No experience has defined the word "bittersweet" quite like this past weekend's #prefontaineclassic
An excellent meet, as always. Superb performances, knowledgeable patrons, all in a beautiful haven.
It's heartbreaking to see what is planned for this amazing place. I am a realist, yes, and a part of me is able to understand. But I'm saddened terribly from a personal standpoint; it feels that my memories are being torn down, too.
When I was a kid living in Eugene-Springfield, my dad was a long jump official and would take us to Hayward Field for every home track and field meet. One day, I asked him if I could help, too. I was probably 10 years old. He consulted, and sure enough, I was welcomed to the long jump crew. I did anything they asked, whether it was holding the flags, changing the reader board, or shoveling out the pit. Our days work was always met with a free burger from the OTC tent and a hot chocolate from the storage shed.
I grew up at this hallowed ground.
This past weekend was special. It was a meet I wasn't sure I'd be attending, but it's important to make lemonade out of lemons. We sat in the second row of the storied #EastGrandstand
. They were great seats with views and athlete access found nearly nowhere else in track and field. It was really neat.
Perhaps the lasting moment for me was actually after the historic (and record-breaking) Bowerman Mile had concluded, signalling the conclusion of the meet. A group of then-strangers (now my East Grandstand loving "brothers and sisters") hung around long afterwards and said our proper goodbyes to the place. We shared memories and stories, we spoke in bitterness, and we reflected in love. These are my people.
It's so hard to say goodbye to this place, at least as I know it, as I grew up with it. But I am glad I was able to do it properly, in-person, at the greatest track meet in the world. And I'm so happy to have been able to share it with @ab_reed13.