Oregon Snowshoeing Articles. He currently lives in Olympia, Washington. Highlights include Linda’s personal anecdotes and a chance to run on the Marshfield High School track, where it all started for Pre. Pre!” over and over at competitions. Numerous runners and cross-country fanatics have included snowshoeing or snowshoe racing into their regimens (and offer training tips). In retrospect, Steve Prefontaine played a significant role in that goal, which I religiously continue even today. Prefontaine had one leg longer than the other. I had been in Germany for only a month, serving as a sergeant in the U.S. Army. Photo of the Oregon Dunes mentioned in the Tour de Pre. And for the second time within 24 hours, I thought of the iconic Oregon runner. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Pre! And I couldn’t help wondering just for a moment what his potential impact on the worldwide snowshoeing community might have been, if only…. Take your favorite fandoms with you and never miss a beat. Powered by WordPress. I could almost imagine him effortlessly striding across the fairway right before me. He is considered to be among the greatest and most inspirational runners ever to have lived. While hiking some of the steep hills of the picturesque Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, I recalled that Linda mentioned that her brother spent untold hours running up and down these same dunes. Pre: The Story of America's Greatest Running Legend, https://athletics.fandom.com/wiki/Steve_Prefontaine?oldid=8038, Without Limits (1998), played by Billy Crudup. Steve "Pre" Prefontaine (January 25, 1951 – May 30, 1975) was an American long distance runner, born in Coos Bay, Oregon , who once held the American record in every event over a mile: 2000m, 3000m, 2-mile, 3-mile, 10000m, and 6-mile. That’s why when I was finally standing before those murals of Steve in downtown Coos Bay, I immediately wondered whether he would have enjoyed snowshoeing. Photo: Rick Stedman. He was just 24 years old and owned every American running record between two miles and 10,000 meters at the time of his death, eight records in all. Standing on South Broadway Street in Coos Bay, Oregon, I stare up at the larger-than-life two-story-high murals of home-town hero Steve Prefontaine.Haloed with a backdrop of blue sky and sunshine, the three separate panels depict the 1970s running sensation in varying stages of his career. What memories do you have of Steve Prefontaine? There are 40 miles of the dunes to run on and up! He died when aged 24 in an automobile accid… Interview with Tom Sobal: Snowshoe Racing Pioneer This year’s 41st annual run, scheduled for September 19, was canceled due to COVID-19 and rescheduled for September 18, 2021. I instantly thought of how, just three years ago, he competed in the Munich Summer Olympics an hour’s train ride away from my duty station. Photo: Rick Stedman. After all, he inspired a generation of runners and want-to-be-runners for years to come, and I was among the faithful. I hadn’t heard his name in years, but seeing his photo brought a reflective smile. Ironically, at the time I was planning a golf trip to Coos Bay, Oregon, it was also time to replace my aging New Balance running shoes, which I’d pounded on the pavement for more than 800 miles. As mentioned, in addition to running, I enjoy snowshoeing during the winter months, an activity I took up a few decades ago. Photo: Rick Stedman. Being a creature of habit, it didn’t take long to establish a Sunday morning ritual in Germany. The tours were canceled for 2020 due to COVID-19 but will resume May 1, 2021. His three-mile and six-mile records are still standing today.. Though greatness had already blessed him as a runner, his life was cut short by a tragic car accident on May 30, 1975. While running for the Oregon Track Club, Prefontaine set American records at every distance from 2,000 to 10,000 meters, as he prepared for the 1976 Olympics. cross-country fanatics have included snowshoeing, United States Snowshoe Association (USSSA), Transition From Running To Snowshoe Racing, Running Everyman”: World’s Greatest Olympian, Why Snowshoeing Should Be An Olympic Sport, Interview with Tom Sobal: Snowshoe Racing Pioneer, The BioLite Stove Proves that Innovation Changes Lives (and Saves Lives), Interview With Steve Beardsley: 2005 National Snowshoe Championships’ Chief of Course, The Divine Spirit of Snowshoeing at Angel Fire, New Mexico. But sports aside, the only news I recall on the sports page that day was the dominant photo and story of Steve Prefontaine’s passing. From that point in my life, running played an important role. I was numb with disbelief. He is considered to be among the greatest and most inspirational runners ever to have lived. Running has been the connection for staying fit to enjoy these and other activities. Photo: Rick Stedman. Read Next: Photo: Rick Stedman. Steve Prefontaine during the Summer Olympics. He is still bigger than life in this small fishing village on the southern Oregon coast. Read More: Transition From Running To Snowshoe Racing, Who knows of the impact that Pre could have had on snowshoe racing. Here, a memorial to Steve Prefontaine outside of the Coos Bay Visitor Center. Pre's final 200 meters at the 1971 AAU championships 3-mile. Copyright © 2020. At that time, there was no Internet, and the newspaper was the only source for checking scores of major league baseball and other sports. Photo: Creative Commons. Athlepedia, The Athletics Wiki is a FANDOM Lifestyle Community. Created by Meks. Linda’s Tour de Pre also includes visits to other locales where Steve once ran, including the nearby dunes and a local golf course. Or, more realistically, how much he would have enjoyed snowshoe racing! Steve Roland "Pre" Prefontaine (January 25, 1951 – May 30, 1975) was an American long-distance runner who competed in the 1972 Olympics. Please share them with us in the comments below! I knew Pre attended the University of Oregon in Eugene, and I always assumed he was from that city. Haloed with a backdrop of blue sky and sunshine, the three separate panels depict the 1970s running sensation in varying stages of his career. Later that day, I stuck to the goal I had set when first arriving in Germany: To start running regularly. The club was Coos Country Club when Steve Prefontaine used these same fairways for running. During his career, he broke his own or other American records 14 different times, broke the four-minute barrier nine times, ran 25 two-mile races under 8:40 and 10 5K races faster than 13:30. I was impressed to read that Coos Bay continues its devotion to Pre even today. All of his fans were known as “Pre’s People”, and would chant, “Pre! After purchasing a new pair of Brooks Ghost running shoes, I headed home to finish researching all the things I wanted to experience while in Coos Bay. I ran five miles that day, which was double what I usually did a few times a week. First, during his high school days at Marshfield in Coos Bay; then, in his junior year at the University of Oregon in Eugene; and, running the 5,000-meter race in the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany. A few days later, I’m standing at the tee box of a long par five at Coos Golf Club. Steve "Pre" Prefontaine (January 25, 1951 – May 30, 1975) was an American long distance runner, born in Coos Bay, Oregon, who once held the American record in every event over a mile: 2000m, 3000m, 2-mile, 3-mile, 10000m, and 6-mile. The author laces up his old shoes for a run on the Oregon Dunes. Also, he ran along with the Coos Golf Club, which I was planning to visit while in town. Here, you’ll find numerous photos, trophies, ribbons, and other Pre memorabilia from his productive but short career. “Running Everyman”: World’s Greatest Olympian In addition to the mural, there is a statue dedicated to Pre right outside the visitor’s center in downtown. From left to right, the images show Pre, as his friends and admirers called him throughout his running career. Pre!” over and over at competi… Pre! I’ve occasionally thought about the potential impact Steve might have had on the sport of snowshoeing, which got its official start in the U.S. a few years after he died. As a freelance travel writer, I’ve written a great deal about snowshoeing and golf over the years. The upbeat and informative tour ends on a somber note with a visit to Steve’s final resting spot at Sunset Memorial Park. Snowshoeing is an excellent complement to running, as well as a great workout, and the competition is fierce, too! I’d walk over to the base cafeteria, buy a cup of coffee and a copy of the Stars & Stripes newspaper. There’s also a poignant gallery on the second floor of the Coos Art Museum devoted to his many accomplishments. What might other photos have been in this museum? Rick Stedman is an avid snowshoer and golfer. I discovered that Steve Prefontaine grew up in Coos Bay! Steve’s sister Linda offers a comprehensive Steve Prefontaine Tour called the Tour de Pre. The running world was shocked by the news of his passing, and I still remember that day distinctly. The Coos Bay Art Museum gallery includes numerous photos and memorabilia of Steve Pre. Prefontaine's career, alongside those of Jim Ryun, Frank Shorter, and Bill Rodgers, generated considerable media coverage, which helped inspire the 1970s "running boom." Why Snowshoeing Should Be An Olympic Sport Standing on South Broadway Street in Coos Bay, Oregon, I stare up at the larger-than-life two-story-high murals of home-town hero Steve Prefontaine. In 1977, the United States Snowshoe Association (USSSA) formulated, and the sport of snowshoe racing was launched. He is also known for his extremely aggressive "front-running" racing style and for always believing in giving everything he had to win. Prefontaine's life was brought to a tragic end from a car crash at the age of 24. When Prefontaine died he held every American record from the two mile to the 10,000 meters; a USA Track & Field rep says it appears only two of his records now remain: six- … All of his fans were known as “Pre’s People”, and would chant, “Pre! N1ZnV56e8JI. He also held eight collegiate records while at Oregon, with his three-mile (12:53.4) and six-mile (27:09.4) still standing. In 2000, Pre was inducted into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame. Also, every September, runners descend on Coos Bay for the annual Prefontaine Memorial 10K Run. The End of an Era: Steve Prefontaine's Last Major Record Falls 0 of 6 Upon his death, the Eugene Register-Guard famously dubbed the time as the "end of an era."