Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Single Best Thing for U.S. Running ...

... right now would be to have Ryan Hall win the 2009 Boston Marathon in a close duel. He's signed up to run, according to this.

With due respect to the tremendous accomplishments by members of the U.S. Olympic team (think Lagat, Goucher et al) and other runners in other events across the country -- having an American runner win Boston or New York given their high profile would go a long way to moving the sport forward.

Understand that my coming of age was during the heady years when Bill Rodgers and Alberto Salazar were dominant. And understand that the number of people who run and participate in 5Ks to marathons on a weekly basis is *huge.* The talent that's in high school and college now - regardless of sex, age, ethnic origin - is just simply amazing.

But no one knows about it.

Running as a sport ranks somewhere behind indoor lacrosse in the U.S. viewing public's imagination. And someday, somehow, that's got to change.

I don't want the 2012 Olympics to arrive and for NBC to again think that showing the races on tape delay in the U.S. is acceptable. And having Ryan Hall be able to bask in the spotlight that he's already so deserving of (his races so far have been incredible) might be the thing, the tipping point that pushes it over.

One can only hope. (Hmm. Ryan's Hope ... )

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