Thursday, June 13, 2013

Runner's World gets it right

When I was a senior in college, I lived in a suite with three women.  Women are generally cleaner and smell nicer than men, and together with the fact that I can't stand video games and fart jokes, I found that I loved living with them.

Our common room coffee table was often festooned with various back issues of Cosmopolitan, and I'm not ashamed to admit I read my fair share.  As a friend of my dad's once put it, it's like reading the other team's playbook.

I recall this anecdote to give credence to my theory that Cosmopolitan and Runner's World are more similar than you think.  Both are mainstream, popular magazines published monthly. Both contain a slew of vapid articles with overly-recycled titles like "50 sex tips to drive him wild!" or "Top 10 training tips to prevent injury!"  Both tend to contain at least one "serious" article per issue.

And the covers. Both have incredibly repetitive and unoriginal covers month after month. Google image Cosmo covers and you come up with this:

Google image Runner's World covers and you come up with this:

And I bring all of this up to juxtapose Runner's World's previous issues with its current Boston-centric issue.  It was such a pleasant surprise to see that Runner's World finally got it right:

Not only is the cover a simple and poignant tribute to the race that means so much to its readers, but nearly the entire issue is dedicated to the events of that April day.  I've read a lot of articles from newspapers and magazines alike, but nothing but a running magazine could have truly captured the tragedy of that day.

My favorite article from the issue is Amby Burfoot's article, titled "Just Imagine," asserting that next year's Boston will be the best ever. Already there has been a surge in interest from people who wish to run next year in tribute to the events of this year.  Mr. Burfoot claims the amount of love for Boston next year will be unbelievable.

"Some of us will raise our eyes, hearts and hands skyward.  Others will sink to a knee.  Some may choose silence; others will sing hosannas.  Many of us will cry.
But we will all stop.  And only then - after we have paused to reflect and remember - will we move forward to walk slowly across the finish line.  The line that shut down at 4:09:43 on 4/15/13.
This April's Boston Marathon was the most tragic day in the history of running.  Next year's Boston, on 4/21/14, will be the most glorious.
Just imagine it."

There is a uniting quality in Mr. Burfoot's words that oddly instill in me a sense of pride to be a runner, never a Boston Marathoner, but still a Boston hopeful.  The best way I can think of supporting Boston is to run its marathon, and someday I will.

1 comment:

  1. I finally sat down and read that issue last night and I completely agree, I loved his article and it made me feel that same sense of pride that you felt. I also have never run Boston, I've never run a full marathon, but I'm so proud to be a part of a community that doesn't let something so terrible destroy us. Runners are a determined people and I do think Boston will be better than ever next year.


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