Monday, February 27, 2012

Why is running so media invisible?

I watched some of the Brooks PR Invitational last night. The entire event, consisting of top high school age runners, was streamed live on FloTrack. It was a fairly low tech, low fidelity presentation, but I appreciated having an opportunity to see this competition. The two events that I watched were the women's and men's 2-mile races and both ended with exciting finishes.

Watching this coverage made me realize how rare it is to see live running competition either on television or on the web. Flipping through my cable stations on the weekend provides multiple opportunities to watch (depending on season) basketball, football, baseball and hockey. In addition there are many programs dedicated to fishing, hunting, extreme sports, surfing, tennis and even hiking. But the only running I ever see is the YES Network program ("Running") that is updated monthly, at best.

With over 20 million people in the US who consider themselves runners, I'm surprised how hard it is to find coverage of the sport. Perhaps it's because running is an activity where people prefer to participate rather than watch. More likely, it's difficult to capture the feeling of a race on a TV screen. But I'd think that a sport that generates over $5 billion in industry revenue can probably support at least one cable channel.

4 comments:

  1. New runner here, started in Dec. '11 and came to your blog after searching reviews on Saucony Kinvara's 2. Are you still running on those? Comparison with Brooks Flow ? Thanks.

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  2. Congratualtions on becoming a runner. I hope the experience has been positive so far.

    I don't run in Kinvara 2's. I have a pair of original Kinvaras that I loved for about 400 miles but I needed to retire them after experiencing some knee problems. The EVA midsole broke down and the feel of the shoe changed.

    I tried the Kinvara 2's a couple of times (as recently as last weekend) and didn't like the way they moved with my foot. I also felt that the toe box was a bit too narrow, even after moving up 1/2 size. That's an unfortunate trait I've found with Sauconys.

    I've always been a fan of Brooks but I do not like the Pure line. The Connect felt like a vice on my instep. The Flow was better but I felt that the front and back of the shoe were too decoupled. It was similar to my criticism of the Ravennas. The Cadence was okay but still too tight in the midfoot. The Grit was okay but if I want a minimal trail shoe I'll probably look at Inov-8 or the New Balance MT line.

    Saucony is coming out with the Kinvara 3's in early summer and they are supposedly a big improvement over the 2's, with a wider toebox. I'll certainly try them out when they hit the stores.

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  3. Thank you for the reply and the comments, I'll take it into consideration and probably wait for the Kinvara 3. Good job on you blog, I'll keep following it.

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  4. Thanks. For a little more detail on this take a look at this earlier post:

    http://www.emergingrunner.com/2011/12/looking-for-my-winter-running-shoe.html

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