This web log was created to keep you up to date with the athletic pursuits of Blake Boldon. It will be updated regularly with competition schedules, results, and photos.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Eugene, Oregon - Part 1

My trip to the Pacific Northwest has been one long improbable chain of events and things couldn’t be going better. It all started off about three weeks ago when the world-renowned track & field guru Carl Jackson (a.k.a. Jacko) introduced me to a friend of his named Kris who works as an athlete representative. Kris volunteered his services to help me find a few races in the hope of getting a qualifier for the US Championships this June. He used his expertise to set me up with the Prefontaine Classic 1500 and then gave me a few leads for other races on the west coast in early June. Like I said in my last post, I flew from Des Moines to Seattle on Friday but due to some late changing plans and a sold out Amtrak train I was left without a way from Seattle to Eugene. Bob Gray (my good friend Ian's dad and the father of my surrogate family here in Eugene) provided me with a great last minute suggestion. He recommended that I check (make sure to include the ‘s’) for a rideshare out of Seattle. I fortunately found a posting from someone requesting a traveling companion all the way from Seattle to Eugene. I immediately responded to the post and within several hours plans had been formalized. As it turned out, I had made anonymous arrangements with a great girl that goes to school at the University of Washington. Shanna went out of her way to make my trip great. She literally picked me up at the curb of the airport only minutes after I landed and drove me all the way to the doorstep of my hosts here in Eugene. It was an interesting ride as she also had a guy from Finland that was riding with us as far as Portland. We made jokes about a college age girl driving two strange men across the Northwest and I was able to strut my vast knowledge of Finnish current events gleaned from my hours spent with Conan O’Brien. After delivering our Finn to a corner where he planned to find a pub and wait for friends, Shanna wanted to visit her brother and sister-in-law who reside in Portland. While entering the house she gave me the heads up that I was a friend from Seattle to keep her family from worrying that Ted Bundy had just entered their living room. I chatted it up with the 6-year old neighbor girl with the dynamite disposition while eating a bagel and taking advantage of their Mormon hospitality. I’m not sure of how long the stop was but it was great to hear about the weekend plans, the recently built birdhouse and the variety of crops planted in the garden. I even got an invitation to the Memorial Day barbeque. After refueling we hit the road to Eugene, except this time I was behind the wheel. Aside from the rain, the two hour drive was no problem and we rolled into the Gray’s Endurance Training Center around 11:00 pm. As I put it to Shanna as we approached the house, I had never before looked forward to imposing at a stranger’s house more than I did at that moment. My arrival concluded my nearly 16 hour journey. I'll post more about the races on Saturday sometime tomorrow. Hopefully I'll be able to find official results by then too.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

In this post about your wild adventures in Oregon, I think you're making up the part about running in the Prefontaine Classic--the results are defintely not on their website.

2:27 PM


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