About 8-9 years ago, as a brand new runner who knew absolutely nothing about running, I gave myself a New Year’s Gift – a subscription to the Runners World Magazine. I would look forward to every magazine and soak up the columns and articles.
As years passed by and I grew more inquisitive of running, I started interacting with the Runner’s World writers through their online presence. I “met” and talked with Bart Yasso over twitter way before I met him in real life. I was first introduced to Sarah and Dimity of Another Mother Runner through their writings in Runner’s World, and snippets of their (then) new book “Another Mother Runner”. I fangirl-ed over Peter Sagal, the host of the NPR news show “Wait! Wait! Don’t tell me!”, also a contributing writer to the Runner’s World.
But as more years passed and I grew more confident of my running and expanded my goals to triathlon and more specific running goals than ‘just run’, and as the digital age took over, my reliance on the paper magazine dwindled and I was more in touch with their digital version. However, even that had become a distant memory after giving up navigating through pop-up ads and a few particularly controversial and somewhat weird articles that were written with advertisement in mind rather than the purity of content.
Just before the Tokyo Marathon with the weather promising to be cold and rainy, people in a facebook group was wondering what to wear for the rain. I remember a “tool” that was in Runner’s World on What to wear while running and wanted to share that (even though personally I never actually follow it as my body temperatures are very different). And along with that tool, I was poking around reading articles that I had missed. That’s when I saw this!
That was … sad. No other way to put it. The end of an era.
Runner’s World online needs to survive and subscription is their digital model. Even though I will not be a digital subscriber, I will miss RW and the interaction it used to provide.