On Saturday night, I had the opportunity to head over the Hayward Field and watch as the Oregon Men's 4xmile team attempted to break the world record (15:49.08) or at least go under 16 minutes. I hadn't planned on going, in fact, I had completely forgotten about it until I heard the announcer through my open bedroom window, and as I sat around watching the clock tick away, I realized I had plenty of time to walk over to the track and watch through the gate...or maybe it would even be on the jumbo tron and I could see it really well. I loaded Leona into the stroller (she, last minute, decided not to go to sleep as planned) and we headed to the track.
When we got there I walked by the gate across from the law school, kind of scoping things out,
and the man at the gate yelled at me, "Hey, do you want to come in, it's free!". Of course, I wanted to come in.
The 4xmile was set to start at 8:30pm and we got there in time to watch the boy's middle school mile, which was a very impressive race. The winner, Kevin Kavanaugh, an 8th grader from Cathedral School, set a new middle school record with a time of 4:37.96 but it was a close finish, 2nd place was Taylor Hybl with 4:38.49.
(Which means if I'm going to challenge any kids to a race I probably better stick
to the elementary aged ones.)
Anyway, not only did we get there in plenty of time for the race, and get to watch it for free, they invited the spectators out onto the track to cheer the team on. It was awesome! Leona and I stood in lane 5 right at the 200 meter start where we had a great view of the race. She was of course in her jammies and maybe a little embarrassed by that (especially since they weren't cute or even matching jammies), but she really enjoyed the cowbell that someone brought and was happy for the whole 20 minutes we stood on the track. She even got to participate in the wave!
Okay, back to the race. There was the Oregon team, the Oregon B team (really just a rabbit that ran/sprinted the first 1200 then dropped out) and the Oregon Track Club Elite team. Their goal was to run a sub 16 minute relay which would average out for each to run under 4 minutes...it didn't happen, but they did manage to get close to it, finishing in 16:03.24. They got off to a good start and three of the four runners did run sub 4 minute miles, but their 3rd leg ran a 4:05, which put them over too much. It was a good race to watch and it was really fun to be out on the track cheering the teams on. I love living in Eugene amongst elites and Olympians...what a great opportunity!
Here are the splits, if you're interested:
1: Matthew Centrowitz 3:59.53 (3:59.53) Split
2: Andrew Wheating, 3:59.60 (7:59.13) Split
3: Shadrack Biwott, 4:05.21 (12:04.33) Split
4: Galen Rupp, 3:58.93 (16:03.24) Split
2 OTC Elite 16:25.92
1: Tom Brooks, 4:01.77 (4:01.77) Split
2: Stephen Pifer, 4:04.23 (8:06.00) Split
3: Russell Brown, 4:05.51 (12:11.50) Split
Split 4: Gabe Jennings, 4:14.43 (16:25.92)
Or, if you'd like to see some "more professional" pictures click here.