Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Jen's Epic Road Trip: Eugene

Eugene was a short stop on Katie and my journey southward. When I proposed stopping in Eugene, it was mainly to chop two hours off the drive from Portland to San Francisco, but I also was excited to fit in a run here. Eugene is kind of famous for running, and all of my friends who have run the Eugene Marathon or Half Marathon raved about the area, so I figured it'd be a fun place to stay.

And I was totally right! Between two runs on Eugene's plentiful trails, including Pre's Running Trail, and a fantastic dinner at Izakaya Meiji Company, Eugene proved itself to be an awesome town and I'll definitely be back at some point.

First off, the trails. There were so many! We arrived much later than expected, due to traffic getting out of Portland, so the minute we arrived at our hotel, I hopped onto a trail that ran along the Willamette River right nearby. It turned out to be part of a huge network of trails in Alton Baker Park, and it eventually led me to Pre's Trail!

It also led me to a beautiful sunset over the Willamette River.

I hadn't heard of Steve Prefontaine before I started running, and it wasn't until someone mentioned Pre's Running trail when they described running in Eugene that I actually read more about Pre and realized what a huge impact he had on the sport of running in the 1970s. For a quick summary of his life and accomplishments, I recommend this Wikipedia article.

Pre was a student and track athlete at the University of Oregon, and set American records in every race from 2,000 to 10,000 meters (the 10K). 

Pre's Trail is a four mile route that was created after Prefontaine came back to Eugene impressed by European walking and running trails and suggested that something similar be created in Oregon. The trail became a memorial to him when he died in a car accident in 1975. It's a beautiful trail, and is an absolute must if you visit Eugene!

Since we arrived late, I had to fit in my final miles the following morning, which was easy since I knew there was a fantastic trail system right outside my hotel (the Eugene La Quinta, in case you're interested).


Katie and I had dinner at the Izakaya Meiji Company and were both shocked by how good our meal was. We shared small plates and enjoyed every dish, although the creamy corn and shishito croquettes were definitely the standout. I also had an amazing tea called Mugi-Cha, described as "roasted Barley tea with a beautiful brown hue, nutty flavor and mellow taste." I wish I were a food blogger so that I could properly describe this tea, but all I can say is that it was totally different and totally delicious. It tasted like the perfect fall or winter tea, somehow thicker than your average tea. Anyway, if you ever get the chance, try it!

Thursday morning, I finished up my miles then Katie and I grabbed some much-needed caffeine and hit the road towards San Francisco!


  1. Yep, Pre is the man! During my high school basketball days, we'd plaster our team locker room with motivation quotations, and there were two or three Pre ones on display. That's so cool you had the opportunity to run on his trail!

  2. Loving all the pics on here and insta! Can't wait to catch up when you get back!