Post by Eugene Marathon Ambassador Julie.
I ran in High School. I wasn’t half bad either! After graduating, like many, I stopped running and started adulting. Little did I know as a young adult, running can really help you adult better!
I started running as a 31 year old “adult.” I had just moved to a new town. I only knew a handful of people, zero being runners. I was a lone runner, who really didn’t know much. Running now was so different than HS track and cross country. I met one running friend that year. She was training for a marathon before she turned 40. Running with her changed everything for me.
It wasn’t long before I started meeting more area runners. I learned what a “full marathon” was and dreamed of running one. I still didn’t know much, but I gleaned information from any “more experienced” runner I meet. I was given a stack of Runner’s World magazines from a friend. One story in one of those magazines started something for me, something so fun!
The story: a runner from New York picked up coins as he ran the streets. It inspired me to do that same. I live in a small town, completely different than NY, but I figured, “why not?” It wasn’t long before I found my first coin. I started a small jar thinking it would take “forever” to fill. To my surprise it didn’t take long at all. I started a second jar, and soon a third. After filling three jars, I put all my jar money into a large glass vase.
I have fun with my coins, posting on Instagram and facebook with the hashtag #foundchange. I have had runner friends start their own jars, tagging me in their #foundchange posts. I have also had running friends mail me their #foundchange to add to my collection. It’s become such a fun thing, giving me well over $100.
I’ve also found other random “junk” while running from hunting knives to easter bunnies (no joke!). I do have a collection of #foundrocks. I’m saving them! One Saturday group run, my group will go plant these rocks, once again, for others to find. As for the hunting knives and easter bunnies, they are just silently taking up space in my room! Lol!
My #foundchange isn’t just a fun running tradition for me anymore. It’s become part of my runs. I have my own set of rules. No picking up change when racing or doing tempo runs. I have found money while racing (crazy hu!?). The list goes on, but…you get the picture. People often ask, “what will you buy with your #foundchange?” That’s something I’ve thought about a lot. I will only turn this found change in and spend it when I register for Boston! All the miles, all the training, they produced a jar full of money and those miles gave me faster legs, legs and coins that will take me to Boston one day!
I am currently training for the Eugene Marathon in April. I ran Eugene in 2018 and did qualify for Boston.This last year was the hardest year to get into Boston to date. My time was cut off due to so many entries. So, I train again, for another chance at a dream!
Eugene is a fast and fairly flat course. It’s the end of April and typically has great running weather.The course is beautiful and Eugene is such a “runner friendly” community. Track Town USA. A lot of the course is ran on “Pre’s trail.” They say there’s something “magical” about running on Pre’s trail. I’ve raced there and just ran there. There is something “magical.” It’s not sparkly and glitter like, it’s just so inviting. As a runners community, I felt so welcome on that trail. People I ran into were all so pleasant and nice. The trails are maintained and easy to access and run on. Knowing some of the greatest ran here, like Steve Prefontaine, Bill Bowerman and Ashton Eaton is empowering.
In 2018 I got the privilege of finishing my Boston Qualifying Marathon on Hayward Field. Right on the track. Unfortunately I was so spent the last 100 meters, I don’t remember much, but I remember the crowd as I turned onto the track. I remember hearing my name and I do remember seeing that beautiful finish line. After I looked at photos and saw people in the stadium and the glorious look of that amazing track.
This year, the start and finish of Eugene Marathon is going to be different due to construction. Eugene does have a plan, Autzen Stadium. We will start on the “Big O” side of Autzen Stadium, and finish on the fifty yard line!!!The course will still be nice and fast.