Trip wrap, part 5: running in Eugene

30 05 2010

Nearing the end of my trip, and I wasn’t sure if I should stay in Eugene, or just move on to Portland. And as much as I love Portland, I figured a night in Eugene wouldn’t hurt.

It rained most of the day, and I had to drag my suitcase through it all, since the hostel I was planning to stay at did not open until 3:00. I managed to make my way to the University of Oregon, in an attempt to visit Hayward Field, the legendary track that hosted the 2008 US Olympic trials, and will do so again in 2012. Unfortunately, I came during a heavy downpour. Clearly, it wasn’t a good time for a visit.

I wasn’t going to be deterred, however. On the way back to the hostel, I remembered about Pre’s Trail, the running trail that was inspired by Steve Prefontaine’s visits to similar trails while competing in Europe.

portion of Pre's trail

Luckily, the rain stopped briefly, with some hints of sun, during my visit to the trail in the early evening. Apart from a couple of information boards, I wasn’t too sure if I was running on the trail or not. But as long as the trail composition was the same, I thought, I should be OK. Just being there, on a pilgrimage of sorts, reinforced for me the reasons I’m still running after four years: the simplicity, the quiet solitude (for me at least), and the sheer fun of it. And in the end, it was the highlight of my trip to Eugene.