC Marathon on the “Wall of Marathoners” installed by ASICS at the Columbus Square subway station.

After a couple hours, my head started to clear, and I came to a realization. As heartbreaking as it was, canceling the race was the right thing to do. When you looked at what was happening around the city, it was impossible to think of running a marathon. How could we shut down the Verrazano Narrows Bridge to run across it, when the residents of Staten Island who had their homes destroyed relied on rescue teams using the bridge to get to them?

How could we use generators to power the start and finish when millions were in need of one to provide something as basic as electricity to their homes? How could we use so much water and Gatorade in the race when there were people in the same area who had no access to such resources?

Running the marathon would have been disrespectful, and we all knew it. It wouldn’t have been lifting the city up in a time of need; it would have been kicking it while it was down.

All of those not involved in the race saw that from the start, while all of those in the race were so blinded by our own goals, that we needed the race taken away from us to fully come to that realization.

Part of the ASICS team at what would have been the finish line of the ING NYC Marathon.

Sunday morning, we went to run a loop around Central Park. I put on my race shirt and attached my number, one of the hardest things I’ve had to do as a runner. But when we got to the park, the scene was not one of sadness, but inspiration. Tens of thousands had descended on the park to run, many of them running laps until they completed the 26.2 miles they had travelled so far to run.

In a time of tragedy, it was one of the most inspirational events I’ve been able to take part in, and the run I took part in through Central Park that brisk, clear Sunday morning was something that I will remember for the rest of my life.

Now, I return back to Eugene, and while I’m not as sore as I had planned on being, I’m coming home more inspired than I ever imagined possible after this trip.

Rainy Day Running: The winter weather has got to be taken in stride.


Well it’s here, guys. The arctic chill has arrived, and it’s time to trade in our track shorts in favor of some weather-friendly tights. Yesterday’s run was a bit of a wake-up call for me in this sense. Let me elaborate: it was fa-reezing for the first 5 blocks, and as my training partner and I turned the corner we encountered a tidal wave in the form of rain, which gradually progressed to pearl-sized hailstones pecking at us for the rest of our run. We were soaked, and we were less-than-happy campers.

The situation brought a quote by legendary University of Oregon track coach Bill Bowerman to mind – “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just soft people.” It is fitting that this was said by a man who lived in Oregon—specifically the Willamette valley—where the weather is bipolar and generally in a bad mood from October through June. Yet the purpose of this column not to sit here and complain about the weather, it’s to talk about running, and running, in this case, relates to the weather.

As runners in Oregon,we can’t “go soft” because of the weather and let down the running coach gods of Oregon, now can we? More than that, we can’t let ourselves down, and thus we’ve got to log those winter miles and run those winter workouts despite the torrents that await us for the next 5-6 months.

Perhaps they don’t await you, though. Maybe you’re one of those runners who can handle running on treadmill when the conditions are looking positively sloppy. In general, I think a lot of “outdoor runners” look down on “treadmill runners”. They seem to be scoffed at by outdoor, purist runners as if they are breaking the code of runnerhood, which must somewhere state that you cannot be stationary and running at the same time.

However, I respect you, treadmill-runners, for your tenacity to exercise and forgo the elements at the same time—no matter how boring it is. The last time I tried to run on a treadmill I lasted about 13 minutes, but if I didn’t had a watch on I would have sworn it was an hour. The time-slowing ability of the treadmill might really be a science worth looking into. People who lament that there aren’t more hours in the day should try completing their tasks on a treadmill (if possible), because minutes never seem to pass more slowly than when on that device.

Moving on from my bewilderment when it comes to treadmills, and in all seriousness, you don’t necessarily have to brave the elements every time you train. Cross training is a great way to give your body a break from the pounding of running and get a workout at the same time, no matter what the weather. Even when I ran collegiately, our coach had almost all of us cross train once-a-week to help keep us injury-free. So perhaps wintertime is an especially ideal time to take up a cycling class or get in the pool to swim laps or aqua jog.

But winter running isn’t always dreary and damp. During today’s run I was feeling nice and cozy in a fleece hoodie and tights as my training partner and I head out for a comfy 5 miler. The grayscale of the sky and the concrete was offset by her florescent orange trainers and every couple steps we crunched a fallen leaf. Nothing could have felt like a more perfect run, despite the nose-numbing weather. As you can see, autumn and winter weather can still make for terrific runs, not to mention some fun, muddy runs.

Since it seems I’ve dedicated this entire post to talking about the weather, I might as well touch on seasonal affective disorder (SAD), AKA the winter blues, and how running relates to it. Though it may appear trivial, SAD is the real deal. According to an interview published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, 20% of the U.S. population is at least minimally affected by the seasonal shift—not surprisingly, it particularly affects us northern states.

What does that have to do with running? Well, spending time outdoors and exercise—especially when the two are combined—have shown to improve those who are feeling similar to the gray and weepy clouds above. The being out of doors part helps because of the exposure to sunlight (even if it’s through clouds), and the exercise part helps because endorphins are a natural stimulant (read: runner’s high). So, if you’re feeling a little sad with the seasonal shift, or you notice yourself sleepier than usual lately, running may be the answer. (But it’s not a wonder-drug, so please, if you are downright depressed, see a doctor).

Here’s a fun way to usher in our season of questionable forecasts: The EWEB Run to Stay Warm will take place November 18th, the Sunday before Thanksgiving. The events include a  half-marathon, 10k, 5k, and kids 400m. The race starts and finishes at EWEB’s River Edge Plaza with the courses looping along the river path, which makes for a fun race for the sake of racing, as well as a flat, paved course for those interested in a fast time. And who might be staying warm thanks to your signing up to run? EWEB income-eligible customers who are having a hard time paying for their utilities.

Until next time, I’ll see you on the trails!

Team Run Eugene Picks Olympian Ian Dobson as New Coach

Runners World

Ian Dobson, 2008 Olympian and former Oregon Track Club Elite member, will serve as coach for Team Run Eugene. He replaces Andy Downin who recently accepted a position in Boston, Mass.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Ian as the coach of Team Run Eugene and we’re incredibly grateful to Andy Downin for his work in helping to launch this group one year ago,” said TRE Executive Director Robert Wayner. “Ian’s professional running experience coupled with his involvement in the local running community make him an ideal fit with TRE’s mission.”

Team Run Eugene is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing support for aspiring professional runners who otherwise would not have the opportunity to continue their training post-collegiately. They also enhance the running and broader communities through fostering and supporting talent, and through the promotion of running as part of a healthy and active lifestyle.

Dobson competed in the 5,000m in the Beijing Olympics and was an NCAA National Champion and ten-time All-American while at Stanford University. Dobson still holds the Stanford school records in the 5,000m (13:15.33) and steeplechase (8:32.09).

Dobson’s leadership experience extends beyond the track. He has worked at the University of Oregon’s LeaderShape Institute and with the university’s Competition Not Conflict program. In addition, he organizes and coaches a weekly community running group in Eugene.

“I’m delighted to be working with Team Run Eugene. This is the perfect opportunity to take the lessons I learned in my own running career and apply them to developing athletes and promoting running in Eugene,” Dobson said. “It’s an honor to work with these athletes. TRE has enormous potential and I’m proud to be a part of it.”

Dobson competed in high school at Klamath Union in Klamath Falls. He graduated in the 2000 class before competing at the collegiate level. From there he went on to graduate from Stanford University in 2005 (redshirted one season) with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He ran professionally for Adidas from 2005-09, and for Nike and the OTC Elite from 2010-12.

Dobson has competed in many local races including the Butte to Butte. Here is a post-race interview listed below.