Thursday, October 10, 2013

Slowest Generation - revisited

Remember that WSJ article I got all worked up about? Here is a link for reference. Well - they responded to me!! Okay, okay - maybe not me specifically but they responded to the general masses. (Sounds so much more exciting the other way no?)

After all, I certainly wasn't the only one that has notice this article. There was a whopping 283 comments from WSJ subscribers to the original article while readers duked it out on whether or not parading through races was a good thing or a bad thing. The author nailed the controversy and buzz right? Considering it's a narrowed target audience and you have to be a subscriber to comment? So there is something to this?

Now that we see that there is interest, let's follow up on it! He did! He knew there was more to the story so he wrote another article that published yesterday.

The Slowest Generation Strikes Back.

I do love this opener "Anyone worried about apathy among the young nowadays ought to try this: Call them slow."

But other than that this article... for lack of a better term, stinks.There is nothing to it. In fact, the only cool piece of actual information that I read in it was the response from The Color Run's founder: "In two years, 2 million world-wide participants have toed our start line. If that isn't impressive enough, 60% of them had never done a race before." (Note, my first 5k was a similar novelty run just a couple months ago and now I am training for my second half.)

REALLY, that's it? There is no information on WHY people choose to run these type races over others? No information on the US obesity rate and why it's okay to bag on anyone choosing to just move? No information about how much money is here? (It is the WSJ after all, mixing things up!) That's it?

What about this?
Defending the "Slowest Generation"
This Runner's World Forum
Another Blogger's Response
And another one...

Oh boy - okay - There are far too many responses that provided a much more WSJ worthy information piece. A simple Google search clearly proves that this article fired up a whole host of responses from people ready to share what they thought, and it's good stuff too! Stats, resources, etc.  (Don't worry Kevin - I won't do all the investigating for you... you get paid more, and I have like... one reader.)

I will just ask again... Is it a shame to get people moving for the "wrong" reasons? An entire industry of 'Novelty Runs' has been created... and it makes MONEY. Not to mention the races that attract serious runners and novelty runners alike, hello RunDisney.  More and more children are wanting to get involved because being active looks like less of a chore and more like fun! Any stats on the ages of new runners?

Even though it was pointed out that I am older than the generation spoken of in the first article, it still gets to me a little. I think there is a lot more to this story than this simple (weak) response from the WSJ. Did you read it? What did you think? All fluff?

(PS. I may or may not have tweeted the author and it may or may not have included the tag #weaksauce. Someone might need to take my Tweeter away!)


  1. I love you for posting this Shannon. I read the article and wondered if I had lost my mind...I didn't see a point. AND AGAIN....I am slow and pay for races, that is helping someones business right...and getting me moving...good I guess. So I am not fast...whatevs.....

  2. Yea - It was weak wasn't it? I just expected more so I was rather disappointed.

  3. I am still LoL'ing at #weaksauce.

  4. One might argue that age based awards are nothing more than pandering to slow old people who can't run as fast anymore... Just saying.