Working the 2017 IAAF Diamond League Prefontaine Classic

Written by Roger White on . Posted in Blog

For those who have read my blog posts, I’ve written about my journey to where I am today.  In recent years I have been fortunate to have participated in some incredible events.  Back in 2014, I friended Washington DC Massage Therapist Terrel Hale and saw he traveled to Oregon to work the 2014 Pre Classic, a top track and field competition in the world, held in Oregon.  It’s one of the only US based international track and field meets.  Terrel agreed to do some Q&A with me about his experience.  From this interview, a series of events occurred.  Fast forward to May 2017, and here I am, on my way to the 2017 Pre Classic.

The medical team comprised of massage therapists, chiropractors, athletic trainers, physical therapists, and even an acupuncturist.  Athletes could come in to our room during treatment times and get whatever they needed (or wanted!).  Here was the river view from the treatment room

Don Butzner, who I interviewed for this blog before, was the Captain of the event for me.  He has been organizing events in Eugene for quite a few years and has worked with some of the worlds best athletes in track and field.

I arrived on Wednesday afternoon into Eugene Airport, a short drive away from where all the action would take place.  After unpacking at the hotel, I headed over to the hotel I’d be working at the next few days.  Athletes from various countries began to come in over the next few days.  As a fan of the sport, this was incredible to see, and work with, the biggest names in the sport.  The Pre Classic line ups were nearly rematches from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.  (So yes, I did work with a few Olympians this weekend!)

Friday night there were a few distance events for the female athletes.  I headed over to the track to work with athletes I had seen earlier in the week.  As the sun went down, the evening was absolutely amazing.  Here was the view of the warm up areas just past where the medical tent was set up.


As the athletes finished their races and events that night, some began to head over to the tent for post race treatments.  Around 10pm that night, I was one of the last to leave the stadium with a few athletes who did a workout and long cool down afterwards.

The next morning, I was at the track at 10am.  Soon after the shuttles from the athlete hotels began arriving and athletes began to warm up.  It was another beautiful day.

The medical tent on the main race day was filled with nearly a dozen treatment tables.  Athletes began coming in for pre-race treatment, stretches and other things they needed to perform their best.  Soon after the events started, athletes began coming in for post-race massage.

The last race ended around 3pm, and around nearly 430 pm, most everyone said their good byes and off we went. It was a great experience overall and I do look forward to hopefully coming back again in the future.



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