Singletrack’s Finn Melanson on the Growth of Running, Media Changes, and the Future of the Sport

With record breaking performances and growing media coverage, trail and ultra running is moving away from the fringe of endurance sports as it gains greater publicity and exposure. The future is bright for these incredible athletes who are making an indelible impact on the running world.

Running is one of the most popular and widespread activities in the country, yet coverage of the sport pales in comparison to team sports such as baseball and football. Media attention to trail and ultrarunning is even more limited, due to challenging accessibility and technology limitations. Fortunately, we are starting to see coverage beyond the events at the Olympics every four years.

While the United States lags behind Europe in both its technological support and enthusiasm for the trail and ultrarunning scene, runners and those who love the sport are trying to change this.  From the livestream coverage of Western States to the storytelling surrounding the little known Cocodona 250 miler, ultrarunning is finally getting more media attention.

Finn Melanson on the Explosive Growth of Trail Running

My guest on the podcast came to running nearly a decade ago, and quickly fell in love with the mountains, trails, and the ultra world. Finn Melanson is the host of Singletrack, one of the most successful podcasts about the trail and ultra scene. His experience covering and participating in the sport have given him unique insight into its recent growth, and where it’s headed in the years to come.

While Finn and I start by discussing the phenomenal race by Courtney Dauwalter at Western States, we focus on the evolution of ultrarunning and how its coverage continues to improve. While ultrarunning is still a niche sport, it’s on a trajectory to become more widely watched in the near future.

Finn Melanson and I talk about why and how this is happening, including:

  • The importance of having the right people involved in the sport at the right time
  • Why storytelling plays such an important role in making ultras more widely accessible
  • Differences in livestream technology in Europe and the US
  • How UTMB is trying to become the “world Series” of ultrarunning
  • Trail running’s influence on podcast and media coverage
  • The evolution of trail and ultrarunning over the past 10 years
  • How running can develop into a geographically based team sport
  • Finn Melanson’s ideas about to attract people to the sport who will never run an ultra

If you love running and want to understand the possibilities for growth in our sport, this podcast is for you!

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Links & Resources from the Show:

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