Citizens of TrackTown: Run a mile at Hayward Field

EUGENE, Ore. – If you’ve ever dreamed of running a mile at historic Hayward Field, your opportunity has arrived.

And it comes with a special bonus.

Not only will you get to circle the fabled track four times, but members of the University of Oregon track and field program will be there to help set the pace.

The Community Mile Run is part of a full slate of activities at the inaugural Oregon Track & Field “Fan Fest” on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Hayward Field.

Here’s how the Community Mile Run works:

There will be three heats – a timed mile for those runners who want to run a mile in 8 minutes or faster; a timed mile for those taking between 8 and 15 minutes; and a joggers/walkers mile for those not concerned about time.

A dozen UO runners are currently signed up as Community Mile pacers. They are Daniel Winn and Will Geoghegan (5:00), Johnny Gregorek and Colby Alexander (6:00), Edward Cheserek and Niki Franzmair (7:00), Eric Jenkins and Blake Haney (8:00), Maggie Schmaedick and Nikki Hiltz (9:00) and Sarah Baxter and Alli Cash (10:00).

“I think it will be a lot of fun to go out and run a mile with all the runners in Eugene,” said Cheserek, a sophomore from Kenya who has already won seven individual NCAA titles in cross country, indoor and outdoor track for the Ducks.

“It will be great for them to come onto the track, where we train and compete, and see what it feels like to run at Hayward.”

The Community Mile Run is a free event. It begins at 11:30 a.m. and ends at 12:30 p.m.

Participants are asked to pre-register by returning a completed registration form to the Oregon track and field office either online at oregonmeets@gmail.com or via FAX at 541-346-5243. Registration forms are available online at goducks.com/tffanfest. Just follow instructions and don’t forget to indicate your preferred “heat.” Race day registration is also available between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. at Hayward Field on Saturday.

“Growing up in Eugene has given me the opportunity to run at Hayward Field in meets for as long as I’ve been running,” said Schmaedick, a 2013 graduate of Sheldon High School. “I am really excited to share that experience with members of our running community.”

Other “Fan Fest” highlights are as follows:

  • A Run, Jump and Throw Clinic will be held from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. for youngsters between the ages of 5 and 12 years old. Each participant will be coached in the long jump, turbo javelin, hurdles and sprints from UO and Oregon Track Club Elite athletes and coaches. Everyone receives a ribbon, racing bib and snack. At least one parent or guardian should plan to attend this event with each participant. Advanced registration is available at the Sheldon Community Center. On-site registration begins at 9 a.m. at Hayward Field.
  • UO track and field season ticket-holders will be able to pick up their season tickets from Duck track and field athletes, along with a special Fan Guide for the 2015 season. Fan Fest attendees will also be able to purchase tickets for the UO season, NCAA Championships (June 10-13) and USATF Championships (June 25-28) at Hayward Field.
  • Track and field fans of all ages will be able to meet members of the UO track and field team, who will sign autographs, be available for photographs, and distribute signed copies of the official 2015 UO team poster. In addition, the Duck Store will be showing off their latest UO track and field gear, concession stands will be open, and the Oregon Track Club and TrackTown USA will be on site to answer questions and provide information on all of the exciting events headed to Oregon, including the 2015 NCAA Championships, 2015 USATF Championships, 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships and 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.

“Our athletes and coaches are really excited to meet all of the fans that fill the stands at Hayward Field during the season,” said UO coach Robert Johnson. “I think it will be a great day for our team and community. The Run, Jump and Throw clinic for kids has been a huge event for us for a long time, and we are really happy to have it as one of the centerpieces to our Fan Fest.

“The Community Mile Run will provide all of the people I see running around town the opportunity to run a race on the track with members of our team.”