Like others said ever since I started reading I had a goal of getting my name on the yearly list. That never came close to happening in High School or College but I managed to sneak my name near the bottom of the US list in the marathon for this last issue. I'll be hanging onto that as a keepsake for sure.
From John Parker's "Once a Runner":
[Cassidy and Mizner are explaining to Andrea the hard objectivity of their sport]
Cassidy: The point is that we know not only whether we are good, bad, or mediocre, but whether we're first, third or a hundred and ninety seventh at any given point. Track and Field News tells us whether we want to know or not.
Mizner: Assuming we make the lists.
Cassidy: That's right. Sometimes it is possible, despite your best efforts and a hundred godamn miles a week, not to even exist.
Andrea: That bothers you, does it?
Cassidy: That my dear breaks my heart.
I think that Parker made a slip -- as far as I know, T&FN only listed the top fifty in the U.S. and the world -- but when I first made the lists, as someone who had never done anything worth mentioning in scholastic or collegiate track and field, I felt a certain sense of legitimacy among the hard core followers of the sport. And I recently discovered that one of the few items that my father saved about me was a photocopy of that page with my name on it.