The Portland Track Festival had it all… including a fire-breathing bagpiper

The Portland Track Festival, a high-performance meet in Oregon, concluded on Sunday with lots of Canadians getting Olympic standard for the first time.

June 13th, 2016 by | Posted in Rio 2016 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Galen takes charge #portlandtrackfestival

A photo posted by Mark McCambridge (@atlasfoto) on

The Portland Track Festival in Oregon proved to be one of the fastest competitions of 2016 as there were five Canadians who hit the Olympic qualifying standard for the first time ahead of Rio this August. Many others ran some incredibly fast times. The June 11-12 meet concluded on Sunday night and was predominantly a distance-focused competition.

RELATED: Usain Bolt shows why he’s the greatest sprinter in the world.

Getting the Athletics Canada qualifying standard is the first step for Olympic hopefuls in their bid to make it to Rio. Athletes with the standard must finish in the top-two (which automatically qualifies them) in their respective events or be the first non-automatic qualifier with the standard time at the Canadian track and field championships in Edmonton July 7-10. They must also prove that they are ready in terms of competitive fitness, which has been a controversial topic as of late.

RELATED: Early celebration almost costs NCAA 1,500m winner the national title.

Athletes who hit the Rio qualifying standard for the first time

Anthony Romaniw – 800m (1:45.94)
Alycia Butterworth – 3,000m steeplechase (9:41.26)
Maria Bernard – 3,000m steeplechase (9:44.81)
Gabriela Stafford – 1,500m (4:06.53)
Luc Bruchet – 5,000m (13:24.10)

There were other Canadians who ran the Olympic standard once again, including Nicole Sifuentes and Jessica O’Connell, but had already run below the necessary time previously. The competition was held at Lewis and Clark College.

Another highlight of the event — and a strange one at that– was when a person on a unicycle with a Darth Vader mask who was playing bagpipes that spewed out fire. Yes, you read that right… Fortunately, the meet was well-attended and spectators captured plenty of footage of the act, much of which can seen below.

The PORTLAND Track Fest. #portlandtrackfestival

A photo posted by David Embree (@davidembree) on

#portlandtrackfestival #keepportlandweird

A photo posted by Claire Bootsma (@clairebootsma) on

Highlights of Canadians on social media

RELATED: Even the 800m world record holder shares Garmin selfies on social media.

Just before the bell at the #portlandtrackfestival. Those dudes were moving!

A video posted by Andrew (@apalm_runs) on