Olympic and international running stars training under the Nike Oregon Project have donated exclusive autographed running gear to be auctioned off in support of the fundraising effort to replace the track at Ashland High School.
The high school is the alma mater of Nike Oregon Project assistant coach Pete Julian. Seven elite athletes, plus the Nike Oregon Project, have contributed to the fundraising auction in a show of support for youth running and to honor Julian.
The auction will be held online using Ebay's Charity Auction system (www.charity.ebay.com/charity) and will commence on Tuesday and run for approximately 10 days. Those interested will have the opportunity to bid on autographed gear, including spikes, race singlets and warm-up gear.
"We are very fortunate to receive the support of these world-class athletes," said Julian, who has been part of the Ashland track restoration effort since early 2017 and whose work for the Nike Oregon Project began in 2012. "Running enthusiasts should be thrilled. We have received personally autographed running gear used in actual training and races. This is like owning a piece of history. I asked the athletes to contribute something from their running career that meant something personal to them. The team came through in a big way."
Mo Farah, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, has autographed and donated the Nike Oregon Project jersey he wore in the 2017 USATF Distance Classic. Matthew Centrowitz, the 2016 Olympic gold medalist in the 1,500 meter, has signed an official Nike Oregon Project jersey. Other items include signed track spikes from two-time Olympic medalist Galen Rupp, as well as signed items from three-time Olympian Shannon Rowbury, and signed items from Jordan Hasay, Eric Jenkins and Suguru Osako.
One hundred percent of the proceeds for the auction will go to rebuilding the Ashland track through the nonprofit Ashland Schools Foundation (www.ashlandschoolsfoundation.org). The organizers are hoping that the auction can bring in as much as $10,000. The full costs of the track restoration project are estimated at close to $500,000 with a deadline of Sept. 5. The group has already raised about $330,000 and the auction is part of the final push leading up to Labor Day.