An Unforgettable Weekend at the Olympic Track Trials

July 5, 2016

Running is in the DNA of Eugene, Oregon. It’s like a sacred undercurrent pulsing through every part of the city, with the strongest beat coming from Historic Hayward Field. I had the incredible fortune to go to Track Town USA for the first time to watch the 2016 US Olympic Track and Field Trials with the Brooks Running crew. It was more than a trip. More than a track meet. More than a weekend with friends. Watching runners at this level with the best running company changes you. It has left me immensely grateful for all the things running has brought into my life and hungry to pursue my personal running goals that loom grandly in my mind.

Here’s a glimpse at this unforgettable weekend in photos and memories.

Day One: Miles and Trials

I arrived in Portland on Friday, July 1. I piled into a van with my fellow {amazing} Brooks Running ambassadors bound for Eugene.

01 On the way to Eugene
Top row from left to right: Emily, Janae. Bottom row: Me, Tina, Kristen, Lora.

When we arrived, we were welcomed to our new home for the next few days: A fraternity house directly across the street from Hayward Field. The Brooks team rented it for the trials and put scaffolding out front to brand it as Brooks Headquarters. They even repainted and re-skinned the entire inside. If you spent any time at a fraternity house in college, you know why I was so glad they had people clean the house three times for 10 hours each and repaint it from top to bottom.

Olympic Track Trials with Brooks Running on runladylike.com
Olympic Track Trials with Brooks Running on runladylike.com

We all shared rooms (my roommate was Meghann from Meals and Miles), and it was like being back in college for a brief moment in time. Meghann and I both went to Florida State University, so we were all able to reminisce a little. We even had shower caddies and shower shoes like old times.

Olympic Track Trials with Brooks Running on runladylike.com
Olympic Track Trials with Brooks Running on runladylike.com

Even the pillow cases were perfectly branded for the weekend.

Olympic Track Trials with Brooks Running on runladylike.com

We also received our “uniforms” for day two of the trials. I am seriously in love with the patriotic Launch 3s that are part of the Brooks Victory collection. They also come in navy and were perfect for the Fourth of July. They will definitely be my go-to shoes during the Olympics.

Olympic Track Trials with Brooks Running on runladylike.com

Next, it was off to day one of the Olympic trials, where we watched the 800-meter and 400-meter prelims and the men’s 10,000-meter finals.

Olympic Track Trials with Brooks Running on runladylike.com
Olympic Track Trials with Brooks Running on runladylike.com
Olympic Track Trials with Brooks Running on runladylike.com
2016 Olympic Track Trials with Brooks Running
The view from our seats
2016 Olympic track trials with Brooks Running
One of the heats of the men’s 400-meter prelims
12 10K Finals
The men’s 10,000-meter finals. Galen Rupp had an impressive showing and led for almost the entire race.

After the trials, we walked to dinner where we had a fantastic meal. With the long flight and three-hour time change, most of us collapsed into bed after dinner, having been up for 24 hours straight. It was exhausting but the adrenaline and excitement of Eugene kept us going!

Day Two: Limos and Wineries and Elite Runners, Oh My!

Saturday began with a group run from the Brooks Running frat house. Every morning during the trials, the Brooks team hosts a run starting at 9 a.m. for anyone in Eugene. I ran about 4.5 miles with the group through the paths and streets surrounding the University of Oregon. The campus and the surrounding area is just gorgeous for a run, and with low humidity and cooler temps, I was in heaven.

Olympic Track Trials with Brooks Running on runladylike.com
Lora, Tina, Me, Anne, Janae and Dorothy
Olympic Track Trials with Brooks Running on runladylike.com
Olympic Track Trials with Brooks Running on runladylike.com
Olympic Track Trials with Brooks Running on runladylike.com
Tina, Dorothy, Me, Kristen
Olympic Track Trials with Brooks Running on runladylike.com

After the run, I gulped down a small smoothie and had a gait analysis done as part of the Brooks Run Signature system (more on that soon). I also went in the “Run like the Wind” machine to try to win a free pair of shoes. Alas, I did not come up with the double-sided dollar. The Brooks Run Signature truck and all the fun was set up for anyone at the trials to come and experience. They are also traveling across the country and visiting various running stores to set the same experience up in communities everywhere. Check out their upcoming events here.

Olympic Track Trials with Brooks Running on runladylike.com
Olympic Track Trials with Brooks Running on runladylike.com
Olympic Track Trials with Brooks Running on runladylike.com

After a quick “shower” using baby wipes and adding some mascara (unladylike alert!), it was back to the trials. We were ready for day two in our Brooks spirit squad attire!

Olympic Track Trials with Brooks Running on runladylike.com
Meghann, Anne, Dorothy, Janae, Emily, Tina, Lora, Krysten, Me
Olympic Track Trials with Brooks Running on runladylike.com

We watched the women’s 10,000-meter finals (Molly Huddle won and looked amazing), the first rounds of the men’s and women’s 100-meters and the 800 and 400-meter semi-finals.

Olympic Track Trials with Brooks Running on runladylike.com

After a day at the track, it was time for a late lunch. The Brooks team surprised us with a limo that would be driving us around for the rest of the day and lunch with Brooks Beasts Garrett Heath and Riley Masters who competed in the 5,000-meter semi-finals on the Fourth of July. I loved every minute of chatting with these two. They were so down to Earth, funny and kind. I will be cheering for them in many races to come.

Olympic Track Trials with Brooks Running on runladylike.com
Olympic Track Trials with Brooks Running on runladylike.com
Olympic Track Trials with Brooks Running on runladylike.com

Running and eating are two trends with our group. So it was only appropriate to end our trip with a delicious meal. Our weekend grand finale was at King Estate Winery, which was one of the most stunning places I’ve ever been to. It sat atop a hill blanketed with bright purple lavender and vineyards for miles. The meal was delicious, but we knew the end meant the weekend was almost over. Please say it isn’t so!

Olympic Track Trials with Brooks Running on runladylike.com
Olympic Track Trials with Brooks Running on runladylike.com
Kristen, Me, Lora, Tina, Lauren (Brooks), Dorothy, Anne, Janae, Meghann, Emily, Danielle (Brooks)

Running has truly brought once-in-a-lifetime experiences into my life. I’ve been able to see the world, meet lifelong friends and learn and be inspired over and over. There are truly no words to thank my friends at Brooks Running for making this weekend possible for me, and so many weekends and moments during the past four years so special in my running journey. My fellow Brooks runners are some of the most amazing women out there, and if you aren’t following them already, I encourage you to do so: Janae (Hungry Runner Girl), Anne (Fannetastic Food), Meghann (Meals and Miles), Emily (Daily Garnish), Lora (Crazy Running Girl), Kristen (Fit Bottomed Eats), Tina (Carrots ‘N’ Cake) and Dorothy (Mile Posts).

Starting August 5, you’ll know where to find me: Glued to my TV watching the Olympics. I’ll be in Oregon for the rest of the week traveling around the state with Mr. rUnladylike who met me in Portland after my weekend at the trials. Stay tuned to Instagram to see where our adventures have been taking us in this very special place.

Please note: I have been a Brooks Running Run Happy Ambassador for the past four years. I receive free products to test each month and other benefits as part of their sponsorship. Brooks paid for all travel and costs associated with my trip to the Olympic Trials. This post contains affiliate links. Although I love Brooks Running and am incredibly grateful for their partnership, everything I write about their products is my honest, uncensored and unbiased view and always will be. If you’d like to read my philosophy on working with companies, you can see more here.

What has been your favorite moment of the Olympic track trials so far? If you’ve ever been to Oregon, what are your must-do/see/eat/hike/run recommendations?

Comments

Mike Podracky
Reply

Sounds like that was a great weekend. Did you get a chance to visit the Prefontaine shrine at the spot where he sadly crashed? I used to travel to Portland on business and love that city. Nice summary.

rUnladylike
Reply

Thank you Mike. Unfortunately our schedule didn’t allow time to visit Pre’s site, but I did have a friend who stayed and went and shared a photo. Oregon is such a phenomenal state. I never want to leave!!!

Allie
Reply

WOW!!!! So much greatness in one post! What an unbelievable opportunity for you. I absolutely loved all the pictures and commentary – just fantastic my friend. And, I ordered those shoes yesterday 🙂 They are a MUST HAVE!

rUnladylike
Reply

Thank you Allie! And yay for your Victory Launch!!! Let me know what you think of them! xo

Matt
Reply

Sweet shoes!

Nicole
Reply

This weekend sounds amazing!!!

My favorite moment was the 800 m finals when Kate grace took the win! I wish I could have been there!

Lora @ Crazy Running Girl
Reply

Such an amazing weekend, can we go back? Hope we can meet up again sometime this year! xoxo

Tim
Reply

That is so awesome to be able to go watch the trials. Brooks really does take such good care of their ambassadors! Looks like you had a great time!

Mile Posts
Reply

It was so wonderful seeing you! Thanks for listening to me ramble on in the limo xoxo

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