Ben Rosario, coach the Hoka One One NAZ elite team, really nailed it in an interview with Outside.
I think that we made a huge mistake in this second running boom, as you say, in the mid-2000s when it really took off. I think we made a big mistake to think that promoting the professional side of the sport would somehow alienate the regular runner. Itâ€™s a very bizarre concept because itâ€™s not true in any other sport. Can you imagine if Tennis Magazine put regular people on the cover? Or a basketball magazine just put a regular Y-league player on the cover instead of Lebron James? What kind of sense would that make? I played indoor soccer for fun when my running career was done, and I didnâ€™t hate Cristiano Ronaldo because he was a great soccer player. If we want this boom to continue for years, we have to give people something to be inspired by. This applies to running store owners and magazine editorsâ€”anybody who is a gatekeeper for the sport. They need to get rid of the idea that promoting the professional side of the sport is dangerous and could hurt its mass appeal. Itâ€™s the exact opposite....
The promotion of the trials has been weak. And Iâ€™ll tell you why. The people inside the bubble are patting themselves on the back saying: â€˜This is great. You see all these tweets? All this excitement about the trials?â€™ Yeah, from people who already know about it. We have to get to the people who donâ€™t know about it. Weâ€™ve got to reach outside of that. Thatâ€™s what weâ€™re not doing. Weâ€™re so locked inside this bubble of people that already know this stuff and weâ€™ve got to get outside of that.