Prefontaine Classic

Photograph, 2007

Photo of Hayward Field used for Prefontaine Classic advertisement campaign.

Hayward Field is one of the true track and field meccas in the United States, and throughout its close to 100 year history, all but a few of the greatest American track and field athletes raced, jumped, and threw within its grounds in Eugene, Oregon.  Growing up as an avid runner in upstate New York, I would dream of running races at Hayward Field.  It was also the home track of one of my favorite track athletes, Steve Prefontaine.  So when I was planning out the route and booking the shows for The Mugs cross-country tour, I knew we had to go through Eugene.

When we arrived, we headed straight for the track.  The University of Oregon cross country team was just finishing up practice, and we felt inspired to run a little race and take in the full view of the stadium.  I then took a number of photos of the track (see the entire “yeah country tour” flickr set here).  I knew how I felt about the place, and I knew how I saw it in my mind.

The photo above was taken from the backstretch (right around the 175m mark), and to me it shows a different reason why this track stadium is known around the world.  The fans.  For all of those great performances, there have always been hungry track and field fans in the crowd to take it in.

I later received an e-mail from Character (a San Francisco-based design firm) who enjoyed the photo so much that they asked to use it in their ad campaign for the Prefontaine Classic.  Below are some examples of where my photo was used.