Sunday, April 18, 2010

Maybe I should actually pay attention...

Maybe I should look at the counter in the archive section of this blog.

What began as a whim back in March 2007 with my first post on University of Washington sprinter Alex Harcourt has now evolved into post number 1000, which went up earlier Sunday night.

Appropriately enough, post number 1000 was on former Husky discus thrower Aretha Thurmond, who has amazed even a lot of people who have followed her career from Renton High School to the UW, and through the world class track & field circuit with her longevity in this sport.

This blog was started as an extension of my writing for Northwest Runner magazine, knowing that not everything that I submit will ever grace the pages of that magazine. After all, the majority of readers pick it up to find out where the next local road race is, and not necessarily because they want to know what our local elite athletes are up to.

In starting the blog, I was constantly reminded of a quote attributed to the late Billy McChesney, a contemporary of mine who ran at the University of Oregon in the late 1970s, and was on the ill-fated 1980 US Olympic team in the 5000 meter run.

In describing his running, he said that he didn't "want to be the biggest fish in the smallest pond, nor be a small fish in a big pond. I want to be the biggest fish in the biggest pond!"

While my focus on the blog has always been on Washington athletes competing at the collegiate and post collegiate levels (I leave the coverage of Washington preps to capable sites like dyestat.com, and other similar sites; similarly, even though I am of masters age, I don't have the time, resources or the passion to cover masters track & field, road running, and cross country), it's always been with an eye towards the biggest prizes in the sport--NCAAs, USAs, IAAF World Championships, and the Olympics.

As those of you who read the blog can attest, it's the biggest stars from Washington state--the Brad Walker, Bernard Lagat, Aretha Thurmond, Jeshua Anderson, Jessica Pixler, Kara Patterson, Kendra Schaaf, Ginnie Powell, Diana Picklers of the track world who will command most of the space, though we will occasionally highlight an up and coming national prep star like a Kasen Williams.

Since starting this blog three years ago, I've found out what Facebook and Twitter are, and am grateful that those two major social media outlets have helped drive up the readership numbers. I am also grateful that members of the mainstream media have found confidence in the blog to use it as a source for information when writing their stories. I'm thankful that those people have steered readers to this site.

Before signing off, I want to thank a few people who have been a source of inspiration and help to the blog, including: Charlie Mahler, whose Down The Backstretch blog on Minnesota track & field was the impetus for my starting this blog; Martin Rudow, the publisher of Northwest Runner; the media relations staffs at the University of Washington, Washington State University, the University of Oregon, USA Track & Field, the IAAF, Nike, adidas, Asics, Puma; and, Larry Eder, the publisher of American Track & Field, RunBlogRun, and the Running Network. My journalism teacher at Seattle's Franklin High School, Barbara Nilson, and my long time mentor, Lisa Fortini-Campbell, also deserve praise and thanks.

Most importantly, I wish to thank the athletes, officials, coaches, managers, agents, administrators of the sport, along with YOU, the readers of this blog, for your support. Without the athletes, there is no blog to read, and without the readers, there is no reason to publish the blog.

Thank you very much, and I look forward to writing another 1000 posts!

1 comment:

Tait Hotel Preservation said...

Paul, I'm glad I found your outstanding blog. It's been a long time since seeing you down at Mountlake. Robert Renouard

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