Is it time for the running world to embrace change?

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      Martin Fritz Huber thinks it’s time for the running world to embrace change.

      What do you think? I’d love to hear what others think.

      While I understand his argument, I’m less sure this is the kind of change we should be embracing. Yes, the marathon is a road race and it’s doing very well. Yes, the people who can relate to the 5K are largely doing it on the road so a road 5K may seem even more relateble.

      However, it’s also less spectator friendly. One of the great things about watching a distance race at a track meet is that you can see every single step of the race. You can see the tactics and strategies play out completely. You don’t miss anything because it’s out of sight.

      If you’re a spectator at the Olympics, World Championships, or any Diamond League event and there is a 5K on the roads, what are your chances of seeing more than a few seconds? Maybe they will have it up on a scoreboard in the stadium? Maybe. Doubtfully, to be honest.

      Yes, the TV coverage of distance races sucks. I’ve been saying that for years. I’ve been saying that for long enough that now I can accurately say that I’ve been saying it for decades. That doesn’t mean we should get rid of the event. It means we should improve the coverage. Show the actual event, not a minute or less at the start, maybe 30 seconds mid-race, then if you’re lucky maybe the whole last lap. The race is not won or lost in what is shown. The strategies, the drama, the actual exciting moments don’t happen there. They are lost to the TV crew showing endless replays of the 100 and interviews of sprinters who are completely out of breath.

      I’m all for embracing change in the sport but I don’t see how this change specifically is good for the spectators or the athletes.

      Oh, one other thing. Stop trying to bring in new fans. Accept that this is a niche sport. Instead of trying to bring in fans who aren’t going to show up, embrace the fans you have and give them what they want so they don’t fade away from the sport. How many fans are calling for getting rid of all distance races that take more than 10 minutes?

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