The Fascinating Story Behind This Prefontaine Photo

For our big feature story on Steve Prefontaine in our May issue, we cast our net far and wide, unearthing a lot of rarely seen photos of the legendary runner. Shots of Pre running. Shots of Pre winning. Pre at rest. Pre at play.

Yet one particular photo caught our eye. Never mind the wonderful Instagram-like, washed-out snapshot feel—there honestly aren’t many photos of Pre with trophies, which is odd considering he was one of the most dominating runners of his era. And anyway, what the heck was that trophy for?

It turns out that this photo has a remarkable yet little-known story behind it. Pre’s friend and University of Oregon teammate Steve Bence (second from left in the photo, flanked by teammates Matt Centrowitz, Prefontaine and Mark Feig) told it to Track Focus several years ago, which we’re happy to link to here. It’s quintessential Pre, and only adds to his fascinating legend. Enjoy.

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