Monday, November 2, 2015

V 5 N. 99 NYC Marathon, How Do You Spell Lackluster?

Did any of you watch the NYC Marathon yesterday?   Were you as disappointed as I was with everything about it?  Thank goodness I didn't pay extra to watch it on ESPN2.   The New York Times article we mentioned the other day indicating that the Russkies were persona non grata at NY this year got my attention, and I wondered where the NYC organizers  might now spend their elite monies.   From the get go it didn't look like they tried very hard to get a good competitive field.  Perhaps there are just too many 'big marathons' around the world these days to draw in a deep field of elites.  Tenth place finisher in 1980 was better than this year's.  Depth totally lacking.   Lord knows the masses put down some serious money in large numbers to 'run/walk' their 26.2 miles that there should be sufficient dough in the kitty to make it more interesting than yesterday's race was.  Heck, they did a human interest piece about some high school girl who had the fastest American entry time at 2 hrs. 36 minutes.  Unfortunately she was running well over that pace half way through the race.  Where were the top US ladies?   Mary Kitaeney of Kenya did an excellent job of breaking away from the field and stomping all other pretenders to the women's crown.  Biwott in the men's race was able to hold a gap over second place by about 40 yards and no one else in site at 2 hours 11 minutes.   The best American  Meb Keflighizi now a legitimate Master did an excellent job but was no match for those younger Kenyan and Ethiopian legs.  And he just looks a bit weird wearing those support hose.  Then too where are the personal rivalries these days?  The feuds, a little pushing and shoving a little Salazar, Rodgers, Beardsley, Shorter, Fleming, Moore to name only a few?  No the masses just want to check their email , their GPS, and listen to music, and slog down, gel bars.   Where's the old razza matazz?   Some equipment supplier competitiveness.  Looked a bit like Nike had the men's market and Adidas the women's on the top runners,  but that was about it.  There surely were  a lot of running based ads that were probably better than the race, but after the third time watching them they became as forgetable as the race.

Now for my harshest words.  The TV director and announcers need to go back to school on this one.  You can't sell marathons with human interest stories especially when your subjects don't come through.  They had enough of a time delay in the afternoon broadcast to have edited that crap out of there.  They were also trying unsuccessfully to run a split screen broadcast of both the men's race and women's race with gap times running way too fast for both races on a rolling screen.  Totally confusing and pointless as gaps in a pack of 5 to 10 runners changed every nanosecond until the pack got strung out.  

In the women's race  Sara Moreira of Portugal  was leading the race to about half way.  They cut to an advertising binge and when they came back, Moreira is no longer in the picture.  Do the announcers even mention it?  No.  But they had been touting her efforts the whole first 13 miles.    Same with the men,  they go on talking  Meb, Meb, Meb and suddenly he's gone and again hardly a mention.   But we did get a lot of human interest bullshit and Spike Lee applauding the runners at the finish line.  No interviews with the top runners.    At least we saw the World Cup Rugby final.   Way to go All Blacks.  And great televiewing.

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