Yesterday we opened a dialogue with the question, HAVE RUNNERS CHANGED? Throughout the day we received responses, including the following via e-mail:
As someone who has beening running/racing since I was 15 years of age(now 45), it amazes me that today’s runner loves the act of running, but has no interest in the sport of running.
I have been running with a group of competitive age-group runners for the last 14+ years. On the morning of the US Marathon Olympic Trials just a few weeks back, they did not even know the trials were taking place. While they may know Deena Kastor from the expo at their last large city marathon, they probably don’t know Desi or Shalane. They only know Kara only because Adam’s uncle runs with us from time to time. They haven’t a clue as to Kenenisa Bekele or Mo Farah or Haile Gebrselassie. I doubt they even know the difference between Ryan, Meb, Abdi or Dathan. I am not sure why race directors even pay elites appearance fees when the masses don’t really care. They are more concerned about their T-shirt and how cool their medals look.
Running has become a sport for an upper class where you pay your exhorbitant entry fee, you run the race and you sip a latte after. While I have had some financial success in my life, I love the sport and miss the days of helping set up for a race, racing, drinking a post race beer, getting an award, helping clean up and heading home for a nap.
I believe that the running organizations (USATF, RRCA, Running USA, etc.) can start by doing a pre-Olympic Trials, pre-Olympics or at the very least a post-Olympics tour to every race and running store to engage the average runner. Just my two cents.
All the best,
Boca Raton, Florida
— “No. Try not. Do… or do not. There is no try.” Yoda-Empire Strikes Back (1980) (more…)