Whats Wrong With America Distance Running?

Posted: December 14, 2007 in marathon, running

A freshman class is not the place we find answers to our national problems but the answer to what is wrong with america long distance running came from an Essay written by the late Ryan Shay. For those of you who might not know him, Shay (28) was the american runner who sadly died of suspected heart attack at 2007 US olympics marathon trials at New York.

His father shared with the running community an Essay his son then (18) wrote as a freshman at Notre Dome in 1997.

Shay studied the recent history of distance running and came up with three reasons as to why americans are being lapped in the fast lane.

1. Feeling inferior to the African runners.

To see the last time a non kenyan won a marathon this year you have to go back to Berlin marathon when Haile Gebreselassie broke the world record. This has created my Kenyans are unbeatable. Shay thought Kenyans are not super human, they just work hard enough.

2. Lack of Role Models

The last time an American won a gold at marathon was Frank Shorter at Olympics 1976. This fact is enough to discourage many runners from pursuing such a dark unsure path.

3. Lazy bums.

The high school runners are lazy and distance running is alot of hardwork. Shay thought one way to make high school runners more motivated is to make running financially rewarding as basketball, baseball and football.

Shay’s parting shot was, the only way to be a great runner is to run with the total commitment to be a champion. I say, have a goal and always think about it, my next years goal is to run under 2hrs 45 min.


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