Strike Two

Runners World has done it again. Yet another article that makes light of breaking the law. You remember I wrote a post last week when I read an article in RW magazine about a woman who they said ran the NYC Half marathon as a bandit, taking selfies to coordinate having “hot” guys in the background. (click here to read that post) I was a little upset about reading this kind of trash-reporting in a magazine I look up to. And when I went through the  Instagram pictures of the so-called “bandit”, I saw she was wearing a race bib so I thought she wasn’t a bandit at all. Then I heard that she might have been wearing someone else’s bib. Technically, still against the rules but controversial at best. Way to get some free publicity for a woman who wants to be an actress and will probably do whatever she can to get people calling her name.

Well, I wanted to dismiss it as a one-off, maybe a showing of bad judgment. Yesterday as I perused my Twitter, I found a link to yet another article, this time, a parody of the idea, written by none other than Runner’s World editor-at-large, Mark Remy, called I Stole Stuff from a Running Store and here are 14 Selfies of me doing it. LOL!

runinnselfies10

The title is not misleading. It’s 14 selfies of him on a shopping trip where he poses with random items that he looks like he’s stuffing in his pocket or into his coat. I am pretty sure he had no intention of stealing anything. I am sure no actual law got broken, except the laws that govern good journalism.

Maybe my expectations are too high. Maybe my sense of humor is not activated. Maybe I just want more.

When I heard about the “bandit”, I was surprised that Runner’s World would promote the very idea of bandits, fake or not, considering that they designate a good few pages of every issue of the magazine promoting races that cost a good bit of change to enter and then they reward someone who reaps the benefit without plunking down any of the moolah. Strike One.

Pick up any copy of Runner’s  World magazine and look through the gear they advertise. It’s not cheap. None of it is. And these editors and staff, they get paid because companies are paying for advertising, advertising dollars that get paid because people go out and BUY the stuff, not stuff it in their pockets and run out of the store. To make light of the whole commerce trade that feeds you is preposterous.

But it’s got us talking. So maybe the publicity was the intention.

I consider it a cheap trick. I feel cheated. I expect more. I want more from the top magazine in my sport.

And I’m calling this latest example of bad judgment, Strike T wo. Runners World, you’re on notice.And I’m a New Yorker, so I can sing the whole “Take me out to the ball game” song. One, Two, Three Strikes, You’re Out.

Runner’s World, please don’t keep doing this to me. I believe you can turn this thing around and get back to good articles about real things. There are lots of runners out there, good decent people, who do fantastic things and you would be better served highlighting some of these wonderful people using running for positive purpose than promoting the idea of breaking the law. Get back to the good stuff so we can keep playing the game.

That’s what I think. What’s your thought on this?

11 Comments Add yours

  1. I haven’t heard about this but I am certainly sitting here shaking my head. . .

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    1. runwright says:

      I like a good joke but I don’t find this funny.

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  2. That’s really not funny, I wonder how Runner’s World is going to react when they read the criticism.

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    1. runwright says:

      In magazine world, I guess controversy = publicity so maybe this is exactly what they want. Will be interesting to see how it plays out.

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  3. cheriarmour says:

    I could be totally wrong, but I think the point of him doing this was an attempt to point out the fact that that banditing a race was the same as stealing from a running store. He wasn’t making light of theft of making light of shoplifing, and in fact, running stores like the one I work in, has an excellent relationship with Runner’s World. If I’m right about the point of this article, I think you may have misunderstood where he was coming from.

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    1. runwright says:

      Thanks for the comment, Cheri. See, I thought that might have been the original intent… to point out that stealing is wrong… but did you get that as the theme from reading his article? I didn’t. In fact, I am willing to accept that the previous acts might be gray areas. One of my readers commented that bandits run to protest the idea that race organizers want them to pay to run in a public space that they are usually able to run in for free. Ok. Run the course, just don’t interfere with the race or the runners, and don’t mess with the security detail, etc. So maybe that’s a gray area.
      Running with someone else’s bib is frowned upon, in fact, race organizers discourage it mostly for security reasons, but people still do it because someone paid for the event and someone is running the event, just not the same someone. So maybe that’s another gray area.
      There’s no gray area around stealing.

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      1. cheriarmour says:

        I did get that impression from the original article, especially the last photo where he takes a selfie with the store owner. “Yeah, the store owner is PO’d and what I did is so unethical that even a third-grader could tell you it’s wrong.” To me, it’s pretty clearly a totally rag on the girl who stole from the race.

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      2. runwright says:

        Thanks for sharing your opinion, Cheri. I think it’s important to get multiple perspectives so I am happy you took the time to write in 🙂

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  4. Paul says:

    Unfortunately, bad behavior is rewarded and as long as it is rewarded, people will continue such behavior.

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    1. runwright says:

      I guess I am also guilty of rewarding those bad-behaving individuals with attention, reading about them and writing about them. I need to be the change I want to see in the world.

      Like

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