Tag Archives: Prefontaine

Believing is Seeing

I’m sure some people will tell me that I’m too old to believe in magic. They will tell me that anything “extra” I felt when I first stepped onto the track at an empty Hayward Field was just the strong coffee I had just finished. Or maybe it was just the result of years of wanting and imagining and dreaming that this moment would be special. I’m sure that some people will tell me that I’m just seeing what I want to see and feeling what I want to feel.

There is no magic they’ll tell me.

But they didn’t run that first turn at Hayward and hear the echo of a starting gun that was not there drift behind me as I rolled forward. They will tell me it was just construction or a backfiring car or some University of Oregon student dropping a textbook.

They didn’t hear the sound of people clapping and stomping like I did as my heart beat increased and I picked up the pace along the epic backstretch.
They will tell me that’s just the sound of old wooden stands stretching and contracting as the sun and the wind do their dirty work on the structure.

They didn’t see and hear and feel the crowd rise to their feet as I came sprinting off Bowerman’s Turn like I did. They didn’t find that one extra gear like I did because Pre’s People demanded it.
They will tell me I imagined it all – I was awake and dreaming – I saw what I wanted to see.

Well, I was at Hayward Field and I ran a magical lap there.
Am I too old to believe in magic?
No.

Believing in magic is what keeps me from ever being old.

There Is No Finish Line 

I‘ve read the book. I’ve watched the movies and documentary. I know how all his races ended. I know how many records he broke. I know how many times he took the lead in Munich in ’72. I know how long that last straightaway was. I know what race he ran and what time the clock said on May 29, 1975 when he brought his People to their feet one last time at Hayward.

I know where it happened. I’ve been to the Rock.

I also know that every time we dig deeper Pre keeps running.

I know that when we rise and stamp our feet and cheer for each other Pre runs harder.

I know that when we believe in ourselves and our fellow runners Pre smiles.

I know that as long as we refuse to give anything less than our best –

and make it a pure guts race –

and make our efforts works of art-

and barrel around corners with our eyes ablaze and our heads cocked to the side always looking ahead –

Pre will live on through us.

Pre inspired us and paced us and cut the wind and took the lead for us.

He did it better than anyone before him and anyone since.

Now, it’s our turn.

Stop Pre?

Only if you can Stop Us.