EUGENE, Ore. – If you’ve never run a step in your life, or you’re actively training for a personal best, TrackTown USA President Vin Lananna has an offer you can’t refuse.
Come to Hayward Field on Sunday, Sept. 20 at 8 a.m. to take part in the first of a series of free events designed to help all “Citizens of TrackTown” find a path to better overall health and fitness.
The concept, borrowed from the community jogging classes taught by University of Oregon track and field coach Bill Bowerman more than 50 years ago, is to connect all levels of runners and walkers to the many benefits of basic aerobic exercise. Lananna, who was recently named Olympic head coach of the U.S. men’s track and field team for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, is eager to launch this new project.
“As Olympic coach, I’m very excited to offer my experience to runners and walkers of all levels,” he said. “We want those who wish to achieve better fitness and a healthier lifestyle to reach those goals. This will be a fun program to begin in Eugene.”
Bowerman’s jogging classes have been credited with sparking the running boom in the U.S, and today, participation in local road runs – as a runner, jogger or walker – is still one of the most popular avenues to better fitness and community involvement. The annual Eugene Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K represent some of the country’s best road racing opportunities, and the free Hayward Field training program is an important first step towards making those events more accessible to all.
Besides advocating for healthier lifestyles, Lananna said there is a larger goal in mind for the entire state of Oregon – to become the fittest state in America in preparation for the 2021 IAAF World Championships.
“We want to unify the state to get ready for 2021,” Lananna said. “We want to do our part to help Oregon become the healthiest state in America.”
Remember, the training program is free to all. Details to come on a statewide initiative at GoTrackTownUSA.com.