The Olympic Marathon Trials were today and like many participants, this spectator had a difficult time staying with the race plan. The original idea was to stay busy all morning, not go anywhere near my computer and watch the delayed coverage with fresh eyes. I lost contact with the plan right from the gun.
I blame Al Gore, Twitter and Runners World. I’ll take those in reverse order….
The live coverage on Runners World was very good. Amby Burfoot wrote as the men’s race progressed and Scott Douglass handled the women’s version. Both did an outstanding job, especially considering they were slaves to the video feed. They were accurate, had good observations and both delivered a few yucks along the way (my favorite was when someone wrote that the coverage would be better if THEY were doing the job. Scott responded that the comments would be better if he were in front of that guy’s computer :)). The suspense was palpable and the comments of fellow stream watchers was fun!
Some of the best action was on Twitter at #houston2012. The reports came from EVERYWHERE. People on the course, people at their homes, not to mention several other world class tracksters following the action. At a rate of close to 100-150 a minute, it was too fast and too furious to absorb it all. But mostly, a huge gathering of marathon fans from everywhere!
Then there is Al Gore. If he had not invented this whole internet fad, none of this would have ever happened. If it were not for him, same day delayed coverage would have been a treat and NBC’s cold disregard for the running community would have been largely ignored. But, it CANNOT be ignored.
NBC fashions itself to be the Olympic channel. Consistently, however, the show themselves to be just another network prostitute for the four “mainstream” sports. Fortunately for me, I DVRed the race and will watch it without the commercials, hopefully never having to know who helped sponsor NBC’s non-relevant and much-too-late network “coverage.” Unfortunately for all of us, we are stuck with them covering this summer’s Olympics (and the Track Trials in June). That’s too bad.
On the bright side, it was an awesome race and five of my six predicted qualifiers made it (no way I would have seen Abdi getting the job done. Also: felt terrible for Ritz and Amy). On to London!