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 the sad demise of Trail Runner
Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

the sad demise of Trail Runner Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 10:46 am 

Trail Runner magazine seemed great a few years ago, and was a nice antidote for the makeup and Penguin Bingham articles that Runner's World had turned into. It seems to have been sliding slowly downhill since then, though. The cover story of the May issue didn't do much to restore my confidence: "Trails vs. Roads: Which Sport Wins?" They also seem to have picked up a new columnist who likes to write about beer and cigarettes a lot-- not exactly what you'd expect to find in a runner's magazine. But the worst part is that the magazine is shrinking. The issue was 63 pages, with tons of full-page photos and ads, and most of the articles in half-columns next to another ad. There are probably only about 8 pages of text in the whole magazine.

Is it just not possible for a running-interest magazine to be commercially successful? With the number of people running and participating in races, I would think there would be lots of interest. Unfortunately, though, most of the running magazines I've seen are turning into brainless ad fodder.


Rustyboy

LA, CA
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Re: the sad demise of Trail Runner Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 10:16 am 

I definitely have noticed a difference. I only pick up issues of Runner's World and Trail Runner that have specific articles I want to read in them (*cough* BRICKS *cough*). I have a subscription to ultrarunning magazine which is fantastic, if you're like me and like to dork out about finishing times for 100 milers.

I've always found the concept of writing about running a little bit bizarre. As comedian Bill Hicks once said:

"What do you jot down about jogging? 'Right foot...left foot...go home and shower?'"


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: the sad demise of Trail Runner Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 11:43 am 

Rustyboy wrote:
I've always found the concept of writing about running a little bit bizarre.
I agree... assuming your audience already knows the basics, there probably just aren't enough new developments in racing, training, or gear each month to fill a magazine. So they end up rehashing the same old articles, and including lots of stuff aimed at beginners. The same is probably true for other magazines focused on fishing or quilting or anything that doesn't really change very rapidly.

But still, that "Trails vs. Roads" feature story really made me want to retch! I wonder if Fisherman's Fancy runs articles about which is better, saltwater or freshwater?


OldManRunner
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Rochester, NY
Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 262

Re: the sad demise of Trail Runner Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 11:52 am 

I wonder if the demise of good running related magazines is related to the rise of running blogs. I've started keeping tabs on a couple written by ~2:30 marathoners who are extremely literate an interesting to read:

www.duncanlarkin.com/roads.html
http://hoodtocoaster.blogspot.com/


BGibbsLMT

Southington, CT
Joined: 12 Dec 2004
Posts: 68

Re: the sad demise of Trail Runner Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 8:32 pm 

The problem is most of us trail runners are only semi-literate at best. Comes from running head first into too many low branches.

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