Seruoisly, if running could be marketed correctly it could be popular (again). I the mid 80's I was with my then future wife's extended family. They, a group of sedentary, overweight, cig smoking, non-athletic people, were talking (yap, yap, yap) while I watched a 10K Road Race from Miami.
As the race neared the finish it was very close. Two guys side by side. Gradually, the room became very quiet as they, one by one, took notice of the race.
They ended up cheering for one of the runners(the white American and not the black Kenyan- go figure).
Then, when it was over one particularly "dumb" relatative asked, "Is this the Olympic?".
The point it, they loved it and started asking all kinds of questions.
What if the masses of 10kers started watching the Road Race of the Week?