A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself into an exhausting pace, and then at the end, punish himself even more. - Steve Prefontaine.
During his brief 24-year lifespan, Steve Prefontaine grew from hometown hero, to record-setting college phenomenon, to internationally acclaimed track star. In a similar span of years since his death in 1975, Pre has become the stuff of enduring legend.
His rare combination of talent, discipline, determination, and star-quality with a human touch made Pre the idol of those he called "his people" — the devoted fans who came to watch him run and entered into the performance with roars of encouragement, "Go Pre!"
At no place is the celebration of Steve Prefontaine and his story more personal than in Coos Bay, Oregon, where he was born in 1951 and discovered his gift for running fast and far as a student at Marshfield High School. Here, he developed his hunger to be the best in the field, and more, to do it with style—to create beauty when he ran, to show people something they had never seen before.
Steve Prefontaine is honored every year at the Prefontaine Memorial Run, a challenging 10K road race across one of his old training courses, with its finish line at the high school track where he first competed. This is where he tested his mettle and felt the possibility of greatness, and his hometown saw greatness, too. We warmly invite you to come to Coos Bay every September and run where Pre's legend began.