Disappointing Marathon Coverage — October 11, 2021

Yes, I watched Boston and loved that Albertson took a chance and ran his race. No, he didn’t win and flamed out to finish 10th, but he made numerous fans during his Boston Marathon attempt. I don’t believe and based on his interview after, he didn’t either, that if he had stayed with the pack, he would have had as much of a chance as he did to finish higher.

It takes guts to run that way and while it doesn’t usually work, you never know unless you try. I would have loved to have seen him hold on for a podium finish. I was rooting for him to hold on to that at least. Even so, I predicted that the lead pack would catch him around 22-23 miles, and was pretty close. He did well to come back and get a top ten finish.

I did get out on this beautiful Fall day here in Maine and ran down to the Town Office and back. I felt really good, went comfortably slow, worked Stevens Hill, and the finish a little harder than I usually do. I was going to do another mile or so, but I wanted to get back inside to watch the rest of the marathon.

I should have gone for the extra couple of miles.

The coverage by NBC was disappointing after the professionals finished, it was the same after Chicago. Major marathons like Boston and Chicago are events that have thousands of participants — beyond the elites, what are their stories, hopes, dreams, and yes, results?

Kara Goucher provided great commentary for the elite portion of the race. However, NBC neglects or purposely decided to ignore the rest of both races. The nameless, faceless, hordes of runners beyond the elites, their stories, and images need to be shared as well on the screen, at least until the broadcast ends. I know that they are not going to keep showing runners crossing the finish line 3-5 hours after the race has started.

Quite simply, from my perspective, major networks coverage of the world marathon majors needs to be about more than only being about the story of maybe 50 runners out of thousands.

The interviews of the podium athletes were great. However, when doing them, at least split-screen to the finish line, to let the rest of us watch the individual victories of other runners. Which to me is more inspiring than anything that the podium athletes might have to say.

Every runner crossing that finish line has a story to tell of how they got there how they did, and you can see some of their story on each of their faces at that finish line. Their stories are understood by the rest of us, who run and dream of finishing a marathon ourselves, either again or for the first time.

NBC — while how the elites perform is important, the performance of the rest of the runners who chose to compete that day is important as well. Many of us watch your coverage of the race in hopes of catching a glimpse of loved ones or friends who are racing that day…well behind the elites…

I understand the limitation of network television, but perhaps the focus needs to be shared a bit more between the elite runners and the mostly ignored rest of the race.






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