By: Maiah Dalton, Eugene Marathon EMbassador
If you’ve never run a marathon, and the thought of even attempting to train for a 26.2 mile road race makes you balk, keep reading. Yes, you can nab a beginner’s guide to running a marathon book, train and run of one the fastest marathon courses (flat, scenic and relatively easy). But you may also walk or run the half marathon, which is the same day and part of the same course and still experience the adulation of TrackTown’s running fans. If a half seems daunting as well, there’s a 5K race during marathon weekend, and if you have a little kid or you’re under 12, you can run the 1K Duck Dash. See? There’s something for everyone!
As a fitness instructor, marathon ambassador and stroller strider, I like fun runs, exhilarating courses and most of all, a supportive fan base to keep me going. Eugene Marathon weekend is basically a town wide party, friends. Nobody will bat an eye if you burst into a coffee shop, sweat and endorphins pouring. You can go out to eat in those giant arch-supporting sandals after your long run and not be judged. You can wave and chat to friendly runners, and if you see someone wearing the same Eugene Marathon shirt, you may just make a new best friend while out and about. Not only is Eugene’s grocery and dining scene casual, healthy and athlete-friendly, the whole town and surrounding area offers tons to do while staying over the weekend.
Pre-run walks along the Willamette river, jaunts to Prefontaine’s historical memorial rock, strolls through blooming flowers in Hendrick’s Park, yoga at one of the zillion yoga studios and bike rides through campus are a few gentle active activities to do before the big race.
After the run, enjoy those free post-race pancakes and concert, then rent a hourly hot tub or sauna session in town, get a sports massage, head to an organic spa day or simply veg out (literally) at vegan food spots around town. Dive into a latte a one of the various coffee spots and get a foam roller at one of the local running shops for a true post-run treat.
History happens in Eugene, friends. Specifically, running history. Spectators are as welcome as runners during race weekend. University of Oregon is a running mecca, and from inspiring university runners’ achievements to world record setting Olympic runners, the spectators are a part of the race. The support you’ll feel as you cross that finish line on the fifty yard line in Autzen Stadium will be unmatched. Whether you’re finishing the half or full or cheering on your toddler attempting to run a 1K with you, the Eugene Marathon weekend is the place to be for runners and their fans.
You can use code MAIAHEM19 for $10 off your race entry. See you at the finish party, I mean, line!