TrackTown Fitness kicks off 2019 at Autzen Stadium

EUGENE, Ore. – The 2019 TrackTown Fitness program started its 13-week journey on a foggy morning at Autzen Stadium last Sunday. An estimated 200 runners and walkers came prepared and eager to set their fitness goals for the year.

A crowd of 200 gather in the concourse of Autzen before the first TrackTown Fitness of the year. (Photo: Hannah Clauss)

Andy Trouard, one of three OTC Elite athletes in attendance, was impressed by the big turnout for the first meeting.

“You don’t get the title ‘TrackTown USA’ for no reason,” Trouard said.

With Hayward Field under construction, TrackTown Fitness is now held at Autzen Stadium. The route along the concourse and perimeter of the stadium stretches 700 meters. The trees mixed with the fog along the northeast side provided a scenic backdrop for the early morning participants.

Vin Lananna, UO associate athletic director, kicked things off with an overview of the fitness program. Lananna emphasized the great opportunity to run or walk at Autzen Stadium and touched on an upcoming session to be held on Pre’s Trail. The overall message was to motivate the crowd to be active during the program and beyond.

Dr. Lorne Bigley, a family medicine physician with PeaceHealth Medical Group, also spoke to the crowd about the vital role of physical activity in overall health. He did so as part of “Run with the Doc”, an engagement made possible by TrackTown Fitness partner PeaceHealth.

Dr. Lorne Bigley of PeaceHealth Medical Group discusses the importance of living an active lifestyle. (Photo: TTUSA)

No experience is required for TrackTown Fitness. The free weekly program is open to all ages and abilities. On Sunday, toddlers, seniors, and those in between were seen having a great time. Runners, joggers and walkers can go at their own pace. The goal is to start the week with a sense of community and exercise, and to carry that momentum forward.

OTC Elite’s Ben Blankenship, Sabrina Southerland and Trouard were on hand to support the runners and walkers. They enjoyed the enthusiasm of the crowd.

“Today was pretty cool,” Southerland said. “Meeting all these people, coming out so early in the morning to walk, run and jog. Really amazing to get to know a lot of the people here in the community and their passion for running.”

The next TrackTown Fitness will be Sunday, Feb. 3 at 8 a.m. at Autzen Stadium.