Spectating is a workout | PostIndependent.com

Spectating is a workout

Tracking the Trials
Blake Risner
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Kelley Cox

Hello from Eugene, Oregon ” “Track Town, USA.”

The first half of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials has concluded as we enter a two-day rest period for the athletes ” and fans.

Your typical track and field fan works pretty hard ” each and every day ” to be a spectator at the trials. Parking is not available within a half-mile of Hayward Field, so everyone must be prepared for some exercise. We choose to walk the four-mile round trip from the hotel each day, and sometimes twice a day.

I can hear my high school track athletes saying to themselves, “I bet Coach Risner has the stopwatch out and times his walking trip.”

Of course … 27 minutes is the fastest split for walking two miles.

Once at the track area, a person cannot pass up the opportunity to venture through the Fan Festival that almost completely encircles Hayward Field. Think of Strawberry Days times 10 ” and most everything sponsored by Nike.

Finally, it is time for the real work to begin. As a spectator inside historic Hayward Field, you feel a sense of responsibility to make sure that every competing athlete knows that you are there.

Never was this more apparent than in Monday’s men’s 800-meter run final. Three Oregon runners used the crowd’s energy to propel them to a 1-2-3 sweep over several highly favored runners. The three stamped their tickets to Beijing as a direct result of how incredibly supportive the home crowd is.


Colorado runners continue to perform well at the trials. Carbondale’s Carrie Messner-Vickers and CU’s Jenny Barringer qualified for the finals of the women’s 3,000 steeplechase. Former Buffaloes Kara Goucher and Sara Slattery will also see finals action, as they qualified in the 5,000.

For complete results and information on the 2008 U.S. Olympic track and field trials, log on to http://www.eugene08.com.

Hello once again to Bryce and Bailey.

Blake Risner is a Glenwood Springs High School track and field coach

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