More than 8,000 runners pound the pavement at Eugene Marathon

More than 8,000 runners pound the pavement at Eugene Marathon

EUGENE, Ore. - Clear skies and cold temps greeted excited runners Sunday morning, who lined the streets near Hayward Field for the 2011 Eugene Marathon.

"It's Track Town USA, so we had to come back and run a half marathon where I went to college," said half-marathoner Chris Thorndike-Kent

Some runners say they come for the prestige of the event.

"There's a short list of one you must run and this would be one," said one marathoner.
    
Others come because of the course. "I've heard it's a good place to get a quick time and I'm trying to get a quick time and get a higher seed in the Chicago Marathon," said half-marathoner Josh Vanderwiele.

Marathoners Matt and Berta Andrulis-Mette came all the way from Connecticut to run the entire 26.2 miles.

"Well we run quite a few and we had some friends who had relatives out here and it was a must do," said Berta.

They joined runners from all 50 states and nearly a dozen countries who ran or walked the full and half marathon.

But it wasn't just runners who got up early, spectators also got into the spirit, lining the streets, giving some extra encouragement to runners passing by.

"The chemistry and the crowd in Oregon is amazing, so it's great support," said marathoner William Brown.

But for some runners, it was all about focusing on the finish line.

"Hayward Field, where else could you run a marathon and finish in the midst of all that, it's awesome," said Berta.