Sunday, May 8, 2016

Running Tour of Eugene

Just time for a quick recap of... my long run!

Two things brought me back to the ol' blog:

1) I finally connected two routes I often run as out-and-backs and turned them into a loop. I knew it would be about twelve miles but until recently twelve miles was "too long" (although given that ten or eleven miles have been "totally manageable" for some time, that idea makes zero sense). With a half marathon on the horizon, though, I figured it was time!

2) For a while now I've thought about taking a picture during every mile of some run to share with you guys and give you an idea of what Eugene running (sometimes) looks like. There are plenty of boring, repetitive miles in this town but there are also some pretty cool places nearby. Looking through these photos also reminded me that a lot really can happen over the course of one run!

Unsurprisingly, it was a real pain in the ass to pull out my camera each mile, not to mention the fact that moseying about snapping photos may not be the best training strategy. Consequently this may be my first and last run tour but who knows! It was kind of a fun addition to my long run.

Mile 1: Amazon Park

Everything's so lush in Eugene right now! The volume of trees and flowers in the park seems to have ballooned almost overnight. Amazon Park is a pretty popular place for runners although there's only, like, a mile of trail so it's best used the way you'd use a track.

Mile 2: Rexius Trail

The Rexius Trail connects Amazon Park to the trails over by Spencer Butte but my god, it's boring. Nothing to see here.

Mile 3: TURKEYS!

Turkeys are badass. I see them occasionally in this part of town but it's infrequent enough that I flip out whenever it happens. They were not pleased by my presence (odor?). They puffed up once I got too close and ran off. Sorry dudes.

Mile 4: free water!

I don't know who these people are but I love them. This cooler contains free water and plastic cups for anyone in need and as far as I can tell, it's there every weekend. Today was the first day I actually took advantage of it (my handheld water bottle's only good for about 10 miles so I wanted to top it off).

Mile 5: trail!

Is this the Ridgeline Trail? I run here all the time and I still can't figure out which thing is actually Ridgeline. Whatever the case, this somewhat brutal hill takes you up, up, up to the trails around Spencer Butte. Again, it's all so lush right now!

Bonus mile 5: snail!

I couldn't help myself, this guy was too cute.

Mile 6: more trail

This was just before Dillard Road, which you have to run on for half a mile or so to access Mt. Baldy.

Mile 7: Mt. Baldy

It makes me laugh that this place somehow qualifies as a mountain when it's far smaller than the Butte and doesn't really have a summit. The views are pretty nice, though. That's a McMansion down there. This area is full of them. I was pretty excited once I made it here since it meant I was nearly done climbing!

Mile 8: more McMansions

To get from Baldy to Hendricks Park, you have to run through an insanely expensive-looking neighborhood. Seriously, this place is ridiculous. The massive hedge shrouding this mansion as well as the totally unnecessary gate made me laugh. Seriously, Eugene is so safe. Also, homeless people aren't going to shlep all the way out here to steal your shit.

Mile 9: 30th Ave.

Just a quick trip over the highway before getting back to trails at Hendricks Park.

Mile 10: Hendricks Park

This is next to the rhododendron garden, which was super popular today. This is also where my throat started freaking out and made me worry I was having an allergic reaction to... rhododendrons? Unclear. I'm nearly back to normal two hours later so I'll take that as a good sign.

Mile 11: Hayward "who gives a shit" Field

I altered my route slightly to take this gorgeous shot. YOU'RE WELCOME. But seriously, the excitement this thing incites confounds me.

Mile 12: Spencer Butte

Twelve miles in the books! 

This ended up being a really enjoyable run, and not as hard as I thought it would be, given the elevation (total gain 1,500 feet).

You want to see the elevation chart, you say? But of course!

And that's all I've got time for! Let's do this again sometime, huh?


  1. Oh hey there! Your regular routes look pretty nice. (There are no people in any of them! Just traces of people! This makes the city girl in me freak the hell out as I am dodging people on my regular routes every day regardless of time of day.)

    Hayward Field - to me it's just a field, too, though I suppose it has a lot of history? (I mean, that track has probably had every molecule replaced about a dozen times since Pre last set foot on it.) Although I suffer from the 'familiarity breeds contempt' trap too - sometimes I boggle at the hordes of tourists tromping down the halls of the campus we live on ('but it's just MIT'), but have to check myself ('oh, I guess it is *THE* MIT').

    Have fun at the half! :) Tell me you picked it for the name.

    1. I hate having other people around when I run so it's perfect for me! Of course, Eugene is pretty much the safest place on earth so I don't really think twice about it.

      Although I DO think the name is pretty clever, this wasn't my first choice for a race. I was going to do the Eugene half but accidentally made plans for that weekend. This is kind of a consolation. I'm not really into the whole "have a glass of wine after you run and feel classy!" (you couldn't pay me enough to pretend to enjoy alcohol immediately following a race), nor the emphasis on wine in general (beer's better!), but it'll be nice to run in a new area.

  2. Ha! I just ran the Eugene Marathon last Sunday, and I too did not get the hype about Hayward Field. Like, it's just a track. The course was pretty, though!

    1. But Pre ran there!!!!! I get the feeling that a lot of people who don't really know who he was geek out about it anyway. Of course, I know little to nothing about him (mostly I just remember that he died in a drunk driving accident) so what do I know?!

  3. So when are you selling tickets for Jean-o's Run Tour of Eugene?? I'm sold! Have a coupon day for me, since it's going to be a pretty expensive commute to get out there. Also, I'm only coming on the tour if you promise to use that exact line every time runners reach mile 11 on the tour. It will be fun to see how many of them catch it.

    Good to see you on the interwebs!