No summer plans yet? Consider visiting Eugene, Oregon for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials (either as a spectator or as a volunteer) from June 22 - July 1 at the University of Oregon. Being there is on my list of 100 things all runners should do before they die.
Craig Virgin (3-time 10K Olympian) and Mark Coogan (’96 Olympic Marathoner), who were contributors to my book, say that attending a U.S. Olympic Trials track meet is a must for any runner during their lifetime. Each survived the disasters, upsets, and disappointments common to all Olympic Trials to finish in the top three in their events, guaranteeing their places on the Olympic team.
The hallowed University of Oregon’s Hayward Field in Eugene with the famous covered wooden grandstands was the site of the 1972, ’76, ’80, and 2008 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials, and will again play host to the trials this year. Track fans know first-hand that the anticipation and excitement this event generates is not found in the stands of any other sporting event.
For the 2008 trials, 2,300 volunteers helped make the experience an unforgettable one for athletes and spectators alike. Sound like fun? Learn more about being a volunteer here.
Many former Olympians return regularly to the trials to see the future of U.S. Track and Field up-close and to relive past glory. “It is just an unbelievably entertaining ten days of action and drama for anybody who loves running,” says Craig Virgin. “Many people think it is even better than the Olympic Games themselves.”