Running has long found it difficult to secure a solid foothold on the American sporting landscape. One reason is lack of professionalism when compared to other mainstream sports. Another is the growth spurt of X Games events and modern day heroes like Shaun White in the popular culture. But another reason is as simple as formatting.
The most popular American sports are episodic in nature, featuring a pitch, a play, a shot every 30 seconds. They are also segmented into quarters, periods, or halves, making for easy television coverage. So even with tens of millions of self-designated runners bounding about the continent for the last thirty years on personal quests, Americans have yet to fully embrace a sport which is linear, doesn’t involve a ball or violence, and only pays off on an investment of interest shown over a long, gradual build up. (more…)