The 2023 Eugene Marathon at Tracktown USA

There’s nothing like race day to reward you for all the weeks of training leading up to it. On April 30, all the fun and excitement at the 2023 Eugene Marathon was the sweetest gift we could have given ourselves.

2023 Eugene Marathon finisher medals Jim Nelson Rene Agredano
Spoiler alert: we finished the race!

People always wonder why anyone would be so stupid to run a race like this. Hell, I used to think runners were idiots! It sure looked like torture to me. This from the girl who got an “F” in high school P.E., always doing everything she could to avoid breaking a sweat.

But ever since our first race in 2019, I’ve discovered that committing to a long-distance race is about so much more than getting a t-shirt and a medal. Yeah, I like to eat whatever I want so that’s part of my motivation. Running keeps the weight off. But that’s not the only thing that pushes me out of bed at 5:30 am over and over and over again.

Why I Run

To me, the 21 weeks (more or less) of training I put into any race is a commitment that says: I’m standing up for my health! I’m caring for my body so that it will take care of me as I age.

I once heard a runner say:

I run so that I can have a body that will do what I want, whenever I want, for as long as I can.

And that’s why I ran on April 30th. Jim can tell you why he ran on some other post. He’s got a ton of reasons! But for now here’s how race day went down, and some fun photos of the Marathon #7.

Rene Agredano 2023 Eugene Marathon
Green bibs = marathon distance.

What Do You Do The Day Before a Marathon?

Twenty-four hours before a marathon, you just chill. Do a quick, two mile run to shake things loose, and have a mellow meal, and get lots of sleep. We had a blast checking out an easy Eugene walking path, and soaking up the sun.

Jim and Rene warm-up run in Eugene
Warm-up run in Tracktown USA

We also checked out the Eugene Marathon Expo.

Jim gets PT help at the marathon expo.
Jim gets PT help at the marathon expo.

An Expo is where you get your race bib, and chat it up with other racers.

Thank you MUSH pacers Eugene Marathon 2023
I’m thinking about being a back-of-the-pack pacer next time around.

You also get to see the awesome people behind the race, try out cool fitness gear, and maybe see a famous running goddess too!

Four-time Olympian and 2017 NYC Marathon champion Shalane Flanagan Eugene Marathon 2023
Four-time Olympian and 2017 NYC Marathon champion Shalane Flanagan!

Unlike last year’s Eugene Marathon, we roamed the crowd maskless with full-on, reckless abandon. Virus? What virus? All the cool kids were doing the same. Unfortunately, we paid the price for our choice later. Waaah!

Ready, Set, Go! It’s Marathon Time!

Warming up on Hayward Field.
Warming up on Hayward Field.

Typical Eugene weather arrived for race day. A brisk 50-degree morning set the stage for near-perfect running weather. At least it wasn’t really raining, the way it’s been for the last several months.

Eugene Marathon 2023 start line.
Over 7,000 runners for the half and full marathon ran this year.

The constant, light mist blanketed us for most of the race, but that didn’t get anyone down.

Eugene Marathon pep squad drummers!
Eugene Marathon pep squad!

Tracktown USA comes out for this event, and there’s so much love and support along the way. You can’t help but feel carried along by the happy vibes. It’s one of the reasons I love this race, and the cheering is exactly what you need when the race gets long.

Accordion players rock Eugene!
Accordion players rock the race!

Of course I didn’t see Jim again until after I crossed the finish line. He’s way faster than me, and finished strong considering he didn’t feel 100% when he started!

Nothing but love for my Altra running shoes!
Nothing but love for my Altra running shoes and Injinji Toe Socks!

Whenever I run a race, my goal is enjoy the scenery, finish without an injury, and be happy with whatever finish time gets slapped on the record books. I try not to compare myself to anyone else, which is so hard. That’s especially the case when you get passed by a 70-year-old woman who finished the marathon more than 1 minute ahead of me!

Rene Agredano finish time 2023 Eugene Marathon
A personal best!

I was shooting for a finish time under 5 hours. Surprise!

Little did I know that this race would be my best finish time yet. That’s a “PR” or “personal record” you’re looking at. Eight minutes faster than the 2022 Eugene Marathon. I won’t be racing Boston anytime soon, but you never know!

JIm Nelson 2023 Eugene Marathon
Jim is ALWAYS smiling when he runs!

I’m so proud of this man! I think Jim had a really respectable race finish time. He was twenty friggin minutes faster than me! I’ll let him tell you about it some other time.

Yay Jim!

After the race, we couldn’t ask for more than to end the day with a nice dinner and our Oregon Camp Covid teammates at the table, Dave and Cija. What a blast!

Camp Covid reunites!
Camp Covid reunites!

Post-Race Wrap Up Mayhem

Eugene always puts on an excellent race, and this was my favorite marathon yet. Everything went according to plan, despite a really bad fall I had last October, several bouts with this-and-that aches and pains, and the usual shitshow antics that always seem to threaten a training plan. It all worked out. I couldn’t have asked for more from the Universe.

Unfortunately, that runners high was short-lived. A few days later, Jim got sick, and about four days later, I did too, And then, the Dodge got sick too. But that’s another story for another time.

Challenge and Believe in Yourself, Always

If you ever think that something physical is impossible for you do to, please reconsider. I never in a million years thought I would say that “I’m a marathoner.” But here I am. Still standing. And whatever physical thing it is that makes you want to commit to doing, you can that too! Never refuse to believe in what YOU think is the impossible.

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