I had running friend John Onate on the show a few years ago to cohost an interview with Nikki Kimball about mental illness and depression. John’s a psychologist and understands the disease from not just a professional viewpoint, but also one of a fellow ultra trail runner. He just started his own independent blog (woohoo!) and his first post is about the prevalence and treatments for depression among different athletes.
Meanwhile across the pond, doctors in Scotland are writings prescriptions for getting the hell outside.
Getting ready to head to Phoenix this weekend for Desert Solstice where I’ll join Jamil and others in announcing and reporting on the race. Patrick, Camille, Courtney, Zach, Maggie, and a cast of others running in circles for a day trying to knock off as many records as possible.
After some questionable trends over the past year, run specialty retailers are reporting strong growth. Good news for everyone!
So it turns out the new Spartan Trail Series will be charging spectators $20 ($25 cash the day of) to watch the races. They’ve been doing it for years in their OCR events and are apparently keeping the policy for their trail races too.
Sure it’s their right to charge whatever they want, but it’s also our right to fight back and to tell them to shove their spectator fee up their a$$e$.
While I’m tempted to just sit back and let the market work, I’m less inclined to do so after reflecting back on a totally different–but very similar–fee situation: Thank back to 2008 when American Airlines started charging for checked baggage. Most people–including me–figured the public would fight back, choose different carriers, the market would work, and United would backtrack with their tail between their legs. That didn’t happen though. Last year, nearly every single carrier charged these fees and raked in a collective $4.6 billion doing so. Spartan’s spectator fee scheme is not something we want permeating other races.
I get the feeling that Luis Escobar and Charlie Engle were hired and paid to market the series prior to them knowing about this participant fee. Speaking from experience, OCR races have a lot of money and aren’t shy about throwing it around to curry influence, so keep an eye out for new ads, partnerships, and “grassroots” PR pushes from them.
But on a different note, my wife asked why it’s OK to pay for a basketball game or why I’ve been willing to pay to attend professional track meets. And that’s a fair question. The best answer I could come up with is not one that’d win me any debate or dialectical awards: Yeah, but we’re different. So help me out with this. I don’t want to pay and you don’t want to pay, but what are the reasons underlying our contention that we’re different and should be treated differently?
I witnessed something this past weekend that helped renew my faith in people and helped secure my belief that our tribe is made up of a very very special group of athletes. I posted the story on Twitter.
Outdoor geeks rejoice: The Star Wars parka.
Rising track star and Olympic hopeful eschews the media spotlight. How will sponsors respond?
Twenty four New Englanders had their names in the Hardrock lottery, and when it was shaken out, the only name drawn was that of Barkley finisher and last-second Western States wait list entrant John Fegyveresi.
The trail running community is made up of all sorts of people and Missouri’s Shawn Goertz has found his home. After spending much of his young adult life in and out of prison, he found running…until cancer found him. Here’s a great story about a neat guy.