April Fool's over at LetsRun.com
Posted 01 April 2010 - 08:53 AM
The boys over at LetsRun.com are at it again for April Fool's day. Each year, they put up a "spoof" page of their web site, complete with interesting articles and quotes. Here's a pretty funny one from today's version.
President Obama Rips Ultra Successful Nike Oregon Project
Rush Limbaugh Rushes To Defense Of Ultra Successful Track & Field Program
April 1, 2010
UTICA, MI President Barack Obama, in an attempt to build support for his economic agenda, drew attention to a heretofore low-profile sliver of the population yesterday, outlining the vast differences between the haves and have-nots of elite American distance running, and how they mirror those found in society at large.
Speaking at a Hansons Running Shop to a crowd of what Obama characterized as hard-working, blue-collar American runners, the President lauded the stores proprietors, brothers Keith and Kevin Hanson, both as exemplars for how to run and grow a small business, and for the successes enjoyed by their Hansons-Brooks Distance Project.
The Project, which the brothers started in 1999, is a collective of elite distance runners who train and compete year-round, with a goal of representing the United States in international competitions such as the Olympics. The Project was self-funded until 2003, when the shoe company Brooks Running allied with the Hansons to provide funding and equipment for the team.
Keith, Kevin, and their dedicated stable of runners are living proof that the American work ethic is as strong today as it has ever been, Obama said.
After praising the Hansons, however, Obama pointedly criticized the Nike Oregon Project, a similarly minded outfit based in Portland, Oregon. Many in the distance running community feel that the Oregon Project, whose roster is a veritable whos who of American running, enjoys an unfair advantage over smaller groups such as Hansons-Brooks, due primarily to the sizeable financial backing of its primary sponsor, the global shoe and apparel behemoth Nike.
At a time when so many American runners risk getting a stress fracture because they cant afford to buy a new pair of shoes, or no longer have enough time to run twice a day because theyre forced to work longer hours just to make their monthly mortgage payment, Obama said, the Nike Oregon Project continues to indiscriminately buy $75,000 anti-gravity treadmills and pay their runners huge sums to do nothing but run.
That is the height of irresponsibility. It is shameful. And part of what were going to need is for the folks in Portland to show some restraint and show some discipline and show some sense of responsibility.
Later, Obama preemptively addressed criticisms surrounding the efficacy of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, more commonly known as the stimulus plan. After listing examples of small businesses such as Hansons Running Shop that have benefited from receiving stimulus funds, Obama emphasized that, with health care reform now behind him, his adminstrations primary focus is getting the American economy back on track at the grassroots level.
I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of, you know, fat-cat runners in Oregon.
Obamas remarks underscore how relations between his administration and the Oregon track community have deteriorated as the recession has dragged on. During his hard-fought race against Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic Primary, Obama openly courted the states distance running elite, making a campaign stop at that years Oregon Twlight track meet, where he congratulated event winners and playfully jumped over hurdles on the track.
When notified of Obamas comments, Oregon Project head coach Alberto Salazar, himself a former world record holder in the marathon, was quick to defend his athletes, particularly when asked whether his team has too many anti-gravity treadmills at its disposal.
"Is it possible to run too fast? Is it possible to win too many U.S. titles? Salazar rhetorically asked. I dont want people on this team to think that they have accomplished as much for themselves as they can and go on vacation. As the guardian of the interests of Nike and, by the way, for the purposes of society, were going to continue to do what were doing. I dont want to put a cap on my runners ambition. Its hard for me to argue for a cap on how many AlterGs we buy."
Salazar, a devout Catholic, then stated that, for all the controversy, he views himself as nothing more than a coach who is doing Gods work.
As word of Obamas Hansons speech spread, conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh was quick to defend the Oregon Project.
A lynch mob is expanding: the Gallowalkers with their pitchforks surrounding Hayward Field, demanding heads. All of this being ginned up by the Obama administration.
Later, Limbaugh claimed, Without the Oregon Project, US distance running will die. US distance running needs a whole bunch of runners being paid a whole lot of money, or else the sport will cease to progress in this country. Hansons is a cute story, but how many American records have they broken? Without the Oregon Project, its over . . . This its just a populist ruse. Its just designed for people to go, Yeah! Yeah!
Only an idiot would criticize the Nike Project for being too successful. America is all about rewarding very handsomely those who can do something that no one else in society can do like run 3:46 for the mile, 12:56 for 5k or 27:13 for 10k feats all accomplished by Nike runners.
THE OLDER I GET, THE BETTER I WAS.
PROUD TO BE A PAFAR!
Welcome to my dark, depraved mind, track fans.
I have been down in the deepest of online trenches researching for this piece. I’ve had a hard enough time convincing my wife that what I do is “work,” and scrolling through pages of the World Famous Message Boards is not helping matters. But I’ve come out the other side and produced for you guys something I hope you like and can use.
For your benefit I have put my boots on the digital ground of LetsRun.com’s famed forums to provide a roadmap to posting success. If you— you upper income educated people— find yourself among the million monthly unique visitors to this site, a vast majority of who are providing “expert” running commentary inside the walls of the sport’s online headquarters, you’re going to need a few tips to ensure success among a mostly self-proclaimed highly informed bunch. Whether you use them is up to you; as the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but that horse has a suspicious biological passport and probably cheated. Or something like that.
Anyway, here are the do’s and don’ts of LetsRun Message Board posting:
Help expose running cheats
Who among us hasn’t sat down on a lonely Friday night to rehash the epic infamy of Robert Young or Mike Rossi? The LetsRun threads on these hopeless frauds read like disorganized James Patterson novels, and even the slim chance of Rossi attempting a sub 3:11 marathon with $100,000 of the BroJos money on the line is enough to make me smile. This is maybe the greatest running content anywhere.
And it’s not like running cheats have ceased despite the cautionary tales of Young and Rossi, so if you have a doozy to expose, you’ll find fast friends among the LRC community.
Wonder about a course’s Rupp certification
I’m of the opinion that all Rupp content is good content, and in honor of the LRC lightning rod running a rare cross country race at the USATF Championships, let me say that no thread makes me laugh harder than the “Official Is Your Home XC Course Rupp Certified?” thread. Here you can pretty much find out the Rupp-o-meter’s position on every notable course in America, according to a strong collection of hucksters.
Amongst the weeds in this thread— which dates back to 2008— we have LetsRun co-founder and former Cornell assistant coach Robert Johnson proclaiming that his school’s course would not, in fact, be Rupp certified, because of a hilly portion known as “the gorge.” Here’s Johnson: “As I was trying to make the gorge safer today for our home meet tmw, I actually thought to myself, ‘No way would Salazar let Rupp run this thing.’ I probably shouldn’t let my guys run it tomorrow but the gorge is a tradition.” Sometimes I just bask in this thread like I’m at the beach with a strong margarita in my hand.
You may feel that Rupp certification no longer has an audience now that many years have passed and some other news about the man has overshadowed it, but I am here to tell you that you are wrong. I will gladly be your reader.
Ask for training advice
Here we have one of a few reasons to hang out on the boards besides an indulgence of guilty pleasure. There can be found a lot of good running insight at LetsRun! Coaching wizard Renato Canova is a frequent poster on all things training, and will even give updates on how the top Kenyan athletes are looking at any given time of the year.
A number of years ago they even helped a guy crack four minutes in the 1500m. Who knew.
Like anywhere, you may receive some poor advice, but generally, legitimate knowledge can found. Feel free to ask away about something as simple as training for an 800 as a beginner or as complicated as lactate threshold.
Talk about Heps
If you’ve ever asked yourself rhetorically, “Does anyone even care about Heps?” and maybe entertained the idea that the answer might be “no,” well you are quite mistaken. The Johnsons are both Ivy League men, of course, and will roll out the red carpet for the all things Heps thrice a year. It’s always a bit much compared to the coverage of other conferences, but it’s just a LRC thing so feel free to enjoy.
Obviously, knowing too much about Ivy League cross country and track and field may come off a wee bit snobby, but it’s Heps baby!
Be the person to start the “goes home devastated” threads
So old. I get that it’s a bit at this point, but whatever happened to originality? Starting this thread tells me that you are the type of person that gets a kick out of commenting “first” on a celebrity tweet or even dropping the “my wife left me” routine. Sure, you’ll get a lot of play with this type of post, but in the long run I think you’ll find that you played yourself because 17 other identical threads will have been created and yours likely will be forgotten.
Declare “x athlete is DONE”
I saw a since-deleted thread like this from last weekend about Clayton Murphy. Stupid. I’m not sure why that warranted a deletion compared the other stuff that is allowed traction on LRC (see below), but whatever. Like my first bullet, this trend is old news and generally not insightful.
Look, I don’t know if it’s the BroJo’s own political leanings that have made their site a far-right breeding ground, but regardless of your political opinions, you’re not contributing legitimate thought to the national discourse if LetsRun.com is where you spout off on them. There are not tens of thousands of political posts on LRC because there are that many fair and informed ideas. A lot of the commentary in these threads is absurd.
There is a thread entitled “Official LRC President Donald J Trump Inauguration Thread” which was started by an OP with the hopefully tongue-in-cheek name “Quality posters only”, and that thread has over 18,000 posts. The horrors inside this forum are many, as shown by a quick Command+F search of the word “cuck” on any random page.
If you find yourself in search of facts in order to inform your selections on future ballots, pick FactCheck.org instead of a running website.
Post misogynistic crap
This bile seems to frequently slither its way through the anonymous LRC highways, but it should be easy to avoid as long as you’re a halfway decent person. Disparaging women on any medium has no place in modern discourse, especially not on something declared “world famous,” but unfortunately, this negativity is pervasive on the boards. It is the presence of this stuff that has damaged LetsRun’s reputation in the eyes of many, but you can be part of the solution by not contributing.
Running sucks as it is, but apparently there's a subculture of runners who believe it doesn't suck enough. These people take to the letsrun.com forums and make each other miserable debating the running world's rigid cultural norms.
Take, for example, a harrowing tale from last Saturday.
"To whoever was running Key Bridge & Roosevelt Island 9:30 a.m. today," user MVRunner titled his post, referring to a popular running trail along the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. MVRunner continued:
You know, with the backwards white Pacers baseball cap, running with the black-haired friend. When you passed me on the Key Bridge, I was curious how fast you were going, and realized that I could use some tempo work myself. So I picked up the pace to match you, and stayed a polite 5 meters behind for the next mile, before you slowed down and I passed you back.
I'm sorry if that offended you, and I'm sorry if you were frustrated that you couldn't effortlessly drop me. But that's no excuse for you to call me a "f*&king joker," "f*&king a#$hole," and "f*&king hobby-jogger who should go back to where belong. You were free to run whatever pace you wanted, as was I. I didn't interfere with your run in the slightest. I bear you no ill-will -- in fact, I'm glad that you showed up to give me a metaphorical kick in the rear. But I don't deserve your verbal abuse. We runners need to stick together and encourage each other, not insult each other.
A former 14:54 5k runner and 2:31 marathoner who may not be as fast as you, but who doesn't deserve your verbal abuse
The forum backlash began almost immediately:
I would have dropped you, even if it meant screwing up my workouts for the next couple of days.
Others soon piled on:
Would it have hurt you to say "hey, could I run with you guys?" I am not justifying the way they spoke to you (if you are not a troll), but running up behind someone and staying there is just creepy.
5 meters behind = stalker.
I would've punched you in the face if you lurked that close to me for an extended period of time.
It seems that many runners believe they not only own their own personal space, but also a radius of five meters (16.4 feet) as well, which, on a Saturday morning on a D.C. running trail, good fucking luck.
The "debate" goes on for six pages, and it has everything. Attempted analogies that fail because this subculture is riddled with insanity:
That's like having lunch or a coffee with a friend at a 4 person table and some random guy decides to sit at one of the empty seats without saying anything because they were curious what kind of coffee you were drinking.
Broader cultural points:
I had no clue how fearful people are. Turn off the television.
Letsrun.com Law No. 1: as any thread grows in size, the likelihood of fat-shaming approaches one:
The worst is when you're out on a slow recovery run and some slowpoke thinks you're running at a perfect tempo pace. So you have to speed up to get rid of that fatty huffing and puffing right behind you.
False flag conspiracy theorists:
Excellent troll. Gave the necessary clue with your use of "hobby jogger" and still got tons of responses, making it that much more delicious.
Character judgments based solely on how fast a person can run an arbitrary distance:
A former 14:54 5k runner and 2:31 marathoner who may not be as fast as you, but who doesn't deserve your verbal abuse
So are you angry he called a spade a spade?
And, of course, someone had an issue with the original poster's grammar:
Actually, you deserved his ORAL abuse. Verbal means words - can be written or spoken. So the abuse he exacted on you was oral abuse. Now, if he had written you a nasty note afterwards - that would be verbal abuse.
Even this was worth debating:
Sounds like verbal abuse was a perfectly acceptable choice of phrase according to your own definition, no?
User "the gimp" is the only person who seems to have some perspective on this and proposes a simple, practical solution:
If you want to be left alone, move to some rural armpit and run out in the middle of nowhere. Running in populated areas with lots of runners, it's only a matter of time before your workout is 'interruped' by someone running a similar pace.
MVRunner, realizing he is all alone except for someone who goes by "the gimp," comes to his own defense:
I didn't really have the opportunity to politely ask to join them. As soon as they saw that I was picking up the pace, they starting really hauling, trying to break me. And when they realized after a mile that they couldn't easily break me (i.e., when I passed them back) the hat-wearing guy started yelling and swearing at me, calling me a joker and hobby-jogger. It was like he was insulted that anyone had the temerity to resist getting broken by him.
Remember: these people are strangers! Everyone in this scenario sounds pathologically insane and incapable of basic social skills.
Thankfully, a new hero emerges, user "Typical runner or sockpuppet," who calls b.s. on the whole Backwards Pacer Hat narrative—but not without delving into some armchair anthropology to explain why it could have happened in the first place:
Although the story is made up, it's the kind of thing that happens among the hobby jogger crowd all the time. They don't race much so there is no settled hierarchy based on race results, and they don't train systematically at different paces. So training runs easily become races as the 7.5 minute mile guys prove they're faster than the 8 minute mile guys.
(There might be something to this "not a real story" theory. Recall the original post was titled, "To whoever was running Key Bridge & Roosevelt Island 9:30 a.m. today." The time at which it was posted? 9:31 AM, a mere minute after the supposed vulgar encounter took place!)
There are replies regarding a Georgetown running scandal involving some kind of scavenger hunt video, arguments over the definition of the word "bluff," the nature of gamesmanship and human competitiveness, and other important, time-consuming matters before the whole thread pitters out a few days later, without any true resolution.
Rather than conclude on this unsavory note, I'll leave you with the world's worst zinger, courtesy of user Cicirunner:
You should have said, "If I'm a hobby jogger, then I guess that makes you a couch to 5k guy cause I'm smoking your ass."
Runners are the worst.
Tagged:SportsathletesINSANE PEOPLEmannersVICE Sportsrunnersharrowing talespersonal recordsthings on the internet that may or may not be truewhat is stalking anyways
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We argue, we call each other things against forum policy, we post wrong stuff in wrong forums and in my personal experience it feels like there is no penalty what so ever… i flag people, nothing happens, people flag me and nothing happens, i mean… being able to bite back is kinda nice, but thats only fueling the fire that is degeneracy.
Where in 3100 Ocean Park Boulevard are the ones in charge of managing this forum? Close to every single post in here gets at least 1 comment that falls into the category “rightfully removable” but nothing happens unless a post has a lot of comments… are we, the common people in here, just irelevant and have to deal with our own problems?
I say things every now and then that could probably redirect me to somewhere i can cool my heels a bit, but i dont care about me… i personally dont care if someone starts harassing me as i can be spite incarnate if i choose to, but not every person in here has skin as thick as a particularly tough badger…
Are those who literally gets driven out of the forum, because of harassment, just gonna have to accept that they wont get the service they deserve as custoumers of this company?
1 LikeSours: https://us.forums.blizzard.com/en/hearthstone/t/woohoo-lets-run-rampant-and-troll-unrestrained/66730
... Web-Site: http://ny.milesplit.com/
ArmoryTrack is the top Internet source for Track & Field results from all around NY State ... Tim Fulton, Chris Hunt & the ArmoryTrack crew do an excellent job in collecting and posting all available NY results for both track and cross country in one central location ... and providing on-site coverage for many major meets ... some results available only in pdf file format are are not posted.
In addition to results, ArmoryTrack has many other great resources such as statistics, calendars, rankings, videos, photos, and team information ... ArmoryTrack maintains a very good database of track & fields results that can retrieve results for individual athletes ... I typically use this ArmoryTrack feature by first going to the Team List web-page http://ny.milesplit.com/teams), then selecting the team of interest, and then selecting the individual athlete ... database results for that athlete are then displayed (Note - for this feature, ArmoryTrack current requires a login account that is free).
TullyRunners has been maintaining a track database for individuals (mostly selected distance results for cross country runners) ... This is a time-consuming process ... Much of same data is available from ArmoryTrack (especially for runners outside of Section 3) ... Depending on time, TullyRunners may continue updating its track database at a reduced rate ... The ArmoryTrack database includes all track & field events.
1) Fitness and physical ability can be broadly categorized - (i) strength ie anaerobic fitness, (ii) cardio vascular ie aerobic fitness, (iii) flexibility, (iv) explosive power, (v) ability to sustain ie strength and anaerobic threshold (vi) reflexes and skill needed for various applications.
2) Running is almost all number (ii) aerobic fitness. Only one aspect of athletic ability, albiet much mental strength required as it involves endurance. On letsrun forum those runners self-claiming to be Macho is ridiculous. Mr skinny runner in a physical confrontation would be sorely disadvantaged even to a heavy set beer gutted non-athletic red-neck. In terms of male physique attractiveness, look to the animal kingdom (yes we are also part of nature), the ideal male form is big and statuesque. Maleness physically to set the gender apart from the female form. Skinny and lacking strength no matter how fit the heart and lungs are does not define macho.
3) Too see male physiques in their best macho looking form, look to 100m track sprinters, or Kilo cycle sprinters on the velodrome, or WWE Wrestlers John Cena and Batista or the decathaletes. Besides bodybuilders who may be a bit too x'treme for some, function and form it's the power athletes who display the best male physiques.
4) Triathalon the swim involves (i), (ii) and (vi). The cycle involves mainly (ii) and (v) and the run well just (ii). All props to Triathletes to the Endurance you do. Whilst you have better physiques than runners, (which athletes don't?), thanks to the swim discipline, generally there is still a lack of real power. And one thing they do criticise in let'srun ...Why do male Triathletes wear them Bikini outfits? Tights such as bicycle tights kinda design (even used by pure swimmers) and tops covering the navel or even them Orca one piece thingies could still look fashionable and stylish and more gender acceptable than bikinis.
So each sport is unique, has it's own unique demands and required abilities and appeals to different people in different ways, one man's meat ... each sport has it's own merits.
So which sport encompasses and demands a combination of the full spectrum of categories of fitness and physical ability listed above? FULL CONTACT FIGHTING! Think about it ... strength, stamina, explosive power, aerobic and anaerobic capacity, flexibility, mental strength, reflexes and skill. And losing may not just entail a damaged ego but also physical pain and injury. That's called truly laying it on the line. Err runners ..this is the definition of a macho sport, not your long distance runnin fer chrisake!
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For anyone seeking a comprehensive overview of the global distance running scene, it’s hard to think of a better resource than LetsRun.com. In addition to its own exhaustive previews and race reports of marquee events like the Berlin Marathon or the NCAA Cross Country Championships, the site is updated daily with links to running news both major and obscure. Good luck finding another U.S. publication that cares about the Kenyan national cross-country championships, or the annual Golden Spike track meet in Ostrava, Czech Republic.
But just as LetsRun has established itself as a reliable go-to for the track and field-obsessed, the site’s message boards can read like the online id of high-mileage frat bros. Within the insular world of distance running fandom, “the boards” have a reputation for caustic shitposting, with varying levels of misogyny, racism, and homophobia. As one message board poster once observed, “LetsRun is basically 4chan for runners.”
As a countermeasure of sorts, LetsRun kicked off 2020 with the announcement that, in addition to some routine updates to the backend of the site, it would be implementing changes to prevent people from using multiple aliases on the boards. Posters don’t have to register with the site and can remain anonymous, but, going forward, aspiring trolls will be limited to one fake identity per thread, per week.
“There’ll be some thread and I’ll be like ‘I can’t believe all these people think like this,” LetsRun co-founder Robert Johnson (aka “RoJo”) said over the phone. “And then you look at it and it’s the same person posting under eight different names. There’s a term for that, I think it’s called ‘astroturfing.’” (Posters’ IP addresses are visible to LetsRun administrators.)
When he gave me that example, Johnson cited pro-Russia propaganda as the kind of thing that LetsRun’s new regulations are hoping to curb. (Although the majority of message board threads are running-themed, politics and dating advice are popular topics. Johnson says he likes to think of the message boards as reflecting what people might talk about when on a run.)
Of course, those in the running community who complain about message board content typically aren’t worried that it has been hijacked by the Kremlin, but, rather, that it has evolved into a platform for gratuitous viciousness. Chris Chavez, a Sports Illustrated writer and the founder of the running news site Citius Mag, has “What’s the meanest thing you’ve read about yourself on LetsRun?” as one of the standard questions he asks every guest on his weekly podcast. Last May, the question was put to former high school star Mary Cain, who, due to her precociousness, had been a target of message board vitriol at an extremely young age. Cain said that she had stopped visiting the site in her freshman year of high school, after seeing posts (and photos of herself) suggesting that she was a boy, due to the “bulge in her shorts.”
“I was in middle school and I was reading this,” Cain told Chavez. “You’re like, ‘I have broken five minutes for the mile as an eighth grader and adult men are in their moms’ basements writing articles about me.’ So, yeah, I don’t support those message boards.”
After Cain made national headlines in November when she accused Alberto Salazar, her former coach, of publicly shaming her for her weight and encouraging her to take birth control pills and diuretics to shed pounds, the message boards were subsequently criticized for abetting a culture that was hostile towards female athletes. In the wake of Cain’s allegations, former collegiate star Leah O’Connor posted screenshots on her Instagram account of message board posters denigrating her looks when she was competing for Michigan State in 2015. “Platforms like this SHOULD NOT exist… #fixgirlssports.” O’Connor wrote in her post.
“I wouldn’t want someone commenting on my weight if I was in high school,” Johnson says, before adding that he believes the topic could, on some level, still be fair game for public discussion, since weight is a factor in running performance.In response to O’Connor’s comments, Johnson’s brother (and LetsRun cofounder) Weldon started a thread titled: “Moderation question: When if ever should we allow the discussion of someone else’s body/appearance on LetsRun?”
While Johnson claims that it is impossible for the site’s modest staff to monitor everything that goes up on the message boards (there have been nearly 10 million posts since the site was founded in 2000), he points out that, unlike with behemoths like Facebook and Twitter, anyone who has a problem with something that gets posted can submit a complaint that will usually be addressed within hours. Pushing back against the message boards’ misogynist image, Johnson maintains that the “most bashed” people in the history of the boards have been white men; when he was a star runner at the University of Oregon in the mid-2000s, the message board invective aimed at Galen Rupp was apparently so severe that Oregon’s associate athletic director Vin Lananna and Rupp’s coach Alberto Salazar approached Weldon Johnson at a track meet and “laid into him.” (The site subsequently installed a filter that made it impossible to use the words “gay” and “Rupp” in the same post.)
Sally Bergesen, the founder and CEO of the women’s apparel company Oiselle, told me by email that LetsRun’s message boards were “hell for women.” Both Bergesen and Dr. Sarah Lesko, who is in charge of corporate development at Oiselle, say that most professional female runners they know avoid the message boards entirely.
“If RoJo’s defense is, well, everybody gets shit on, that’s not very encouraging,” Bergesen told me over the phone. “But in terms of what a white man being slammed versus a woman or a person of color, or a person who is openly gay, there’s a big difference there because of the power structures that we all live in . . . we are not all equal.”
According to Johnson, LetsRun’s negative reputation among women is actually hurting the site’s bottom line. “The image that I’m sexist, or that the website is sexist, is not good for business,” Johnson says. “We should have way more brand advertisers than we do.”
So what can be done? Johnson concedes that individuals who are not big-name public figures certainly deserve “special protection,” and mentioned that he would potentially like to make the high school forum be limited to registered users only. However, citing the example of Twitter, Johnson says that he wasn’t entirely convinced that requiring posters to be registered would make a huge difference. Lesko, meanwhile, suggested that if LetsRun seriously believes that it is missing out on advertising dollars because of misogynist content on the boards, the site should test that theory by investing in additional moderators to approve comments—something that LetsRun has previously been unwilling to do on the grounds that it amounts to censorship.
The fact that message board posters can remain anonymous is arguably one of the more contentious aspects of the platform. In the statement announcing updates to the message boards earlier this week, LetsRun wrote that allowing posters to retain their anonymity “allows for a more honest discussion.” Presumably, anonymity would also make it easier for potential whistleblowers to call out misdeeds, whether it’s exposing a serial race cheater, or an abusive coach.
By the same token, however, there’s an obvious downside when people don’t have to be held accountable for what they say in a public forum. What if those anonymous allegations of cheating are not true? Likewise, the adult men sulking in their mother’s basements would probably be less inclined to troll the Mary Cains of the world if they actually had to own up to it.
While the conundrum of the LetsRun boards isn’t likely to be resolved any time soon, Bergesen says that she is encouraged that women in running are increasingly taking matters into their own hands, by creating their own media to re-direct the narrative of their sport.
“We don’t have a message board yet, but we might soon,” Bergesen says.“We’re basically saying that we’re tired of waiting for you guys to figure this out, and we’re tired of you telling us that you can’t do anything about it. So we are going to go ahead and start doing our own thing. But wouldn’t it have been nice if we could have all been hanging out together?”