I think we’ve all watched the video I’m talking about, if not here’s the link… https://youtu.be/tdG_gyoz-fY

On social media a discussion was created, is distance lacking this sort of fiery rivalry?

Is there already this level of rivalry, we saw Barega and Kejelcha wrestling at the Lausanne diamond league did we not? Maybe that was more of a moment of madness in comparison to what we saw in the 4x100m with Houston and LSU. There have been many moments in distance running where situations like this have prevailed but as said earlier, is it a moment of madness or genuine rivalry?

We can all respect that there are genuine rivalries in middle/long distance running. However it’s not everyday that we see a sprint finish followed by trash talk, moments after crossing the line. Maybe after 25 laps that’s a bit too much effort in fairness. I think the beautiful thing about running is the way in which runners respect each other. Post race we shake hands, we talk, we laugh, sometimes we go to after parties with eachother. I feel like most runners also for the most part have a pretty chill temperament too, we aren’t typically the aggressive types nor particularly likely to expose ourselves to confrontation, We tend to get along. However, and it’s a big however, does rivalry bring engagement and excitement to the sport from an outside point of view? probably. Would that make the powers that be actually give the sport a bit of respect and attention? Who knows.

To a certain degree, we don’t have that clear cut villain and hero the way sprints did with Gatlin and bolt. Of course we have our heroes such as kipchoge, in my opinion Nick Willis and so on. But we don’t quite have that clear villain, we see drug cheats and of course (when actually caught) they’re expelled from the sport and lose all respect and credibility. It goes without saying that Gatlin faced doping charges and rightfully so, is treated like the villain (personally I’m for lifetime bans). I don’t think however, that Kiprop (if he ever returns) would be given a similar reception. It wouldn’t add to the atmosphere, in my opinion it would just detract respect for our sport and interest, which realistically, we desperately cant afford.

Then we turn to the social media ‘beef’ between Lopez lomong and Paul Chelimo, for me, I like this. Two guys operating at the top of their game, driven, passionate and creating a bit of tension between each other. A classic post from chelimo when he Said “dogs complete at husky invites, lions compete at championships” followed by yet another piece of social media mastery from lomong posting a photo of a chihuahua dressed as a lion with the caption “hand me a leash, imma walk this dog!”. After reading through the comments on their posts, it appears we love it! For the most part anyways. I think if kept sensible it will carry on to be a fun part of the sport that we don’t always tend to experience.

This is just me thinking out loud.

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