Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Every Young Runner in America is a Slow, Spinless, Soggy Piece of Milk Toast that Needs to Quit Playing Video Games and Get Tougher Like Us Old Folks!

Or so I gather from the articles I've been reading lately...

First, we've got Kevin Helliker from The Wall Street Journal: The Slowest Generation.

Yes, another "You kids, get off my damn lawn!" article from the mainstream press. I also enjoy how Helliker throws in a stealth-brag about his recent time at the Chicago Tri...in the first line of the article!

I'm not even sure where to start with this mess. First, there's the fact that the entire article is built from a couple of cherry-picked quotes and the fact that running is more popular than ever! Yes, when you have more runners, whether they're running a marathon, a half marathon, or a color run, then the average times will go down. More first time and/or less experienced runners means slower times, that's clear. But why is that a bad thing? Getting people off their fat asses and running is a good thing. It's a great thing! You don't like that they're running mud runs or color runs? Get over yourself!

And then there's this gem, "...America hasn't won an Olympic marathon medal since 2004." Wait, you mean America hasn't won a marathon medal in...the last two Olympics?!? You know what else? Neither have about 200 other countries!

I've got to post one more quote. Helliker actually went out and got the founder of the Spartan Race to give a quote about one of his competitor's races. Wait! Might he say something bad about them?! Yep..."If you can pull the wool over your customers' eyes and convince them that communism is better..." I've got to stop there. Yes, he was talking about a running race.

I just can't...please don't put any credence to this type of garbage. It just feeds people that love to denigrate anything different than themselves. Don't fall into that trap.

Unfortunately, this kind of attitude is not that hard to find out there in the running/writing world. Toni Reavis also took a turn at bat on the topic lately. And while he tries to weasel out from his entire premise at the end of his post ("hey, these kids don't mean to be so damn sucky - it's not their fault!"), he still wants to believe that his generation was...just...better.

It wasn't. You're just getting old. It happens.

Two notes:

1- check out that amazing punctuation in that sentence just up there! I actually put these together,


I don't even think that's legal.

2- please take the time to check out some of the reader comments from both of the linked articles. There are both smart, thoughtful statements and the kind of idiotic mouth-foaming that articles like this promote. Have fun.

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