The marathon course for the 2022 World Athletics Championships.
The marathon course for next summer’s World Athletics Outdoor Championships is both a hat tip to the history of running in Eugene-Springfield, as well as a showcase for the area’s natural beauty.
It also has the potential to be very fast.
Wednesday morning, Oregon22, the local organizing committee in charge of staging the 10-day track and field meet, revealed the marathon course that will take competitors on a mostly flat 14-kilometer loop through Eugene and Springfield three times before finishing where it started at Autzen Stadium.
In between will be sections identical to the marathon course used for the 1972 and 1976 U.S. Olympic Trials races. The rout will also includes sections through Alton Baker Park, along the Willamette River, near Pre’s Trail, and also on Main Street in downtown Springfield.
More: Click for the World Outdoor Championships competition schedule
“Our objective was to design a course that prioritizes the athlete experience while honoring Oregon’s natural landscape, indigenous people, and long-held passion for running,” WCH Oregon22 road events course manager Ian Dobson said. “As members of this community, we’re proud to give the world’s best runners the opportunity to compete on a course that holds so much history and potential.”
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Spectators will be allowed throughout the course for the 26.2-mile races that will begin at 6:15 a.m. on July 17 (men) and 18 (women), which will be the third and fourth day of the meet, respectively.
The rest of the meet will take place at Hayward Field from July 15-24. It’s the first time the World Outdoor Championships, which began in 1983 and have been held every other year since 1991, will take place in the United States. The meet was originally scheduled for 2021 but was delayed for a year due to COVID-19.
“The opportunity to run a marathon at a World Athletics championships right here on U.S. soil would be an experience of a lifetime,” said Emma Bates, the second-place finisher and top American woman at the 2021 Chicago Marathon. “The looped course gives runners the ability to learn and adapt as the race develops, and I think that will result in some fantastic, strategic competition.”
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This article originally appeared on Register-Guard: World Championship marathon course highlights history, natural beauty