, 2022-07-18 16:35:00,
Echoes of Steve Prefontaine are everywhere in Eugene.
The legendary runner’s likeness graces city walls, art galleries and even a 10-story tower looming over Hayward Field. A bronze statue of Steve stands at 5th Street Public Market’s new Market Alley. Pre’s Trail, one of America’s finest cross country courses, was named in his honor, as was the Prefontaine Classic, an elite running event that takes place in Eugene each June. Athletes honor the man who inspired America’s early “running boom,” shaving wild mustaches before meets or leaving racing shirts and shoes at the memorial marking the spot near his home where he died in a car wreck at age 24.
Whether you’re in town for the World Athletics Championships or just passing through, here’s a guide to the markers, memorials and murals honoring one of Oregon’s favorite sons.
After winning a 5,000 meter race at Hayward Field on May 29, 1975, Prefontaine attended a party at a friend’s house, dropped off a friend, then, shortly after midnight, rolled his gold-colored MG convertible while rounding a bend on Skyline Boulevard. He died at the scene.
A small memorial at the site of that crash, near Birch Lane, roughly 2425 Skyline Blvd., has become a destination for runners hoping to pay their respects. An engraved stone plaque surrounded by memorabilia including racing bibs, T-shirts and running shoes features an image of Pre that reads:
“To your principles and beliefs…
For your love, warmth and friendship,
For your family and friends…
You are missed by so many,
And you will never be forgotten.”
Whether you’re an elite distance runner here to compete or a reformed couch potato working up to your first 5k, no visit to Eugene would be complete without a turn around this immaculately maintained cross-country course, which winds its way past ponds, streams, Autzen Stadium and the rushing Willamette River just north of campus at Alton Baker park.
Lined with wood chips and bark dust, the 4.4-mile loop was inspired by Prefontaine, who suggested the idea of building a trail with an alternate surface to asphalt in the park after competing in…
To read the original article, go to Click here