When Steve and I were growing up in Coos Bay, during the 50’s and 60’s, Coos Bay was the World’s Largest Lumber Export town.
That fact is what made the area notable. In the 70’s everything changed. The lumber industry collapsed and the town fell on hard times that is still evident today.
In high school, when Steve’s extraordinary running ability became apparent, fans started to ask, “where is he from and where is Coos Bay, Oregon?”.
Today, people might not know that Coos Bay was the Worlds Largest Lumber export town, but they know this is where Steve Prefontaine grew up and began his journey of being the most famous middle distance runner from the USA.
People from around the world come to Coos Bay to pay homage to their idol. The individuals who visit his hometown today, might not know that Coos Bay was famous for the lumber industry but they know this town is where Steve started his road to success as a runner, an Olympian and spokesperson for change.
To honor Steve, the Prefontaine Memorial Committee and the town of Coos Bay hold an annual 10K run on the 3rd Saturday in September. The route follows one of Steve’s regular workouts and gives runners an opportunity to experience what he did running on our challenging streets.
The Tour de Pre is a private tour that I offer to individuals who want to know more about Steve that cannot be found in books, movies or documentaries. The Tour de Pre will give people the opportunity to run in Steve’s footsteps, at the places he trained and to learn what it took to become the best.
Years pass and for many famous athletes their popularity wanes. That is not the case for Steve. His popularity has only grown over time. He still inspires individuals, young and old, to rise and shine, to give their best in running a race or a personal challenge.
I think he would be proud!
“The Tour de Pre will give you and intimate look at Steve’s life not found in movies, books and articles. The Tours are private. They are 6-7 hours long. You will learn the history of Coos Bay, run in Steve’s footsteps and understand who he was and where he came from and how that helped shape him into the person and runner he became.”