Sunday, July 10, 2016

A Totally [US Olympic Team] Trials 2016 Recap

To say I was exhausted Thursday morning would be an understatement. The day was spent in a haze that can only be described as a Totally Trials Hangover.

While there are a lot of questions and concerns surrounding the Rio Olympics, one thing is for certain: thousands (maybe hundreds of thousands) of athletes have spent years training and dreaming about those two weeks in August.

Wrapping up today has been a week of track and field events in Eugene, Oregon which have determined Team USA. A week that has seen all the emotions.

Tracktown USA 16 - Hayward Field

Matt and I were lucky enough to spend the start of the week in Eugene and attend 2 days of the Trials at Historic Hayward Field. This was our first trip to Eugene and our first time attending Trials - for any sport. And let me say, it was amazing.

Oiselle was out in force, and Matt and I were proud to be part of the crew! While we all know Nike is everywhere when it comes to USATF, I don't think I'm biased when I say Oiselle was in close second when it came to strength of presence in the crowd. We were loud. We were excited. We were certainly the best dressed.

[You may have seen some of the news coverage and social media posts about Oiselle's latest run in with the USOC. The situation is ridiculous, to say the least. While I could write an entire post on the topic, I'll point you to THIS solid article if you're interested in reading more.]

And we were there to support the 14 Oiselle athletes who showed incredible grace, strength, grit, power, and incredible talent!

Track and Field Trials 16 - Women's Steeple
Oiselle Birds Megan Rolland, Shalaya Kipp, and Mel Lawrence in the Steeple 3000M first round. Each of these 3 women achieved PRs!

US Track and Field Trials 2016 - Women's 800
Kate Grace (in the center) on the last lap!

US Track and Field Trials 2016 - Kate Grace Wins
That's MF Fast Kate talking victory, Rio and giving major props to her Tribe!
Two things I know for certain after our trip to Eugene:

US Track and Field Trials - Oiselle

1. My love for Oiselle - the people behind the brand and my teammates - is stronger than ever. These are amazing, strong, and inspirational women. Each with their own story and own goals. We come from all walks of life, cover all distances and speeds. We support and push each other to be better, even if we've only just met.

2. I need to go back to Oregon so we can get to the coast and spend more time exploring! What a cool state!

While in Eugene, we did some running of our own - including a Oiselle run on Pre's Trail and the Butte to Butte 10K. Matt got another PR and I had my fastest 10K time in more than 5 years, which I'll attribute to the warm-up led by Lauren Fleshman, and to my teammate Rebekah, who stuck with me to the finish line.

Oiselle runs Pre's Trail

Butte to Butte 10K

Butte to Butte 10K - Lauren Fleshman warmup

We were able to catch quite a few events over two days, including the women's high jump, Men's and Women's 100M and 400M, 2nd Day of the Men's Decathlon, Men's Pole Vault, Men's Javelin, and of course, the Men's & Women's first round 3000M Steeple Chase and the finals for the Men's and Women's 800M. It was just amazing watching these athletes - the best in the country - compete. All of them, whether they're going to Rio or not, are incredible. (And when I say "all", I really mean, all the clean athletes)

The decathlon guys had a little fun and took a dip after Ashton Eaton claimed another national championship.

US Track and Field Trials 2016 - Decathlon water pit

There were also some fast guys in Eugene - including Bernard Lagat and Galen Rupp, who ran this heat for the 5000M first round on July 4. As you likely know, Lagat went on to win the 5000M finals at the age of 41. Pretty incredible.

US Track and Field Trials - 5000M men's - Bernard Lagat
Beyond running, I spent some good times connecting with Birds and we were sure to enjoy Oregon beer and wine (we may have brought some back with us), and visited the Rose Garden in Portland. Just enough time to know we need more time in Oregon!

US Track and Field Trials - Oiselle
King Estates Winery

Portland Oregon Rose Garden

Only one month till the Olympics begin! Let's hope for everyone's sake that Rio can get their act in gear and make it a great event for these incredible athletes!

What are your favorite Olympic events to watch?

Check out Oiselle's final wrap-up of Trials HERE.

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