Let’s face it, running is one of the most boring sports to watch on television. What if runners took a cue from a sport that knows how to draw in viewers?
OK. That’s a little extreme. That fight takes longer than a lot of track races.
But, runners, you have a mission now: Run with it.
Hmm. It’s a start. Why don’t you throw something really off the wall into the fight?
Mark Remy’s recent post for his Runner’s World blog started this whole idea. In his recap of recent running events, he found what he called “the single best running moment, measured in terms of surprise and LOL-ness.” It came from World Cross Country
“Why don’t we see more of this sort of thing in racing?,” writes Remy. “I mean, I know running isn’t hockey — or even cycling, where you often see jostling and sharp elbows during sprints — but, you know, tensions can run high during a race. Jockeying for position does occur. Adrenaline is pumping. So why do we see tempers boil over so rarely among elite runners? Where are the fisticuffs? I’m not advocating violence here, but you have to admit that making things a bit more physical could broaden running’s appeal. I know I would sit up and take notice if, say, Ryan Hall took a swing at Haile Gebrselassie midway through a marathon, and if Haile responded by smashing the end off a beer bottle and slashing at Ryan’s face. Now that’s entertainment!”
OK. Without further ado, let’s see what Remy’s writing about (pssst … the funny part comes at 1:45, fast-forward the video)
Writes Remy: “I only wish they’d shown more in the video, to provide some context. I mean, what led to this slapping match? Did one guy jostle the other? Speak ill of his mother? Fire a snot rocket without looking? And what’s the deal with the leg-grab? Because the video’s editors chose to focus on “racing,” we may never know.”
No kidding. If more of these little moments popped up in races, wouldn’t you watch a few more of them on TV?