It's not every New Year's you get to reflect on the past decade. I took a look back on the past ten years in my latest article at Runner's Tribe and found that the one thing that has affected nearly every aspect of my life is the Internet. And not just my personal life, but the entire sport of track and field. As I write,
Ten years ago, I'd never visited sites like DyeStat, MileSplit or LetsRun, if they even existed. But the rise of these sites provided a place for runners young and old to follow the progress of athletes around the country, to benchmark against better athletes, and to improve their knowledge of the sport. Then, with the creation of Flotrack, we were suddenly able to see the races as they were run and to hear the athletes in their own words. Instead of just names on papers, the heroes of our sport became actual human beings.
With the decreased barriers to aggregating historical race results, a number of sites like Tilastopaja, All-Athletics, Athletic.net and ARRS are tracking historical results beyond what had ever been available before. We can find race results in real time simply by searching for the meet name and we can give our opinion on those results just as fast with a simple tweet. Heck, we can even go out for a run and have our watches upload our route to a website where we can share it with others.
All this is in stark contrast to ten years ago, when I guesstimated how far and fast I ran every morning, I had no idea what 90% of the top runners looked or sounded like, and I got all my track and field news from Track and Field News (the magazine, not the site).
I don't see this change slowing down either. Besides the current shift from a PC-based online environment to a mobile-based environment, I see major changes in store in a number of other areas. I explain five of them in the post, but you'll have to click here to read it.
Happy New Year, all, and here's to a fun and productive new decade!