Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thoughts about Triathlon Coverage

Shortly after Kona weekend, my Mom pointed out to me that there was absolutely zero coverage of the Ironman World Championships in the local Rochester newspaper: the Democrat and Chronicle. So I thought about this. Does it even matter?

Although some triathlon coverage would be great, I think most Triathletes (or at least me) do not think it is the worst thing that we are out of the spotlight of the main media. USAT currently boasts over 100,000 members, and I think all triathletes share a very special bond because of the knowledge that to understand this sport, you have to do it. People that do not race or have a family member that races are very likely to have a hard time understanding 2,000 folks clad in spandex with 5-figure-priced bikes and single digit body fat running around like they escaped from the psychiatric hospital. It's really a bizarre thing from the outside looking in, and I think we like it that way. One of the best things about the sport is simply that it is NOT a mainstream sport like football. Perhaps we wish we were all jacked 225 pound black guys who can run a 4.2 second 40-yard dash and can tackle a truck. But, we're not, so we've created a sport where we drag our gaunt, bony bodies as far and as fast as possible, and scrape the depths of our soul in attempt to find what we are truly capable of. It's something you really have to experience to understand, and although USAT is going great with membership, the vast majority of Americans want to sit on the couch and drink 15 beers as their favorite NFL team beats the hell out of the other team. And maybe we don't really care about these people, because they don't care about us. We have fantastic coverage of triathlon on our websites that are written for triathletes, by triathletes (slowtwitch, competitor, everymantri, etc.). Let the guys on ESPN talk 'til they're blue in the face about how to stop the wildcat offense on the football field... we will quietly continue to trek on, testing our limits, and experiencing the inspiration and power inherent in one of the world's purest sports. I'm not sure if it would really benefit anyone if the D&C tucked a hidden passage in the back of the sports section that alluded to some Australian guy winning some triathlon.

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