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February 1, 2018

A How-To Guide For Posting On The LetsRun Message Board: Do’s and Don’ts

Welcome to my dark, depraved mind, track fans.

I have been down in the deepest of online trenches researching for this piece. I’ve had a hard enough time convincing my wife that what I do is “work,” and scrolling through pages of the World Famous Message Boards is not helping matters. But I’ve come out the other side and produced for you guys something I hope you like and can use.

For your benefit I have put my boots on the digital ground of LetsRun.com’s famed forums to provide a roadmap to posting success. If you— you upper income educated people— find yourself among the million monthly unique visitors to this site, a vast majority of who are providing “expert” running commentary inside the walls of the sport’s online headquarters, you’re going to need a few tips to ensure success among a mostly self-proclaimed highly informed bunch. Whether you use them is up to you; as the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but that horse has a suspicious biological passport and probably cheated. Or something like that.

Anyway, here are the do’s and don’ts of LetsRun Message Board posting:

DO

Help expose running cheats

Who among us hasn’t sat down on a lonely Friday night to rehash the epic infamy of Robert Young or Mike Rossi? The LetsRun threads on these hopeless frauds read like disorganized James Patterson novels, and even the slim chance of Rossi attempting a sub 3:11 marathon with $100,000 of the BroJos money on the line is enough to make me smile. This is maybe the greatest running content anywhere.

And it’s not like running cheats have ceased despite the cautionary tales of Young and Rossi, so if you have a doozy to expose, you’ll find fast friends among the LRC community.  

Wonder about a course’s Rupp certification

I’m of the opinion that all Rupp content is good content, and in honor of the LRC lightning rod running a rare cross country race at the USATF Championships, let me say that no thread makes me laugh harder than the “Official Is Your Home XC Course Rupp Certified?” thread. Here you can pretty much find out the Rupp-o-meter’s position on every notable course in America, according to a strong collection of hucksters.

Amongst the weeds in this thread— which dates back to 2008— we have LetsRun co-founder and former Cornell assistant coach Robert Johnson proclaiming that his school’s course would not, in fact, be Rupp certified, because of a hilly portion known as “the gorge.” Here’s Johnson: “As I was trying to make the gorge safer today for our home meet tmw, I actually thought to myself, ‘No way would Salazar let Rupp run this thing.’ I probably shouldn’t let my guys run it tomorrow but the gorge is a tradition.” Sometimes I just bask in this thread like I’m at the beach with a strong margarita in my hand.

You may feel that Rupp certification no longer has an audience now that many years have passed and some other news about the man has overshadowed it, but I am here to tell you that you are wrong. I will gladly be your reader.

Ask for training advice

Here we have one of a few reasons to hang out on the boards besides an indulgence of guilty pleasure. There can be found a lot of good running insight at LetsRun! Coaching wizard Renato Canova is a frequent poster on all things training, and will even give updates on how the top Kenyan athletes are looking at any given time of the year. 

A number of years ago they even helped a guy crack four minutes in the 1500m. Who knew.

Like anywhere, you may receive some poor advice, but generally, legitimate knowledge can found. Feel free to ask away about something as simple as training for an 800 as a beginner or as complicated as lactate threshold.  

Talk about Heps

If you’ve ever asked yourself rhetorically, “Does anyone even care about Heps?” and maybe entertained the idea that the answer might be “no,” well you are quite mistaken. The Johnsons are both Ivy League men, of course, and will roll out the red carpet for the all things Heps thrice a year. It’s always a bit much compared to the coverage of other conferences, but it’s just a LRC thing so feel free to enjoy.

Obviously, knowing too much about Ivy League cross country and track and field may come off a wee bit snobby, but it’s Heps baby!

DON’T

Be the person to start the “goes home devastated” threads

So old. I get that it’s a bit at this point, but whatever happened to originality? Starting this thread tells me that you are the type of person that gets a kick out of commenting “first” on a celebrity tweet or even dropping the “my wife left me” routine. Sure, you’ll get a lot of play with this type of post, but in the long run I think you’ll find that you played yourself because 17 other identical threads will have been created and yours likely will be forgotten.  

Declare “x athlete is DONE”

I saw a since-deleted thread like this from last weekend about Clayton Murphy. Stupid. I’m not sure why that warranted a deletion compared the other stuff that is allowed traction on LRC (see below), but whatever. Like my first bullet, this trend is old news and generally not insightful.

Politics

Look, I don’t know if it’s the BroJo’s own political leanings that have made their site a far-right breeding ground, but regardless of your political opinions, you’re not contributing legitimate thought to the national discourse if LetsRun.com is where you spout off on them. There are not tens of thousands of political posts on LRC because there are that many fair and informed ideas. A lot of the commentary in these threads is absurd.  

There is a thread entitled “Official LRC President Donald J Trump Inauguration Thread” which was started by an OP with the hopefully tongue-in-cheek name “Quality posters only”, and that thread has over 18,000 posts. The horrors inside this forum are many, as shown by a quick Command+F search of the word “cuck” on any random page.

If you find yourself in search of facts in order to inform your selections on future ballots, pick FactCheck.org instead of a running website.

Post misogynistic crap

This bile seems to frequently slither its way through the anonymous LRC highways, but it should be easy to avoid as long as you’re a halfway decent person.  Disparaging women on any medium has no place in modern discourse, especially not on something declared “world famous,” but unfortunately, this negativity is pervasive on the boards. It is the presence of this stuff that has damaged LetsRun’s reputation in the eyes of many, but you can be part of the solution by not contributing.

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