18 years! That beats me by a couple. I subscribed to Track and Field Listserve in 1996 and got these email updates and discussions. Huge fights over the OT 1500s (Holmen vs. McMullen) and other sad races of the day, besides Kennedy and Williams who were bright lights of the era. RWOL competitive running forum was my first foray into actual message boards, although I lurked here and there at Cool Running and T'nField News ca. late 1997. Did you ever do the phone updates with Vic Holcheck? You'd dial a 800 or 900 number and get a 1 or 2 minute whoo woah…..excited updates from Bislett or Zurich.
I'm pretty sure my career sort of plateaued at the time message boards became commonplace.