The results are in.... it was a great weekend for sports. Well.... my sport.
Shalane Flanagan dominates at the US Cross Country Championships, Jenny Simpson shows great early season form at the New Balance Grand Prix, Russell Brown whips a field of elite milers and Brent Vaughn shows daring and toughness in San Diego. And the best part was we could watch all of it (and several other races to boot).
Technology has given us many things, some good, some... well, not so good. One of the good ones is outstanding coverage of running events LIVE! Thanks to websites like Flotrack, RunnerSpace, Competitor and others, we now have the ability to obsess over our sport in real time.
Saturday I watched 2 hours (and that was less than half of the show) of the US Cross Country Championships in the comfort of my home, on my 24" Mac screen (which is as good or better than my television) thanks to the USATF and RunnerSpace.com. It was awesome. Sure, there were limited cameras, occasional losses of signal and no network announcers (oh wait, that's a GOOD thing), but all in all, I loved the opportunity to watch some of my favorite stars do my favorite sport AND I didn't have to tolerate beer or prescription drug commercials. Today, Super Bowl Sunday, gave me the New Balance Indoor meet. Double my pleasure, right?
I remember the olden days when "coverage" meant reading about a race in Track and Field News three months after it happened. Today I cannot imagine what my life would be like without my daily doses of Flotrack (what will Maggie Vessey say next? Who will be the next Workout Wednesday?). Running stars come to life, share their secrets, interpret their performances and all on my computer screen. And if that's not enough, we can be their friends on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.
Youngsters take this stuff for granted, but in a world where there are 60 million of us running and we still can't seem to get decent television coverage, this internet thing has become quite the fad. Better yet, it's renewed and intensified my love affair with running and the stars of our sports.
Some guys in Green and some guys in White played a football game today and I suppose there are people who found it exciting. Rogers, Roethlisberger, Matthews, Harrison..... big names in their sport.
Give me Simpson, Flanagan, Brown AND the Ethiopian who ran the entire 3000 meters in ONE SHOE and WON any day of the week.
Football season is over and for their fans the off season begins. Running doesn't have an off season. Anytime is a great time to be a runner.