Today is the anniversary of the passing of an American running legend, Steve Prefontaine. Prefontaine is often credited with kick-starting the running craze in the States in the 1970s. (Thank you!) Before his running career was cut short by a car accident, Prefontaine held the American record in every event over a mile: 2000m, 3000m, 2-mile, 3-mile, 10000m, and 6-mile.
After Prefontaine's death, Lane County (Oregon) worked closely with the Oregon Track Club and University of Oregon track coach Bill Bowerman to design and build the running trail - known as "Pre's Trail" - that winds for four miles through Alton Baker Park in Eugene, OR.
It was about a year ago that I had the opportunity to run Pre's trail, with a running group from Seattle, as part of their last workout before the Eugene marathon.
The trail is extremely well-maintained and covers a beautiful section of the park. On any given day it is filled with runners from the neighborhood and from the legendary University of Oregon running community. It is a trail worth seeking out for a run while traveling, both for the secenery and for the running history.
"You have to wonder at times what you're doing out there. Over the years, I've given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement."