Beautiful articles. I loved the part about the young kids full of hope who haven't yet discovered anything else.
There's something that bothers me about elite runners dissing the LR message boards. It's become de rigueur in interviews lately, it seems to me.
I know they're mostly dross - you have to sift through it to get to the good stuff - but the thing is, so few runners make any effort to engage with their fanbase at all, so do they deserve any better than the trolling and anonymous critiques they get?
Ian and Julia's blog was great, for the short time it was up. Then it disappeared, never again acknowledging their former readers, that I'm aware of.
I enjoyed your article. I imagine writing an article about it and your father must be an awkward thing to share with your father. I hope he appreciates your contribution as a writer with at least as much emotion as what he watched. Galen Rupp could have been any kid he watched grow up into a runner. Only his son could have written that piece.
There's a lot hinted at Heald's life in there that piqued my curiosity, but I do question the need for it in an article about the Dobsons.
Perhaps I'd feel that way if I had been looking for a profile of this couple or a journalist's account of their experiences at the Olympic trials, but I wasn't. For me, the best running-related writing is rarely about running or runners. It's about life. I was every bit as interested in the author's life, including his perceptions of and relationship with his brother, as I was about the ostensible subjects of the article or essay.
I was at the OT's taking photos for another running site. Reading this article I recall that evening and it answered a few questions I had. Of course I was caught up in what was happening on the track and I recall seeing Dobson coming out onto the track behind everyone else and the officials trying to hurry him along. I spent part of the last 400 meters of the race watching both what was going on in the race and watching Dobson's reaction. Close up you could see the pain he was going through as those final 200 meters played out. Once the race was over it hit me, what must be gong through his mind? I am sure all he wanted to do at that time was find his wife and be with her and how this was going to be the hardest race of his life.