The Michael Johnson track at Nike’s world headquarters is arguably one of the nicest surfaces in the world.
Located in Beaverton, Ore., just outside of Portland, the track oval is nestled away on the Nike property. Trees fill the inside area of the track making it impossible to see the far corner of the oval. There’s also a statue of Johnson, the former world record holder in the 400m, near the start/finish line.
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Recently, Bowerman Track Club, which includes two elite Canadians, posted a workout video giving viewers a close-up look of the unique setting. A separate soft-surface running trail surrounds the track and takes runners on a tour of Nike’s headquarters.
On this particular instance, the Portland area was hit with some cold weather forcing team coach Jerry Schumacher and Alistair Cragg, the husband of U.S. Olympian Amy Cragg, to shovel the inner two lanes. Fortunately, Matt Hughes, the Canadian 3,000m steeplechase record holder who hails from Oshawa, Ont. is more than comfortable with snowy conditions.
Canadian 5,000m record holder Mo Ahmed was not present during the workout. Notable attendees included 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Evan Jager, 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Shalane Flanagan and U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials champion Cragg. Olympic triathlon champion Gwen Jorgensen, though not part of the group, made a guest appearance for the December workout.
“It’s been an uncharacteristically snowy winter in Portland so far this year, but that hasn’t stopped us from putting in some solid training to gear up for races this winter and spring,” the accompanying Bowerman Track Club story reads. “The snow has been nothing compared to what many of our Midwestern-rooted and Canadian members grew up with, but we’ve all become soft in our short period of time in Portland. The presence of snow has brought out some subconscious nostalgia for Matt Hughes, causing him to spice up our workout discussion thread with some occasional hockey jargon.”
The track is believed to be open to the public. The Bowerman Track Club is expected to train in Flagstaff, Ariz. for the early portions of the new year. According to Chris Derrick, the workout was a four-mile tempo followed by 4×1,600m. The group is primarily composed of long-distance specialists.
There are two other major training groups based in the nearby area including the Nike Oregon Project, which includes Cam Levins, and Oregon Track Club Elite, which includes Sheila Reid.
We’ve got our eyes set on some great racing in 2017. Most of the pro group is headed south to Flagstaff for some altitude to get ready for a whole spread of racing this winter, including indoor, XC and a marathon debut! Before leaving we got some quality work done over the holidays in the Portland snow. Head over to BowermanTC.com (link in bio) to check our Winter Workout video and get a preview of our winter racing schedule. #B⚡️TC #nikerunning