photo courtesy of Brian Smale)
Here's a rough paraphrased transcript of the interview (bold added by me):
It's good we get attention for the sport, but sometimes I wonder what kind of attention is good for the sport. At times I think that some of the Dean attention can hurt athletes like myself and other individuals performing well. There are athletes like us doing all kinds of amazing things and somebody else is walking around and actually accepting these titles and awards. You wouldn't see that in any other sport. I can't think of a sport where this happens - maybe once in a while somebody a bit lower on the elite status might pop up there for doing something extraordinary.Given the commentary already coming in on the EndurancePlanet site, this is certainly going to be a heated topic:
It's good to bring [ultrarunning] to the general audience, but from the standpoint of elite athletes who are working their butts off, training and racing, not making any money...it's not like I'm jealous or envious since I have gotten my share of publicity...but it's getting a little old. It's time the media began focus on the true champions of the sport and those that are doing amazing things because we kind of get lost in the shuffle.
I'm not saying it should be about me, there are runners like Nikki Kimball and Karl Meltzer, there are different distances, and those people deserve their shots too. This is a prime example of how a lot of media is working in this country these days, grabbing onto somebody who has a great publicity machine, great sponsors and media outlets. I would rather earn my titles and the recognition I deserve out on the race course. If you look at other sports, the guys that are finishing mid-pack on the PGA Tour or batting .500, they aren't getting any publicity. Maybe once in a while they get a shot here and there. Generally, it's the winners that are getting the attention. It's just kind of odd that that's happening in our sport often nowadays, where we're just seeing one person stealing the show and winning awards. In other sports, that wouldn't happen.
Again, I would rather earn my titles and if I'm not winning races and performing, I shouldn't be gracing the cover of magazines, getting a title, or even being okay with accepting a title such as Outside Magazine's "America's Best Distance Runner". I would feel ashamed to have that title.
So, there it is. Even in the sport of ultrarunning, egos can't sit on the sidelines.