Spotlight on Eugene: a.k.a. Track Town USA



It is well known that Eugene is home to the University of Oregon, but if you look closer, the city is also known for its natural beauty, eclectic shops, restaurants, music, festivals, arts, and outdoor recreational opportunities like bicycling, kayaking, and running.

Eugene is often referred to as the “Emerald City” mostly due to our lush green landscape of the Willamette Valley. But perhaps we are best known as “Track Town, USA“, a nickname we take great pride in.

Why are we known as “Track Town, USA”? It could be the miles and miles of running trails or the numerous venues and events focused on track and field and the local running community.

Eugene is the host city for World-Class Track & Field events such as 2008 and 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, and the 2009 and 2011 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials
U.S. Olympic Team Trials

In the summer of 2014, Eugene will be the host city for the IAAF World Junior Championships. Eugene 2014 marks the first time the IAAF World Junior Championships has been held in the United States and the first IAAF event held on U.S. soil since 1992!

Historic Hayward Field is one of the most famous track and field-only facilities in the world. Built in 1919 on the University of Oregon campus, this historic venue has hosted nine NCAA Championships, six national championships, three Olympic Trials, 30 Prefontaine Classics and numerous other prestigious track and field events.


It was here where Steve Prefontaine captured national attention and University of Oregon Track Coach Bill Bowerman formed a partnership with Phil Knight that launched Nike, the largest sports and fitness company in the world.

Eugene is also home to Oregon Track Club Elite athletes, considered among the nation’s best, all of whom live and train in the Eugene area.

The annual Eugene Marathon Draws more than 5,000 runners from around the nation and beyond, and was recently named one of the “Top 10 Best New Marathons in the U.S.” by Runner’s World magazine.

It’s no wonder we are known as Track Town USA!

Track Town USA photo credit: andrechinn via photopin cc

Archived U of O track photo credit: gbaku via photopin cc

U.S. Olympic Team Trials photo credit: U.S. Army IMCOM via photopin cc