I was on the treadmill last Saturday and ESPN was showing a rerun of the 2014 ESPY awards that took place earlier in the week on Wednesday. I was wrapping up my run so I was only able to see the monologue the host gave to open the show. I laughed a few times as the host cracked jokes about the sports celebrities in the audience. One thought crossed my mind as the host wrapped up his monologue and I wrapped up my run. Where was Meb? This show is about honoring the best athletes and athletic achievements of the past 12 months, right? How could Meb not be in the crowd after becoming the first American to win the Boston Marathon in 30 years? Maybe Meb was running late or had to miss the show due to a prior engagement for his Sponsors.
I was intrigued enough that when I had a few minutes later that afternoon while Tamsin was napping, I Googled the nominees and the winners of the 2014 ESPY’s (you can view the list of 2014 ESPY winners by clicking here). I was shocked that Meb’s win in Boston didn’t even land him a single nomination! It is my understanding that the ESPY nominees and winners are chosen by the fans, so this snub is largely our distance running community’s fault. We need to step up our game to get our athletes recognized along with the great NFL players, NBA players, MLB players, NHL players, MLS players, golfers, and bowlers (yes bowlers have a category) out there!
I have made a list of actual 2014 ESPY categories that I believe Meb should have won below. I have included the actual winner as well.
Best breakthrough athlete:
- Winner in my mind: Meb, for breaking the through and winning the Boston Marathon after 30 years of Kenyan and Ethiopian dominance.
I have a question. Does the series of Pearl Izumi running shoe ads below offend you?
I stumbled across this series of ads earlier this week and thought the whole series was extremely distasteful. I think it is safe to say that the marketing team that created this campaign in an attempt to differentiate their brand completely missed the mark. You don’t gain market share in a demographic by insulting and belittling the majority of the demographics members. I am a reasonably fast runner. I have run close to 3 hours in the marathon and I have run the Boston Marathon, but I have never had anything but respect for the slower runners on the course. According to these ads, a large portion of the running community should just quit and go sit on the couch because they cannot run a sub 3 hour marathon or a 16 minute 5k (the marketing team at Pearl Izumi wasn’t kind enough to quantify how fast you have be to be a real runner). The spirit of these ads completely ignores the history of the American running boom and the shoe market it created in the 1970’s.
The running boom in the United States was ironically started by a book written by legendary University of Oregon track coach Bill Bowerman titled “Jogging.” The success of the book led to “jogging” classes being taught in communities across the nation. Everyone was invited, not just those with natural athletic ability that could run endless 6 minute miles with minimal effort. It is this spirit of acceptance that has kept the running / jogging community growing steadily since the release of Bowerman’s book.
I think that using the word jogging in a derogatory manner is an insult to the history of the sport of distance running in America. In my humble opinion, if you are out on the road running 13 minute miles, you are still running.
The latest market share numbers I could find regarding US running shoes didn’t even have Pearl Izumi included in the chart because their share of the market is below 1%. I think it is safe to assume that the elitist message Pearl Izumi put forth in this series of ads didn’t have the effect that Pearl Izumi was hoping for.
Now, without further ranting on my part, I present to you the ads…
Last weeks accountability report was a little long because of the amount of free time I had on my hands. This week hasn’t been much different. Not having to get my daily run in has given me an abundance of extra time on my hands. To add to that free time, my wife and daughter took off for the week, so I have not been able to run and I have been a bachelor.
I think the first thing that goes through every married man’s head when he finds out his wife and kids are going to be gone for a week is…