Eugene Marathon Is Offering Medals Made of Wood
Organizers of the Eugene Marathon, which typically finishes at Hayward Field, were able to procure some of the old steps from the east grandstand, and those steps are being refashioned into race medals for this year’s virtual marathon and half marathon, scheduled for April 23 through 25. Next year’s event medals will feature the old Hayward wood as well.
Race director Ian Dobson told Runner’s World the organization submitted a proposal to the University of Oregon in order to get his hands on the antique steps. When approved, he then filled his truck and moved the wood to the race’s storage facility. Dobson also had them tested to make sure they didn’t contain any lead paint. (They didn’t.)
In the past, the race medals had come from overseas, which is the industry standard. For this, the race’s staff selected a local designer for processing and fabricating. “For the whole project, we were able to keep everything local,” Dobson said.
The medals are being made from the interior wood of the grandstand; they might look new, because that section of wood was unweathered by nearly a century of rain, wind, and snow. To maintain a connection to their historic past, the medals will be cut in the same proportion as the former Hayward Field steps.
Additionally, the unusual medals are driving participation for this year’s race, which will be virtual—for the second year in a row—in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dobson said fewer than 100 spots remain for the marathon ($75) and about 500 spots remain for the half marathon ($60).
Race packets—including shirts, numbers, and medals—will go out before the race to everyone who signs up. So technically, there’s nothing stopping memorabilia collectors from registering in order to get the medal, even if they have no intention of doing the race.
Dobson’s not worried, though. “We trust the running community,” he said.
posted Tuesday March 23rd
by Runner´s World