Not surprised wrote:
Elite is a term loosely thrown around in the running world.
If you parent will foot your living expenses as an adult then every runner is elite
Fauble and Smith are both ranked around 200th in the world in marathon running. If they were 200th in the world at golf they'd be millionaires, and such a small portion of the world every tries to golf. Is a millionaire golfer not elite because they're only 200th?
Just to offer a better analogy:
It is like being the 200th best 3rd baseman in the world. The 200th best 3rd baseman isn't going to make an MLB major league team. So they can try to go to another country to make their major league team, or they can play in the minors here.
Either way, they're looking at a living wage, maybe about what an average non-stem college grad makes straight out of college, in the 50k range. It is "pro." Elite can be reasonably argued is a term that applies, but some people might hear "elite" and think it means a higher level, along the lines of contending for wins at major meets.