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Steven Prefontaine’s Lookalike Contest Features Eugene During Oregon22

Nothing says Eugene like Steve Prefontaine and dressing up, Julie Johansen said.

Julie, JJ and Tripp Johansen all dressed up as famous American distance runners for a lookalike contest and dance party at Thinking Tree Spirits during the Oregon22 World Championships in Athletics.

Julie Johansen found out about the contest a few days before the event and began putting together costumes, using shorts from old Creswell athletics uniforms, cutting out t-shirts and crafting with felt to create mustaches and legs.

Prefontaine, a native of Coos Bay, attended the University of Oregon and later raced for the Oregon Track Club. He broke many records and competed in the 1972 Summer Olympics. He was preparing to run in the 1976 Summer Olympics, but in 1975 he was killed in a car accident in Eugene. He was 24 years old.

Prefontaine’s charisma and tenacity made him a celebrity, and he is still considered one of the most influential runners in history.

The Johansens found the event appealing because it was a fun and free family activity, and they ended up winning all three lookalike contest prizes.

Emily Jensen said the Pre lookalike contest is part of an effort to showcase Eugene as tens of thousands visit the city during the 10-day international track and field event.

The distillery, located in the Whiteaker neighborhood, seeks to attract people to the historic part of Eugene through a series of pop-up dinners and other events, including the lookalike contest and dance party on Saturday night, Jensen said. , who founded and runs Thinking Tree.

Jensen and others are “really excited for people from all over the world to come here,” she said, and they want to take the opportunity to show what Eugene has to offer.

“Eugene is a really special community unlike any other,” Jensen said. “It’s not just the best running track in the world.”

The Whiteaker in particular is a special area, she said.

A look-alike contest and dance party sounded like a fun thing to do, Jensen added, and about three weeks ago another opportunity presented itself when New York chef and Olympic long-distance runner Michael Stember reached out. the hand.

Thinking Tree and others worked with Stember to secure restaurant space and host a pop-up dinner series known as Family Mean ’22. Dinner runs nightly through July 24 and features a family-style, three-tier Omakase served for group reservations and a choice menu with seafood and beef. Thinking Tree Spirits exclusively supplies cocktails for the pop-up.

Large groups can make reservations by email [email protected]and walk-ins are welcome from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. at 298 Blair Blvd.

“As an Olympic runner and chef, I am thrilled to help fans around the world experience the world championships on American soil for the first time,” Stember said in a statement. “Family Meal is an open invitation to fans who love a variety of global flavors and want to come together after the day’s events.”

In addition to pop-up dinners and the Pre lookalike contest, Thinking Tree has extended hours of operation, set up an explosive curling zone and other games in its parking lot and will host live music each evening, said jensen.

Jensen’s greatest wish is that the community be “able to warmly open our smiles, our arms and our hearts to many nations and many languages” to show people why Eugene is such a special place.

“Have fun and welcome Eugene,” Jensen said. “We hope you like it and come back.”

Contact city government watchdog Megan Banta at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @MeganBanta_1.