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Running In Track Town Takes New Forms

Karen Richards

As Track Town USA, Eugene hosts elite athletes at Hayward Field. It also has a vibrant running community. COVID-19 is changing the shape of the sport.

The Eugene Marathon was scheduled for Sunday, April 26th, but it and other well-loved races, like the 4th of July Butte to Butte were cancelled to preserve physical distancing. 

William Wyckoff owns Eclectic Edge, which manages the Butte to Butte. He says they offer virtual races for people who still want to compete. "We send them their bib number, their shirt, their finisher medallion," says Wyckoff. "We have some possible courses up on the website, where they could run those courses or do their own.”

Wyckoff says they post reported results online. Other races going virtual include the Bend Marathon, Medford’s Pear Blossom Run, and a statewide high school track series hosted by Jesuit High School and athletic.net. Wyckoff says getting out and seeing other people running can provide a sense of community. Running has grown in popularity while gyms and sports courts are closed.  

Karen Richards joined KLCC as a volunteer reporter in 2012, and became a freelance reporter at the station in 2015. In addition to news reporting, she’s contributed to several feature series for the station, earning multiple awards for her reporting.
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