Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Webb: NYRR 8k Now, Marathon Inevitable

Here's a simple distance running analogy:

Professional distance runners : New York Road Runners::

(A) Bee : honey
(B) The working man : morning coffee
(C) 20 minute videos : Flotrack
(D) People who are good at what they do and want to be treated as such : People who are willing and excited to treat them that way
(E) All of the above
Cultural inequality be damned, I'm going to do everything I can to get that on next year's SAT.

Allow me to drop a fact bomb: NYRR has successfully wooed every elite distance runner in America to simultaneously run in their races and fall all over themselves in praise of the organization.

Is it an accident that they keep getting elite runners like Alan Webb to not only run in their races, but to run in races that are out of their comfort zone (i.e. Webb in an 8k and mile road race)? Is it an accident that they successfully put on hugely popular mass participation events in conjunction with their professional races with a very notable emphasis on the professional races? Is it an accident that they have a very lame and poorly put together television show that airs regularly on a New York cable sports station?

None of these are accidents. They get the job done. It's clear that Mary Wittenberg and NYRR have something going on and I think I know what it is:

The lead car at the ING New York City Marathon.

Something goes on in this car (actual car may not be one pictured above). Look at all of the athletes that have admitted to doing whatever unChristian activity that goes on in this vehicle: Ritz, Hall, Meb, Abdi, and most recently, Mrs. Adam Goucher!

Webb is undoubtedly next. There is no way he can resist the lucious marathon fruit that Wittenberg dangles in front of all of these runners' (apple?) pie-eyed faces. All she needs to do is invite Alan into that lead vehicle next November and BAM! Our top Anglo-American (not that it matters) mid-distance track hope is slogging through 20 milers in August instead of blazing through European 1500s. Wittenberg is a genius at these things. Hell, she once convinced me to run the New York City marathon by slapping me in the face when I got too close to her saurkraut.

So get used to it America, no one can resist the NYRR: mid-distance runners are no exception. Wittenberg and her crew are the cream of the crop, le creme de la creme, das sahne des getreides, if you will. And for good reason. I've been in the lead car. I know. Trust me, I know ALL too well.


Anonymous said...

USATF needs to snag her away from the NYRR. She does an amazing job with their events, and it would be great to see her work the same magic on a grander stage at USATF.

Jeremy said...

IMO, that would be great for the sport... the question is, would she really want to take that job, with all the politics, when she currently sits in a position where she and her organization are the one's getting placated, rather than trying to do the placating?