House of Track
As mother nature turns to cold, wet, and chilly conditions in Portland during the always dark winter months, my mind drifts and fondly recalls the House of Track.
If you ask me, the House of Track was Vin Lananna's and TrackTown USA's masterpiece. Sure, Vin and his team have brought nearly every major national and global track & field championship event to Oregon, but the House of Track was different. In a Portland way. It was raw. Gritty. Unfiltered. Down and dirty competition. Devoid of all the pomp and circumstance which usually colors a championship track meet. And I think that is why I liked it so much. It was real, honest racing, what track is meant to be. No makeup, just blood, sweat, and guts.
You see, the location wasn't fancy by any stretch of the imagination. You had a world class track which hosted world class athletes in a grimy, run down, near condemned shipping dock, not exactly a luxury ambiance. It was the closest thing to an indie scene track & field has witnessed this century. And it was hands down the coolest setting for track I've ever seen.
The House of Track offered a gathering of the masses to compete and put their condition to the test. And that is what the sport needs most, more opportunities. More places to meet up and run, workout, and compete. If we can light the beacon with more events like the House of Track offered, the call will be answered. The sport will thrive. It doesn't need to be polished, it just needs to happen.
I suppose I am reminiscing because many fond memories were made there, personal best marks ran, and several compelling races seen or maybe because it is cold, wet, and near freezing outside and I'd rather run indoors than out right now.
OK. Fine. I'll lace up my running shoes and get out the door for my daily run.
Maybe I'll run by where the House of Track once lived to see if the building is still warm from the energy that once occupied it. I hope it is.
Thanks for reading. I'm glad you're here. // jm