By Mathias Eichler
The Trail Running Film Festival - Back on Tour for 2024.
Scott Kummer, host of the Ten Junk Miles podcast on his Substack:
But here’s the thing. Western States and its coverage can’t be a sacred cow.
We can’t just take what we’re given and talk about how awesome it is no matter what.
The problem I see is that many of the current voices and leaders in our sport are still relying on personal sponsors, and are or have been previously semi-professional athletes. These folks aren’t in a position to speak their mind, thus creating an environment of endless cheering and smiling.
It can’t just be about the elites. And it can’t only be about the rest of us once the elites are done.
Here’s the dirty little secret. There’s a golden hour at every single aid station. There’s agony, defeat, suffering and failure at every single aid station.
The focus on covering just the elites during a race lasting many hours probably came from the necessity of iRunFar’s shoestring operation. This is not a a criticism at all! If you have a small team and and even smaller budget, you do what you can to chase the race leaders from aid station to aid station.
But perhaps therein lies the chance for our sport. Perhaps we need to field test and proof a different concept. Can folks who wish for different coverage find a model, and sponsors, to head to Auburn next time, and rather than focusing on the pros, find the stories of the every-day-runner. It’s not been done before, live. We won’t really know how popular this will be. It might be a runaway success and will change our reporting and media coverage going forward.
Folks like Dylan Bowman have been talking at length how our sport is the best and how we need to preserve the community spirit. This might just be how we do it.
I should probably also mention that I’m a fan too.