For anyone who has ever experienced the electrifying atmosphere of Hayward Field or jogged along a tree-lined running trail where Olympic-caliber athletes train, it's not surprising that Eugene is often referred to as a runner's paradise, a Mecca for track and field, and is: TrackTown USA.
Located in the scenic landscape of the Willamette Valley, between the Oregon Coast and the Cascade Mountains, Eugene and neighboring Springfield offer a bounty of venues and events focused on track and field and the local running community.
Miles of trails offer diverse terrain and training territory for runners of all skill-levels – including many world-class athletes, who have been drawn to the area to live and compete. European-inspired bark running trails are prevalent throughout the city from level pathways to hillside woodland trails. Runners share the right of way with cyclists along the extensive black-topped paths that meander along the beautiful banks of the Willamette River. Paths are easily accessible on both the north and south banks with five bike/footbridges that span the river.
Events - Watch the Action
From up and coming hopefuls to the world's best, there's no better place to watch track and field athletes in action than in Eugene. At center stage, legendary Hayward Field is the premier site of a long list of meets, from the internationally-acclaimed Prefontaine Classic to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials — Track & Field.
Be Part of the Action
Imagine actually competing at Hayward Field! In the Eugene/Springfield community, being a spectator is optional. Everyone is welcome to experience the camaraderie of fellow running enthusiasts or the thrill of competition by entering a community run, a marathon or an all-comers' track and field meet. Road racing and track and field enthusiasts of all skill levels are welcome to participate in a variety of local events.
A variety of local organizations and companies exist to support, organize and/or promote running and track and field events. From small, casual community running groups to large-scale championships, these groups provide a cornerstone of support for running enthusiasts and stanch competitive athletes.
Ranked among the best places for running, watching track and field events and for just being an all-out sports fan, Eugene is consistently noted for its athletic amenities and spirit.
History, Legacy & Legends
From the legend of Steve Prefontaine to the waffle iron used to create rubber-spiked soles for Nike's earliest running shoes, Eugene's history is steeped with a rich track and field culture unlike any place in the world.