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Sports Then and Now



Mary Decker’s 1982 “Spur-of-the-Moment” World Record 190

Posted on March 17, 2012 by Rojo Grande

Over the years, Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon has hosted some of the most prestigious track meets in the world.

Multiple US Olympic Trials, USA National Championships, NCAA  conference and national outdoor championships, and the notorious Prefontaine Classic have all contributed to the incredible legacy of Hayward’s hallowed grounds.

Champions might give partial credit to that legacy, or to the sophisticated and supportive Hayward fans, or the mild Willamette climate in evaluating their exploits there.

But at Hayward, there is another mysterious force embedded within the very soil. Some call it the Hayward Magic.

Such is the power of that force that even in a casual and insignificant all-comer’s meet—with about 500 fans ringing the track—the unlikely can occur…like a world record.

On July 16, 1982 Mary Decker (Tabb), running on a whim, officially expanded the limits of human performance in the women’s 10,000-meter run under the lights at Hayward.

Modern runners, accustomed to a detailed regimen of energy intake, precise training protocol, and mandatory pre-race recovery might be surprised at the unconventional circumstances which precipitated Decker’s record run.

Let’s take a look back. Read the rest of this entry →

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