Hey guys – I’m back with part 2 of my Eugene, Oregon adventures! If you missed part 1, check it out: hiking in and around Eugene.
And now – for the Brooks Run Happy Blogger Ambassador trip recap! After saying goodbye to my friend Ashley on Friday morning, I hung out and caught up on work for a few hours before meeting up with the Brooks gang in the afternoon. As I’ve said previously, this is my 4th year being an ambassador for Brooks and their annual trip is always one of my favorites. The blogger crew is awesome and so is the Brooks team, and we always have a blast together! For this year’s trip, we were lucky enough to get to travel to Eugene to spectate some of the USA Track + Field Olympic Trials – what an amazing opportunity!
Brooks took over a massive frat house on the University of Oregon campus right by the stadium for the occasion and we stayed there along with all the Brooks staff on site, too. One big party! Apparently they had to have a cleaning crew come through 3 times AND paint the walls before it was presentable enough for everyone – ha!
In true college style, we had roommates and our names on our doors – too cute! There were even shower shoes and shower caddies waiting in our rooms. :) Took me back! Janae was my roomie – heart her!
As you guys can probably tell I’m a big extrovert so I loved that we were all sharing rooms and in one big house! <3 I miss the days of getting ready with a whole bunch of girlfriends and spending hours chatting to my roommates before falling asleep! Speaking of beds – the Brooks logo was on our pillows. Too cute!
We were also gifted some fun patriotic gear to cheer in – how awesome are those shoes?! And the adorable socks, which they designed specially for us with our input!
The patriotic shoes are part of their limited edition “Victory Collection” – you can buy them here – and there are some other styles, too! Love them! Crazy comfortable in addition to being cute – I ran 10.4 miles in them on Friday!
We spent the rest of Friday watching the action over at the stadium! What an honor to be able to see such amazing athletes compete in person for the chance to punch their tickets to Rio.
I loved watching their strides – so long and elegant! It was hard to get good photos because they were moving so quickly!
In between the action, we wandered around and checked out the vendors and participated in some fun activities that were definitely meant for kids – whatever, we’re kids at heart. :)
Meghann and I somehow found ourselves separated from the group and right down by the track for the exciting men’s 10,000 final – amazing!
After the excitement, we headed to dinner at a nice spot walking distance from campus called the Excelsior Inn. It was so good – loved the fresh figs, the mozzarella and fresh tomatoes from their garden, the tuna special, and the berry tart for dessert! I wasn’t able to make it through everything – so much food!
On Friday morning, Brooks hosted a big group run leaving from the frat house that was open to the public; it wasn’t until 9 a.m. so Janae asked if I was up for some miles beforehand to try to make it to double digits. Sounded good to me – I knew I should probably do 10 miles for Marine Corps Marathon training anyway! And I wanted to take advantage of the nice humidity-free running weather as much as possible. :)
Janae and I had fun chatting away, and between the conversation and the beautiful scenery the miles flew by.
We made it back to the house just as everyone else was leaving for the group run and tucked in with them having already done 4.5 miles. Nice!
Traveling with other runners is the best – getting in a long run was a breeze with such great company!
Man, Eugene is such a beautiful place to run – there were cool trails everywhere!
10.4 miles – done! Awesome! I tested out my new patriotic shoes for the occasion and they felt great – I love the Launch 3 shoes – so lightweight but cushiony.
After our run and some snackage, a few of us checked out the Run Signature gait analysis booth Brooks had set up.
The team recorded me doing static squats and then lightly jogging. Interestingly, my knees tend to tilt in a bit when doing squats but out when I’m running. They recommended support/stability shoes for me, which makes sense since that’s what I usually wear for distance (the Ravenna or Adrenaline), although I do love the Launch, PureGrit and the PureConnect (being discontinued – saddest thing ever because these are my go-to track and shorter distance shoes) which are all neutral – interesting.
We spent the rest of the morning through mid afternoon back at the trials, rocking our spirit squad matching tanks. :) (Photo stolen from Tina!)
Our late lunch (at The Cannery) had a special treat: we were joined by Brooks Beasts and Olympic hopefuls Riley Masters and Garrett Heath! They were SO nice – all of us really enjoying chatting with them and learning what it’s like to be a professional runner, and we’re now all officially huge fans! They both competed in the 5k prelim race on Monday and we were all group texting like crazy about how “our guys” were doing. :) They are both advancing to the final which happens this weekend – fingers crossed big time for them!!
Riley and Garrett both compete primarily in the 5k and do about 75 to 80 miles per week (often at altitude) to train – wow. We also talked about running/race day superstitions – Riley said his is that he always leaves the TV on (set to SportsCenter) in his hotel room when he leaves for a race. Too funny! There’s a cool article on the Brooks blog sharing all the Brooks Beast’s superstitions! Do you have any running/race day superstitions? Apparently I need some! :)
While chatting with the guys and the rest of the ladies I chowed down on some fish tacos, plus an unpictured side salad. :)
Our final adventure as a group was a special one: we had dinner out on Friday at the stunning King Estate Winery about 45 minutes from downtown Eugene. This view – insane.
All dolled up! The blogger ambassadors + our fearless leaders Lauren and Danielle from the Brooks team. :) My flowery dress is a new favorite from Stitchfix – I got a box from them about a month or so ago that was on point – tons of cute summery stuff!
When at a winery… drink wine, of course! I especially enjoyed their Pinot Noir.
The food was excellent, too! We shared a bunch of appetizers, then had salads. I had the salmon with pea risotto (YUM) for my entrée.
Another berry fruit tart for dessert – half was the perfect amount of sweetness to end the night!
What a fun trip with a fabulous group! I loved spending time with everyone and having the opportunity to watch some of the trials was amazing. It went by too quickly! A HUGE thank you to Brooks for having us and for covering our trip expenses. It was an honor to be there! Until next time, ladies! Missing you already!
Have you ever had the opportunity to watch the Olympic trials (or the actual Olympics!) in person?
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