4 thoughts on “This story is kind of amazing in that The New York Times is shocked people train really hard to be not quite as good as the pros. Who knew.

  1. It also seems like lazy journalism — I wouldn’t be surprised if the subject were a friend or acquaintance of the author, judging from the attitude that this is somehow novel. I mean, I’m glad for the runner — sounds like he’s worked very hard and is running well — but why the author didn’t profile a handful of similarly dedicated sub-elite or otherwise competitive runners in order to create an actual story is beyond me. And why an editor wouldn’t suggest doing so (for a 3-page piece) seems lax, don’t you think?

    1. I mean it’s a bit lazy, but I don’t know that it’s lazy journalism — they did the research, they talked to lots of different people, they wrote the story well, there’s nothing wrong or inaccurate, right? It’s more like lazy thinking. The writer may know the guy profiled, but it’s more likely that some reporter or editor was like ‘you know what’s crazy — did you know there’s guys that train like a LOT, like as much as the pros, but they also have jobs!’ There’s always these articles in NYT and WSJ and WashPo that are like ‘did you know there’s this thing called Strava?’ or ‘Have you heard that people travel for races?’ or ‘do you know there’s an Ironman in Hawaii?’ It’s the problem with mainstream media covering niche sports. If they wrote the equivalent for football, there’d be tons of bewildered readers.

  2. Yes, I think you hit it with “lazy thinking” — I guess that’s what I meant; that is, the author did the interviewing and writing respectably but didn’t do the (to my mind) necessary background work, which would have quickly revealed that there are a lot of people who train hard and take the sport very seriously.

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