Great Balloon Chase, New Mexico

Ready to chase the sky? This unparalleled destination race that lets you run alongside a kaleidoscope of hot air balloons. Feel the rush and marvel at the spectacle set against the stunning Sandia Mountains and the Rio Grande River Valley.

Glacier Park Half Marathon, Montana

Welcome to Big Sky Country, where the vast, open landscapes and endless horizons offer a runner’s dream come true. Whether you’re a seasoned marathoner or a casual jogger, Montana’s breathtaking scenery and diverse trails provide the perfect backdrop for your next adventure.

Fargo Half Marathon, North Dakota

You betcha I’m in Fargo. In a world where we often feel disconnected, the Fargo Half Marathon serves as a reminder of the power of community that permeates every aspect of this event.

Indy Mini 500 Half Marathon, Indiana

We run as one. The Indy 500 Mini Marathon is a must-do event for any running enthusiast. With its flat and fast course, runners have the opportunity to complete a 2.5-mile lap around the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the famed Indianapolis 500.

Eugene Half Marathon, Oregon

For runners, this is the Mecca.

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From the newly renovated Hayward Field to the iconic finish on the track, every stride is infused with the spirit of the world’s best runners who have competed on these same roads. Welcome to TrackTown, USA!

This wasn’t just any ordinary half marathon; this is the Eugene Half Marathon.

As runners lace up their shoes and toe the line, they become part of a legacy that stretches back over 50 years, following in the footsteps of legends. And with its association with the World Athletics Championships Oregon22, the Eugene Half Marathon is not just a race; it’s a celebration of running history and a testament to the enduring legacy of this iconic event.

After initially looking to run this race in 2020, Covid hit the world. I patiently waited 3 years to run this historic race that takes place each spring on the last Sunday of April. The course traverses through the communities of Eugene and Springfield, alongside the Willamette River.

The pure joy of entering Hayward Field

Miles 1-2: Flat and fast through the streets of Eugene

Starting at 7:00 a.m. alongside my friend Jeramy Hall and 12,000 other runners, we embarked on a thrilling race the began running parallel to Hayward Field. The excitement was palpable as we knew that in just 12.9 miles, we would be finishing on the iconic track.

Hayward Field ever present from start to finish

These first three miles through the streets of Agate, University and Hilyard (not hilly at all) is was a runner’s dream, with smooth, flat roads that made for fast times and a great overall experience. If there was an incline in the road, I sure as heck didn’t feel it.

Motivation enough, am I right!?

Miles 3- 8: 476 feet of elevation gain and a friendly face

The first and last hill I saw began at Mile 3 and slowly continued it’s incline through Mile 4. From speaking with the race director, this was the primary elevation gain of 476 feet. Why do runner’s like Rosa Moriello who set a course record this year with a finishing time and course record of 1:11:59? That’s why. If you are curious, the men’s half marathon course record was run by William Milam in 2019. His finishing time…a mere 1:03:07. This highlights the sheer athleticism and dedication of these athletes, pushing the boundaries of what seems humanly possible.

As I made my way up the hill, I was greeted by the friendliest of faces: Molly Juillerat. Our connection, forged over years of correspondence, took on new meaning as we shared a moment on the course. Molly’s mother, Renee Stacey, like my Papa, battled Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA), a cruel disease that slowly robs individuals of their ability to communicate. Despite the challenges posed by PPA, there is no cure at present, underscoring the importance of research and support for those affected by this condition.

Molly and I taking in the atmosphere and thinking of our loved ones

Mile 12: Stopping to take in the view at the Willamette River

Renee’s memory was with me every step of the way during the Eugene Marathon. I had promised to run this race in her honor, and as I saw Molly along the course, I felt her spirit urging me on. With renewed determination, I rounded the corner and surged down the hill, passing miles five and six with a sense of purpose.

Running miles 7-8 through Amazon Park and circling back near Hayward Field, I felt a deep connection to Renee’s memory and the impact her family had on me this weekend (more on this later). It was a powerful reminder of the strength that comes from honoring those we’ve lost and the promise of keeping their memory alive through our actions.

Miles 9 -12.9: Oregon Campus and Willamette River

Mile 9 took me through parts of the Oregon campus, leading us toward the Willamette River. As I made my way along the riverbank, I couldn’t help but marvel at its beauty and the surrounding scenery. Running alongside such a famous body of water was a truly memorable experience.

The Willamette River, stretching an impressive 187 miles, provided a picturesque backdrop for the next three miles of the race.

Turning away from the Willamette River, I pushed myself to increase my pace, fueled by the anticipation of running and finishing the race on the track at Hayward Field. The emotions were intense, mirroring the excitement and nerves of finishing a Major Marathon. This moment was the culmination of my journey, and I was determined to make every step count as I raced towards the iconic finish line.

Miles 12.9 – 13.1: Hayward Field – Words…but in the moment…No Words.

The energy of the stadium was electrifying, and it was clear that I was about to experience something truly remarkable. If the sport of running has a physical epicenter, Hayward Field at the University of Oregon might be it, especially given the recent futuristic reconstruction of the track and field stadium. This iconic venue has seen countless historic moments in track and field history, and it continues to be a beacon for runners and fans alike. The newly renovated stadium, with its state-of-the-art facilities and stunning design, is a fitting tribute to the sport, its rich legacy, and the end to this race.

Stepping onto the track at Hayward Field gave me chills. The energy in the stadium, combined with the knowledge that every major American race and qualifying Olympic race has taken place on this hallowed ground, was awe-inspiring. As I slowly made my way across the finish line, I was greeted by my friend Jeramy. We lingered for a while, soaking in the atmosphere and supporting other runners. It was a once-in-a-lifetime feeling of sheer bliss, and I will cherish that moment forever.

Jeramy and I on the track in Hayward Field after running 13.1

Every time I look at my medal, I’m reminded of the history it holds. Each medal contains a piece of salvaged wood from the timbers of Hayward Field’s East Grandstand, a structure that stood witness to nearly a century of record-setting and legendary achievements in track and field. The race organizers collaborated with Springfield High School’s workshop to transform these wood pieces into medals, adding a unique and meaningful element to this year’s race memorabilia.

Thank you to the Jullierat Family

We are incredibly grateful to Molly and her husband Andy for their exceptional hospitality throughout the weekend. Not only did they open their home to us, but they also treated us to a homemade feast and shared unforgettable stories about Renee. Their kindness, generosity, and warmth made us feel like part of their family. We can’t thank them enough for their hospitality and for making our time in Eugene truly special.

Left to Right: Jeramy Hall, Elise Peltier (Renee Stacey’s Speech Therapist), Molly Jullierat, Andy Hamilton and Jason Boschan

30 States Down, 20 to Go!

From historic mansions to waterfront views, this Rhode Island race had everything including the most scenic and stunning coastal views of any half marathon I have ever run.

Newport Half Marathon

From historic mansions to waterfront views, this Rhode Island race had everything including the most scenic and stunning coastal views of any half marathon I have ever run.

Hartford Half Marathon

State #28 did not disappoint. The race was extremely well organized and the people were incredibly friendly!