Former 2:24 marathoner, now in my late 40s and hoping to maximally flatten the curve of my slide into senescence and mediocrity • Magazine writer, book editor and author, and commentator on the sport of distance running since 1999 • Adviser and confidant of other perambulators • Paradoxical hater of exercise fanatics • Chihuahua whisperer Sentence-fragment impresario

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

10 running articles we might see before the industry goes extinct

When the Internet first showed promise of being something more than a bunch of static files retrievable by people lucky enough  to work for colleges or the government, pundits were proclaiming that print media would soon be relegated to the dustbin of information history. Maybe even books, too.

While this obviously hasn't come to pass even 25 years later, the World Wide Web has undeniably hit the publishing industry hard. Sectors with a higher buffering capacity have weathered this to varying degrees, with many remaining plenty solvent. But running magazines, which never were and never will be generally popular things to either hold in one's hand or read on screens, are moribund at the moment.

I'm hoping that when the biggest of them is finally in hospice, its editors prove playful enough to go full Onion on its global readership. Considering that "How to Train for a Marathon on Three Days a Week" (tagline: "Here's how to get faster on fewer miles") and "The Waver's Dilemma" are real titles of articles people were paid to write for the mag I'm thinking of, it shouldn't be too hard to put the following on the cover and expect to fool at least half of the people who see it in this wondrous land of prosperity and credulity:
  • From 487 Lonely Pounds to a 2:11 Marathon: One Kenyan Sumo Wrestler's Story
  • Flatulence at the Fun Run: Tactful Ways to Shift the Blame
  • How This Magazine Ruined the Sport: Confessions from Our Editorial Saboteurs
  • The "BQ! BQ! BQ!" Syndrome, and How to Avoid Becoming One of "Them"
  • 8 Fall Tips for Humblebragging on Instagram
  • The Verdict Is In: Runners Are Better at Autofellatio
  • Why Your Lies About PRs Are Less Foul Than Everyone Else's
  •  How to Pretend Ultras Aren't Sheer Masochism
  • Why Runners Are Substandard Citizens (and Why We're Telling You)
  • Ogling Runner Chicks in the #Metoo Era (Hint: They Actually Love It)


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