Agree with Andrew. I'm actually not feeling a “doom and gloom” mood about the state of American running right now at all. In fact, it was much worse 10 years ago than it is now. American running is back on the road to recovery. One of the big reasons, I believe, is because of the training groups. Back in the 90s, there was no Hansons group, there was essentially no Nike Oregon Project or other organized, corporate supported group in Oregon. There was essentially no group like you now have in southern California.
Take a look at where the successes have generally come from in the past decade. Out of these groups. With a similar group in Minnesota and Nike essentially running two groups in Oregon (Salazar's and Schumacher's), this trend is still growing. This is a very good thing for American running. In fact, I still say this is possibly the biggest factor. I remember the Enclave in the DC area producing some good runners in the 90s but that was about all there was. I'd love to see the Enclave make a return as I don't see a strong presence of this type of training group on the east coast. I also would love to see the NYRR or NYAC form a group of aspiring elite distance runners and model a training group after one of the Nike groups or the Hansons group.
There are groups already established around the country that could be refined to offer this kind of support. Locally, Wisconsin Runner offers a good support structure for top distance runners from the Milwaukee area and Wisconsin Runner athletes have accomplished a lot. However, it is a bit loosely structured, I'm sure in no small part due to financial constraints. It would be great to see them get a little more support so they could take some of their most promising athletes and do with them what those other groups are able to do with their athletes.
A lot has been done recently. The state of American distance running is far better than it was a decade or so ago. There are successes out there, mostly because those runners found a good fit, most of them settling into a structure I believe should be more abundantly available around the country. These runners should be applauded for their accomplishments and for finding programs that work for them. Other runners should be given more opportunity to find similar programs so they can strive for similar successes.