Ashton Eaton – Rising Above The World

words // Adam Arthur

Ashton Eaton, world-record-setting decathlete, takes his versatile track and field abilities to the cover of the latest Eastbay.

“I remember getting Eastbay in the mail and paging through the catalog. My mom would say ‘track season’s coming up. Which shoes do you want?’ My school colors were red, black, and white, so I would try to find red, black, and white shoes.”

He’s come along way since then. In 2012, Ashton set the decathlon world record with 9,039 points, and went on to capture the gold medal in London. The decathlon, comprised of ten different track and field events, takes place over two days of competition and is a true test of overall athletic ability — the reason gold-medalist decathletes are crowned as “world’s greatest athletes.”

“I love track and field for two reasons: accountability and measurability. The decathlon is the only standardized test to determine who the greatest athlete is, because all of these different elements take place over two days: explosion, endurance, and the technical side,” Ashton says. “It’s unbelievably measurable. Whoever wins the gold medal accepts that title, because that’s what history says.”

To outrun, outjump, and outthrow the competition and win the decathlon, an athlete needs a rare combination of speed, stamina, and strength. These versatile track and field abilities are developed through continuous training and competition.

“I enjoy track and field because I’m always challenge myself and it’s so easy to measure how well I’m improving. You run 10.21 seconds and now you think, ‘okay, I’m going to run 10.20 seconds.’ During a given week of practice, I’m probably in and out of shoes like 3 or 4 times a day. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday tend to be focused on running and jumping events – the legwork. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays are more for throwing. Now that I’m at this level, it’s a lot of competing against myself. I prepare to win by knowing that I’ve done what it takes to win.”

Having won five DI college national championships at the University of Oregon and setting the world record in the decathlon, Ashton is focusing his future on even more success.

“I know what my world record is and I think I can break it again. Why am I challenging myself so much? I have no idea. But, I’m willing to do it. I’m just trying to see how good I can be and I use competitions to measure that. I like pushing myself and it’s something that I love doing and that I’m good at. I like trying to see what the limit is. ”

Ashton will be preparing for major international competitions and world championships in 2015, 2016, and 2017, where he will represent the United States. While the future remains unpredictable, he is aiming to achieve the type of success that others can only dream of and may go down as one of the greatest athletes of his era.

To start your journey to track & field success, you can get your spikes, flats, and other essential gear at Eastbay. For more on Ashton Eaton, visit eastbay.com/AshtonEaton.