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    At the Eugene Running Company, we celebrate the rich running heritage of Eugene and the people who have made our community famous worldwide as Tracktown, USA. We've been honored to host the following celebrity runners, in chronological order of their appearance at our store.



      

    Dick Beardsley
    Dick Beardsley
    One of the greatest marathon runners in American history, Dick Beardsley, is appeared at the Eugene Running Company on Sunday, July 2 at 11am. He spoke to Joe Henderson’s Marathon Team as they prepare for the Portland Marathon.

    One of the most memorable duels in the history of the Boston Marathon was waged on a sun-scorched afternoon in 1982. Eugene, Oregon’s Alberto Salazar and Minnesota dairy farmer Dick Beardsley fought one another over the nine-mile stretch from the Newton hills to the finish. Beardsley did the front running, with Salazar tucked in behind on their record pace. With less than one mile remaining, Salazar moved to the front. A sprint finish ensued, and Salazar emerged victorious in 2:08:52, with Beardsley just two seconds back (2:08:54), marking the first time two runners had broken 2:09:00 in the same race.

    Following his talk, Dick will be autographing his book Staying the Course: A Runner’s Toughest Race. This inspirational autobiography recounts the stunning race in Boston that made Dick a celebrity and the difficult years that followed. It’s a story of overcoming extreme obstacles and speaks to anyone who loves competition, who has survived catastrophe, or who has pursued a seemingly impossible goal.

    About Dick Beardsley

    • 1981 London Marathon champion
    • Two-time champion, 1981 & 1982 – Grandma’s Marathon
    • Course record holder (2:09:37) – 1981 Grandma’s Marathon
    • Champion and course record holder – 1987 Napa Valley Marathon
    • Second-place in a painfully close and thrilling race – “The Duel in the Sun” – Boston 1982
    • Fourth-fastest male in US men’s marathon history – 2:08:54
    Words of Praise for Dick Beardsley
    “I’ve heard all the speakers on the running circuit. None has a better story to tell, or tells it better, than Dick Beardsley.” – Joe Henderson, “On the Road” columnist, Marathon & Beyond magazine

    “I came to your running camp to become a better runner and left a better person.” – Pat Loebach, 2003 Dick Beardsley Marathon Running Camp participant

    “Dick’s enthusiasm and passion for long-distance running is incredibly inspiring. He truly knows how to impact the audience with his message.” – Scott Keenan, Grandma’s Marathon race director



    Alberto Salazar
    Alberto Salazar
    Alberto Salazar appeared at the Eugene Running Company on Tuesday, August 8th.

    In 1980, Alberto Salazar won the New York City Marathon while he was a student at the University of Oregon. It was the fastest marathon debut in history. The following year he returned to New York and shattered Derek Clayton's world record which had stood for twelve years. In 1982, Alberto won his third straight NYC Marathon. To this day, it is the last time an American has won the prestigious race. Earlier in the same year he won the Boston Marathon in a thrilling duel with Dick Beardsley.

    Alberto Salazar was born in Havana, Cuba. His family emigrated to the United States and Alberto later became a high school track star in Wayland, Massachusetts. He was recruited to run track and cross country at the University of Oregon under legendary coach Bill Dellinger. With his friend and teammate, Rudy Chapa, he led the Ducks to a National Cross Country Championship in 1977. Alberto was just a college sophomore when he defeated the King of the Roads, Bill Rodgers in the 1978 Falmouth Road Race. After college, Alberto trained and lived in Eugene with his wife and family. He broke six American Records, the World Record and was inducted into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame. In 1994 he made a brief return to world class competition and won the world's most prestigious ultra marathon, the 54 mile Comrades Marathon in South Africa.

    Alberto Salazar now coaches some of the most accomplished distance runners in the country including Olympians Dan Browne, Adam Goucher and Oregon sensation Galen Rupp. He continues to be one of the most inspirational and influential figures in the sport and is leading the renaissance in American Distance Running.



    Kelly Holmes
    Kelly Holmes
    Kelly Holmes spoke at the Eugene Running Company on Monday, November 20th at 7pm.

    Kelly Holmes is a Double Olympic Champion in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens Greece. Her gold medal performances in the 800m and 1,500m events made her an instant legend in the world of International Athletics. During her brilliant career she was coached by Eugene’s Margo Jennings.

    Kelly was awarded Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire by the Queen of England at Buckingham Palace and was named the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. The day after she won her second Olympic Gold Medal, she was awarded the honor of carrying the British flag in the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games.

    Kelly Holmes is one of the greatest middle distance runners in history. She has a bronze medal from the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney Australia, a gold medal from the World Athletics Final and countless medals from the World Championships, World Cup, European Championships and Commonwealth Games.

    Early in her career she ran for the Tonbridge Athletics Club in her native Hildenborough England. In her second season of competition she won the English Schools 1,500m Championship. During an early break from Track & Field, she became the British Army Judo Champion. Kelly Holmes moved to Africa to train with Maria Mutola, the legendary Olympic Champion who lived in Eugene at the Peak of her career.

    Kelly retired from competitive athletics in 2005 and now devotes herself to her passion of mentoring young women athletes.



    Gagliano, Nike Runners
    Gagliano, Nike Runners
    Frank Gagliano, coach of the new Nike sponsored team in Eugene, appeared at the Eugene Running Company on Monday, December 4th at 7pm, accompanied by his team of Nike sponsored post-collegiate runners that will be part of the Eugene based Oregon Track Club. Mark Jensen, owner of Gleukos sports beverage company was on hand to explain how Gleukos partners with the Nike-sponsored team in developing their performance product. Gleukos is the official on-course beverage for the Portland and Eugene Marathons.

    Frank Gagliano coached at Georgetown University for eighteen years where his teams won 23 Big East Conference Championships and 13 IC4A Championships is Cross Country and Track. “Gags” was twice named NCAA Coach Of The Year. For the prior six years, Frank served as head coach of the Nike Farm Team in Palo Alto, California where he produced American Record Holders and National Champions. In 2004, thirty-two of Gags’ athletes qualified for the United States Olympic Trials and two of those athletes earned spots on the American Team for Athens. During his career, Frank Gagliano coached nine athletes to the Olympic Games.

    “Oregon Ducks coach Vin Lannana comments on Gags; “For over four decades, Frank Gagliano has guided athletes to the highest levels of our sport, His experience and passion for track and field have positively impacted the college and post-collegiate programs that he has touched. He will be a tremendous benefit to this new club, the athletes, and the entire athletic community in Eugene.”

    “I am thrilled to embark on this exciting opportunity to continue working with some of the sport’s top athletes,” Gagliano says. “Eugene is an ideal location for high-level training, and I look forward to seeing the benefits of this new team for our athletes and the sport of track and field.”



    Scott Jurek
    Scott Jurek
    Ultra marathoning legend Scott Jurek is the most accomplished trail runner in American History. He is the course record holder and seven time winner of the prestigious Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run. He is a two times Champion and course record holder at the grueling Badwater Ultra Marathon, a 135 mile race across Death Valley.

    Scott visited with our Joe Henderson Marathon Team runners as they completed their longest training run in preparation for the 2006 Portland Marathon. The day after he ran the McKenzie River Trail 50K, Scott embarked on a 35 mile training run which ended at the store where he then greeted our group runners.

    It was all part of Scott's training for the 189 mile Spartathlon Race in Athens, Greece later in the month.


    Joe Henderson
    Joe Henderson
    Joe Henderson is recognized as one of the world's foremost authorities on Running. He has published over two dozen books on the subject and his monthly On The Road Column appears in the periodical Marathon & Beyond. He is a member of the Road Runners Club of America Hall of Fame and has three times won national acclaim for his literary contributions to the sport. As a high school student in Iowa, he was a State Champion runner and the creative influence of the magazine known as Runners World. For over four decades his writing guided runners worldwide through two running booms. In addition to his daily running and writing, Joe Henderson appears at running expos nationwide as a keynote speaker. He teaches running classes to college students at the University of Oregon and coaches the Joe Henderson Marathon Team at the Eugene Running Company.


    Annette Peters
    Annette Peters
    Olympian Annette Peters is the former American Record holder for 5,000m. She is the first American woman to break the mythical fifteen minute barrier. Under the guidance of her long time coach, Tom Heinonen, she became an NCAA Champion as an Oregon Duck then went on to represent the United States at three World Championships and the Olympic Games. One of her most treasured athletic achievements is winning two National Championships on Hayward Field, in front of her adoring hometown fans in 1993. A photo of her triumph over Suzy Hamilton captured her moment of ecstasy and graced the cover of Track & Field News. Then, on a cool summer evening at the German Olympic Stadium in Berlin, she shattered the American Record, thus beating fellow Eugenian, Mary Slaney, in their battle to become the first under fifteen minutes.

    In 1996, Annette was honored by the US Olympic Committee by carrying the Olympic Torch around Hayward Field en route to the Atlanta Olympic Games. Annette Peters retired from competitive running in a farewell Lap of Honor on her beloved Hayward Field Track. Her loyal fans paid tribute with a standing ovation and bouquets of flowers. She completed her final lap with tears in her eyes and was accompanied by her daughter. The Register Guard newspaper photo of the event was voted by Eugene readers as being the best news photograph of the year.


    Meb Keflezighi
    Meb Keflezighi
    At the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Meb became the first American man since 1976 to win an Olympic medal in the men's marathon, taking the silver at Panathenaiko Stadium. The last American man to win an Olympic medal at the distance was Frank Shorter. Born in Eritrea, Keflezighi (pronounced Ka-FLEZ-gee) and his family moved to America in 1987...one of a family of 11 children, he lived in a village in Eritrea with no electricity, where his brothers hid in the bushes so they would not be forced to join the military. He proudly became a US citizen in 1997. Meb Keflezighi is a United States National Champion and American Record Holder at 10,000m. Meb arrived at the Eugene Running Company with his Olympic medal in the hip pocket of his jeans.


    Erin Bruce
    Erin Bruce
    Local ABC News anchor Erin Bruce spoke at the Eugene Running Company on the occasion of her running the Big Sir International Marathon. Her documentary series, Quest For The Marathon, chronicled her training and preparation for her first marathon. She trained under the guidance of Joe Henderson. Television viewers were privy to the personal struggle and tears of joy that symbolize every runners journey in the months leading up to the big race. Erin accomplished her goal in style, and viewers were able to share the marathon experience with her.



    Jim Hill
    Jim Hill
    Jim Hill was a star distance runner during the peak of the great running boom in the 1980's. After graduating from Oregon, he trained in Eugene becoming the fastest 10,000m runner in the country. While racing in Europe as a professional athlete, he admired the design of European fitted athletic apparel. Upon returning to Eugene, Jim merged European design with the best American technical fabrics to create the perfect running pant. After selling his sports car to fund the start-up company, Sporthill was born. Twenty years later, Sporthill satisfies athletes worldwide with their line of authentic endurance apparel. With their staff of competitive athletes, they continually innovate and refine Sporthill gear to ensure the performance never stops. Sporthill apparel is worn by an Olympic Champion, the USA Mountain Running Team, Team XO, Canada's National XC Ski Team and the Joe Henderson Marathon Team at the Eugene Running Company. Jim Hill appeared at the Eugene Running Company on the occasion of Sporthill's twentieth anniversary birthday party.


    Gerry Lindgren
    Gerry Lindgren
    Gerry Lindgren was a high school prodigy. In 1964 he ran 5,000m in 13:44, setting a high school record that would stand unbroken for 40 years until Oregon sensation Galen Rupp broke it. In 1964, Lindgren outran two world class Russians to win the 10,000 meter event in the US-USSR Track Meet in Los Angeles during the height of the Cold War. It was one of the most profound social events of the era. He also remains the only person to have defeated Steve Prefontaine in an NCAA Championship. Gerry Lindgren is renowned for his legendarily high weekly mileage and arduous training regime. He had lived in seclusion in Hawaii until Kenny Moore wrote about him in Sports Illustrated. Gerry's autobiography is one of the most fascinating books about competitive distance running ever written.


    Dathan Ritzenhein
    Dathan Ritzenhein
    Olympian and National Champion, Dathan Ritzenhein, is one of the most celebrated long distance runners on the scene today. An NCAA National Champion at the University of Colorado under legendary coach Mark Whetmore, Dathan now beats many of the best runners in the world on the professional running circuit. As a Nike sponsored athlete coached by former Eugene marathon sensation, Brad Hudson, Dathan trains at altitude in Boulder, Colorado and conducts sea level training camps in Eugene.



    Marla Runyan
    Marla Runyan
    In Sydney, Australia, Marla Runyan stunned the world by becoming the first legally blind athlete to compete in the Olympic Games. She is a two time Olympian, American Record Holder and National Champion long distance runner. Her athletic achievements are legendary in the world of Track & Field. Her story of uncommon personal courage transcends sport. When Marla was nine years old, she was diagnosed with Taggard's Disease, a form of macular degeneration. Undaunted, she excelled in sprinting and high jumping at San Diego State University where she earned her Masters In Education for Deaf and Blind Children. An outstanding all-around athlete, Marla won an astonishing nine Gold Medals at the World Paralympics. Unlimited by conventional barriers, she went on to become a national class competitor in the grueling seven event heptathlon and placed 9th in the 1996 Olympic Team Trials. In the final heptathlon event of those Olympic Trials, she shattered the American Record for the heptathlon 800m. It was only a hint of her true athletic potential. She then moved to the running Mecca of Eugene and transformed herself into one of the greatest long distance runners in American History. Marla spoke at the Eugene Running Company shortly after the birth of her daughter. It was Anna Lee Runyan-Lonnergan's first public appearance with her famous mother.


    Vin Lananna
    Vin Lananna
    As the new Track & Field Head Coach, Associate Athletic Director and Director of T&F and XC for the Oregon Ducks, Vin Lananna has already re-sparked a wildfire of enthusiasm in our community. He is widely recognized as the driving force enabling Eugene to host the 2008 Olympic Team Trials in Track & Field. Vin's coaching accomplishments are legendary. He's been the NCAA National XC Coach of the Year four times, and Pac-10 Coach of the Year nine times. He has coached the United States Olympic Team and World Championship Teams in T&F and XC. His Teams have won five NCAA National Championships and an astonishing seventeen Pac-10 Team Titles. Vin Lananna is perhaps the most respected and accomplished coach active in the sport today. He graciously appeared at the Eugene Running Company in follow-up to the Bolder Options Truffle Shuffle road race to help raise funds for Committed Partners For Youth.


    Anne Marie Letko ( formerly Lauck)
    Anne Marie Letko ( formerly Lauck)
    At the Atlanta Olympic Games, Anne Marie Letko conquered extraordinary heat and hills to finish tenth place in the marathon. She is a two time Olympian and United States National Champion. Anne Marie enjoyed a decade of dominance on the professional road racing circuit during the 1990's and is considered one of the most accomplished road racers in American history. Among her countless victories are the historic Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta and the Bloomsday Road Race in Spokane. Anne Marie ran with our Monday Night Group and we then enjoyed watching video of her running the New York City Marathon.



    Craig Mottram
    Craig Mottram
    The Australian superstar traveled all the way to Eugene on the occasion of the 2006 Eugene Challenge Mile. Olympian and World Cup Champion, Craig Mottram is the Australian National Record Holder for the mile, 3000m and 5000m. He's a 3:48 miler and has run 5,000m in 12min 55 sec. From a country rich with distance running heritage, Craig Mottram is an international star. While visiting Eugene, "Buster" was extremely fond of our local brewed coffee!


    Kenny Moore
    Kenny Moore
    Kenny Moore placed fourth in the 1972 Olympic Marathon, barely missing the bronze medal. In spite of his brilliant career as a world class runner, he is most famous for his literary genius. As a contemporary training partner and teammate of running legends such as Frank Shorter and Steve Prefontaine, his writing pounds deep in the heart of distance running culture. His much anticipated new book, "Bowerman And The Men Of Oregon" is precious personal insight into Bill Bowerman. It's a fitting tribute to the man from one of his most accomplished students. Kenny Moore appeared for a book signing at the 2006 Eugene Challenge Mile.


    Tom Jordan
    Tom Jordan
    For three decades Tom Jordan has carried the torch for the legend of Steve Prefontaine. As the meet director of the Prefontaine Classic Track & Field Meet, Tom brings many of the world's greatest athletes to our town every spring. The Prefontaine Classic is the premiere track meet in the United States and part of the exclusive IAAF Grand Prix Series.
    Tom Jordan was a consultant to Warner Bros. in their 1998 film "Without Limits". This major motion picture was picked in the top ten films of the year by Time magazine and the New York Times. Tom is intricately engaged in producing the 2008 United States Olympic Team Trials for Track & Field.
    Tom Jordan appeared at the Eugene Running Company to speak with Dick Beardsley's Marathon Running Camp about the legend of Steve Prefontaine. He graciously signed copies of his book - PRE, The Story of America's Greatest Running Legend.




      

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