TrackTown USA Legacy & Community
Eugene, Oregon is TrackTown USA.
One of the most famous track and field destinations in the world is Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus. This site is hallowed ground for track and field athletes and fans. Since 1921, Hayward Field has hosted numerous championships and world-class track and field events.
It was also here that Nike took wings, when former Olympian and University of Oregon Track Coach Bill Bowerman and, then, middle-distance runner Phil Knight forged a partnership that ignited the beginnings of what would become the largest sports and fitness company in the world.
In 2020, the stadium was re-built at Hayward Field prior to hosting the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field and the World Athletic Championships Oregon22. Its new innovative design pays tribute to the historic legacy of TrackTown USA.
The adjacent community of Springfield shares in the community's running heritage, as the home to Bowerman and other track stars, and the site of additional significant races. A complementary indoor track facility is planned for Springfield.
Track legend Steve Prefontaine ran for the University of Oregon track team, amazing crowds by winning every American running record between 2,000 and 10,000 meters in 1975. Since then, many other amazing track and field athletes have followed, becoming local heroes, and many, even Olympians.
Part of the magic attributed to Eugene-Springfield as a running destination is the enthusiasm for track among its residents. Not only have great runners emerged from the University of Oregon's track team and world renowned athletes competed here — many residents are passionate about running themselves!
You see this manifested in the cheering crowds that fill Hayward Field's stadium seats or line the roadways for the Eugene Marathon. It is also apparent by the many locally-owned running stores across town, the numerous group runs and 5K walk/run events, the miles of lovingly maintained chip trails and the sheer volume of amateur runners out on the trails, rain or shine.
Additional organizations coordinate and manage a variety of road races, trail runs, triathlons and meets including Eclectic Edge Racing and Level 32 Racing. Pink Buffalo Racing provides a training course for track event directors. And USA Track and Field and the University of Oregon are strong partners for track and field.
Eugene, Cascades & Coast Sports Commission
Since its formation in 2012, the Eugene, Cascades & Coast Sports Commission has celebrated and supported athletic events of all types and scale across the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region (Lane County). The non-profit organization helps both local sports teams and groups, and visiting teams, organizations and athletes navigate sports events held locally. The complimentary assistance provided by the sports commission includes helping to locate event and arena sites; team and staff housing; advising on transportation; facilitating community contacts for partnerships, permitting and services; providing visitor information, marketing support and orchestrating a warm welcome for participants.
Ongoing Investments in Track
The Eugene - Springfield community continues to invest in track and field infrastructure and refresh its amenities and resources for athletes. With each event at Hayward Field, each community 5K and each neighborhood group run, the fan base grows ensuring that Eugene will be the heart and home of track and field for generations to come.
TRACKTOWN USA ACCOLADES
With its delightful chip trails interwoven throughout the city, Eugene is truly a runner's delight. Eugene continues to rack-up the running accolades:
"Best Places in the U.S. for Runners"
Eugene ranked #1
"Official RRCA Runner Friendly Community"
Road Runners Club of America, 2012 - 2017
"Walk Friendly Community"
Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, 2017
Eugene - Gold Level
"Top 10 Fittest Cities in America"
Eugene ranked #10
"Eugene Marathon - Best New Marathon"
Runner's World, January 2013
"Ten Best Running Cities in the U.S."
Active.com, since 2012
Eugene ranked #2
"Eugene Marathon Top Ten Greenest Races"
Runner's World, November 2008
"The Best Track to Watch a Meet"
Runner's World, May 2003
Hayward Field, University of Oregon, Eugene ranked #10
"The Best 20 Places in the Country to be a College Sports Fan"
Sports Illustrated, September 2003
Eugene ranked #7
"10 Best Running Cities"
Runner's World, January 2001
Eugene ranked #6