The Oregon State Penitentiary running program was formed in the early 1970's. It owes much of its initial momentum to the support of Steve Prefontaine. Steve's seminars and encouragement influenced many inmates to concentrate on training and racing instead of prison distractions.
More recently, track coaches at the University of Oregon have been speakers at OSP Athletic Club meetings, given seminars on running, and brought U of 0 runners behind the walls to race. The discipline and commitment necessary to maintain a training regiment, is carried by inmates to jobs and relationships in the community upon release. This is a rehabilitative program.
There are 270 registered runners in the running program. A quarter mile oval track is available for their exclusive use every day for an hour and a half. Beginning on this track, the race tours through the weightlifting area (the iron pile) and handball courts in the shadow of the 26-foot penitentiary wall. For years, running clubs have come to the prison to compete with racers ages 18-75 in this unique environment.
Come run with us, experience a couple hours life on the inside and when it's over you get to leave! We are confident that you and your friends will return to run regularly. There are eight 5K and 10K races scheduled for 2014. All are scheduled at 11:15AM on Friday or Saturday.