Note: The Loop website has been discontinued by Runner’s World.
I’ve overdosed on running articles. For the past eighteen months, I’ve been getting Runner’s World again—something I do for a while every decade. I was tricked into this. I grabbed a magazine to read on vacation, and it included Michael Heald’s account of spending a few days with the “Writer Runner” Jamie Quatro. Every year or so, Runner’s World has a quality article that is truly worth reading. This was one of them; It was so good I bought a two-year subscription.
Last summer, I subscribed to Trail Runner Magazine. All of my running is done on trails, so why would I only read a road-running magazine? And then last fall, I subscribed to Outside magazine. I was drawn to its higher quality of writing and the languid pace of the articles. I’m usually not in a hurry to get to the end of the story. I’d rather get to the bottom of it.
These are the three magazines I target for article submissions. The magazines where I hope to one day sell my craft. So it’s imperative that I read them and understand their market. But now I have too many magazines to read. It gets confusing. All the covers look alike to me. I can’t remember which articles I’ve read, so I read them twice or not at all.
And then there are the blogs. I follow Mark Remy’s DumbRunner , Sarah Lavender Smith’s The Runner’s Trip, and my friend Megan’s That Runner Girl. Megan’s been blogging for about a month, now. But because she’s fast and attractive… and unfailingly up-beat, I’m guessing she already has 500 followers. She’ll probably be writing for Runner’s World by the end of the year. Good-looking, high-achievers: pffft. I really think Runner’s World is overlooking a lucrative niche. There are certainly dozens of people who would like to read a column by an old, slow, cynical guy like me. They could call it “Dead Man Jogging.”
In truth, I already write for Runner’s World, sort of. Anyone can. They have a public blogsite called The Loop. It’s been around for years, although it can be hard to find on their crowded website. Whenever I have a general interest running piece, I’ll eventually post it on the Loop. For a blogger like me, the Loop is great exposure. While a well-received post on my blog might eventually wind up with a hundred reads, some of the stuff I’ve put on the Loop sometimes tops 200. And one, Jenn, Lance & Me, has received over two thousand hits. The credibility of being on the Runner’s World site aids this. When you google Jenn Shelton and Lance Armstrong—which is something that people do from time to time, my link shows up high on the first page of results.
So, the purpose of this post? I guess it’s to promote the Loop. The site that has been dwindling in participation over the past few years. There has recently been a grass-roots push for Runner’s World to better promote it, and it worked. They moved the link to their Home page (at least for now). I figure that as a beneficiary of the Loop, I can do the same. And I can also to provide links to some of my favorite running content that precedes this blog.
Race Day – Capturing the excitement (and anxiety) right before a race.
Don’t Believe the Hype – Contemplating the 5K (something I never do anymore)