Track Town, USA: The crazy Eugene weather is part of today’s tale. Hot and humid for the past two days, suddenly this evening – just as the races began – the skies opened. Typical.

Our day was quiet. DT was in meetings, so I stayed in the RV park and ran up that dang hill again. I have been running on flat-lands or a treadmill since we returned to Oregon, so was surprised when I was able to run to the top (super-steep 1½ miles) without stopping. I was not surprised when the same lady (older than me!) I have seen on this route before, came flying past me. I spoke to her on the way back down. She lives at the top and runs down and up the road six days a week!

Later, Dave picked me up after his meetings and we went to lunch at Cafe Yumm. These (local) little restaurants are popping up everywhere I want to be. Healthy, dense calories and fresh! They have sandwiches and wraps, but their staple are Yumm Bowls filled with rice and beans and topped with salsa, avocado, tomatoes, cilantro – you know, a taco or burrito without the tortilla.

Hot n Jazzy with Chicken

What I love about Cafe Yumm? Much of the ingredients are organic and (even though this a counter-service joint) they use real plates, bowls, glasses and cutlery. The only thing paper are the napkins!

Dave had to visit Historic Hayward Field, to check on huge Olympic Trials banners that were being placed over the bleachers (top left). It was interesting to see Hayward Field empty. Just a few professional athletes working out, fine-tuning for the competition Saturday.

But the Pre Classic is tomorrow and there was another track meet tonight. A Pre-Pre, or as they were calling the meet – the Free Pre. Tonight’s meet was free and open to the public! Come one, come all.

Half of the crowd

And did they! 8764 people came in the rain to watch track & field. I love Eugene! Everyone was especially excited because Kenya was holding their men’s 10000m Olympic Trial race in Eugene. This just never happens. Kenyan Olympic officials were in attendance.

Here is running legend, Kip Keino with Steve Prefontaine’s sister and nephew. Hard to believe, but if he were alive, Pre would be 61 years old.

Let the races begin!

The men ran a mile. Yes, there is a mile at the Prefontaine Classic tomorrow… this is what DT was calling the “JV” mile. Everyone in this race had run a sub-4 minute mile. They are some of the best milers in the world, but the men in tomorrow’s mile are even faster. This stuff scares me. So much talent on the track! Matthew Centrowitz ran tonight. He set a personal best (3:57) and finished 8th! That is how fast these guys ran.

The men ran a mile. Yes, there is a mile at the Prefontaine Classic tomorrow… this is what DT was calling the “JV” mile. Everyone in this race had run a sub-4 minute mile. They are some of the best milers in the world, but the men in tomorrow’s mile are even faster. This stuff scares me. So much talent on the track! Matthew Centrowitz ran tonight. He set a personal best (3:57) and finished 8th! That is how fast these guys ran.

Then the race of the day! The 10000m Kenyan Olympic Trials. The first two finishers are automatic qualifiers and the Kenyan Olympic Federation will select the third athlete. Cutthroat competition. Every single man could win the Olympic 10000m. Wilson Kiprop won in 27.01 and the rest of the pack finished together. What a thrilling race for the Hayward crowd.
Read more about the meet here.

After his race, Matthew came up to see us. Here he is posing in his tough guy mode with his coach, Andy Powell (left).

Such a wonderful night of the One True Sport! Tomorrow, we do it all again. Until my next update, I remain your elated correspondent.

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