Pete Magill pulling the plug on Younger Legs for Older Runners site

Coach Magill

This was a shock but not a surprise. My masters distance-runner friend Pete Magill announced today that his year-old site is closing shop. He writes: “So why end the blog? It’s simple really: there just isn’t enough time in the day.” This was my fear from the start, which I shared with him privately. He was burning the candle at both ends and the middle. But let it be known that his masters-centric site was the best that ever was or ever will be, short of a second coming of Jim Fixx teamed with Dr. George Sheehan. His stable of contributing writers — including Earl Fee, Dr. Cheryl Bellaire and Liz Palmer — was world-class. His training advice and videos were (and are) state of the art.

Pete -- shown at the Brentwood 10K in June 2009 -- was M45 king of the roads, cross and track. And prince of the distance blogs as well.

His interviews were insightful hoots. His “15 minutes of fame” list was a revelatory treat. And his links to the best running stories on the Web were a daily must-see. (As well as an engine that drove people to this blog.) Check out his archive to see the massive contribution he’s made to the masters genre.

Pete is dismayed by low participation in his road-race rankings (created by John Seto of mastersrankings.com fame). But other factors, unstated, may also have played a role. He’s the doting single dad of a budding track star son. He has a job that offers no health insurance. He’s rehabbing a knee injury and hoping to resume his record-setting ways. Few could bear such a full plate.

Since archive.org hasn’t mirrored his site, we’ll have to come up with a way to preserve his treasure trove of fine writing, superb advice and aggregated links. Stay tuned on that.

In the meantime, I wish to state publicly my deepest appreciation for Pete’s work, support and friendship. He has set the bar stratospherically high for any who seek to emulate YLFOR.

Now watch when Pete enters the M50 age group in June 2011. He’ll blow you away.

For history’s sake, here’s the announcement:

Younger Legs for Older Runners Reaches the Finish Line

It is with great regret that your Humble Blogger announces an end to the Younger Legs for Older Runners blog. Creating and then managing this blog has been a blast, and I can only hope that this blog’s visitors have had as much fun as I have.

So why end the blog?

It’s simple really: there just isn’t enough time in the day.

The issue of time won’t come as a surprise to Younger Legs regulars, as your Humble Blogger has been begging for help almost since this blog’s inception. And a few of you came through brilliantly: Tom Bernhard with race reports from the PAUSATF, Richard Bowker with links, the entire YL crew of bloggers (Liz Palmer, Alyssa Tower, Earl Fee, Joanna Harper, Stephen Chantry, Christian Cushing-murray, Dr. Cheryl Bellaire, and William Dixon), the guest bloggers who’ve graced this page, and many of you who’ve contributed by sending race times, race reports, and other postable goodies. I thank you one and all!

But unfortunately, it just hasn’t been enough. I began this blog with the intention of creating a forum for our running community – with a focus on those of us who are facing the challenges of training and competing in our 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and even 90s. But after a slew of early interviews and submissions from coaches and athletes, the well began to run dry. And this blog became more a shortcut to other blogs’ and sites’ articles than a source of those posts itself.

Two huge disappointments for me personally were the “Weekly Roundup” and the “Road Race Rankings.”

The Weekly Roundup was going to be the place where older runners could follow the racing exploits of the top age group performers in the country. I’ve always been inspired by the performances of athletes in older age groups. Heck, I first decided that I’d compete as a masters runner after watching a 42-year-old run a 4:36 mile back when I was only 21. I was blown away that such a thing was even possible! So I assumed other runners might feel the same way. But while The Weekly Roundup always received substantial traffic, it was simply impossible for me personally to locate and then sift through the results of hundreds of races every week. While readers were quick to point out the races and performances that I “missed,” few were willing to send emails pointing out these same races and performances in advance. Overwhelmed, I finally had to end the Roundup.

But my regret over the Roundup pales in comparison to my regret over the failure of the Younger Legs Road Race Rankings. I truly believed the Rankings would be the centerpiece of this blog, and I described them as such when engaging the services of über-rankings-czar John Seto to make them a reality. Besides creating an online log for runners to post their times and to see how they rank against others in their age group, the Rankings offered the unique feature of providing instant age grades for every performance entered. I naively assumed that age group runners would trample one another to be first to take advantage of this online resource … Well, it’s April of 2010, and so far this year’s rankings have 238 entries (an especially meager amount given that the rankings receive hundreds and even thousands of visits daily). In other words, not only have my peers failed to embrace the Rankings, they’ve rejected them wholesale.

Okay, but enough on the disappointments.

As for the rewards, well, they were countless. I received great feedback from so many of this blog’s visitors, both by email and in person. And this page provided some good and widespread press for us older runners, as Running Times and other online sites regularly linked to YL race reports and athlete blogs. And, of course, there was the chance to affect our racing community in a positive way – and hopefully to help at least a few of you out there run longer, faster, with more enjoyment, and with fewer injuries.

Thank you for letting all of us here at Younger Legs for Older Runners contribute to this sport we love – and to provide this resource for our fellow competitors who are, in fact, the sport.

A final special thanks to my best friend of the past 35 years, Andy DiConti, who volunteered so much work for this blog – from the Younger Legs logo in the banner to all the designs on the items sold in the Store. Andy and I were teammates in high school (back when I qualified as a “good” runner, but Andy was our California state champion). And we trained together in our 20s (at those times when I was actually training), at one point running 100 miles a week through the Santa Barbara mountains and along its shores. And we’ve been clubmates as Masters runners, racking up a whole bunch of titles with our clubs in age group cross country. He’s been there for every step of my personal running journey, and I’ve got my fingers crossed that we’ve got a bit farther to travel together down the running path.

A final piece of training advice – the only important piece of training advice really – for this blog’s visitors: The best training for running is the training that allows you to keep running every day, every week, every year.

Good luck, one and all, with your running and with your lives!

Your Humble Blogger – Pete Magill

[Note: Younger Legs will post a few “last blogs” from its bloggers today and tomorrow … and maybe the day after … we’ll see.]

Pete (shown at 2008 San Diego cross country nationals) loves running and is beloved by his friends and teammates. He's not going away, just his blog. (Photo by Ken Stone)

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April 5, 2010

13 Responses

  1. Kevin - April 5, 2010

    Pete,
    Thanks for the great resource you provided all of us over this last year.
    Sorry it had to end. If I would have known enough about training, I would have provided input to your site.
    Is it possible to save your training videos on Flotrack or youtube for prosperity?

    Again Thanks for the all the effort you put forth on your blog.

  2. KimW - April 5, 2010

    I’m very sad to see the end of this great website. I could never imagine how Pete found time to do this so I’m not surprised to hear this. But it’s a loss. I think the Track and Field masters rankings are popular and well-used. I wonder why the road race rankings were not similarly active.

    Good luck Pete in your future endeavors.

  3. Thomas Kreuzpeintner - April 5, 2010

    I’m sorry to see it end. It had to be incredibly demanding to keep it at this high level.

    But regarding the exceptance of such site…I mean honestly one year is nothing. I’d say it would take a bit longer to take hold with a broader masters crowd. If I’d compare it to a business,…my business for example,…I think after one year I was still feeling as a new startup looking for his niche…
    The rankings would most likely improve dramatically over the next month. Most road runners are still in the process of building for spring races. I wouldn’t see a reason to put a time into the rankings that I’m very sure of beating in a few months.

    Anyway, thanks for a good year and lots of great posts!!

  4. Dale Campbell - April 5, 2010

    Pete:
    Appreciate your labor of love over the past year. I wish there was some way in which USA Track could utilize some of our dues to keep such a website operational. You have set the bar high and hopefully this will the standard for someone or group to continue in the future.

  5. Tony Plaster - April 6, 2010

    This is distressing…Pete, thank you for a daily wealth of information that steered clear of gossip and hype. Best of luck going forward.

  6. Joan Hunter - April 6, 2010

    I am so sorry to hear this. Pete’s blog was one of several I read every single day. But I can only imagine how much time it took away from ‘real life’ and know I never could have done the job he did, so I understand why he needs to end it.

  7. Jimson Lee - April 6, 2010

    Hmmm, was this article posted on April 1st? It seems that every blogger tries the “shutting down the blog” story every few years.

    If it’s not a joke, then I am sad to see it go. Blogs come and go. One door closes, and another door opens.

    But I can certainly relate to getting tons of traffic with very little contribution from other coaches!

  8. kevin paulk - April 6, 2010

    BUMMER that Younger Legs is signing off. I shall keep it forever as there is a lot of timeless advice for us runners who believe we will run until the sun doesn’t come up.

    THANK YOU PETE!

    KP

  9. Cornell Stephenson - April 6, 2010

    I’m sure Pete will reinvent something similar soon, it’s in his blood. By the way Pete, did anyone video our DMR WR @ Northridge? Have a great season.

  10. Karla Del Grande - April 7, 2010

    I agree that Pete’s site was a daily must-read. The links to articles, the videos, the blogs, the personal insights were all superb. I marvelled constantly about the time and dedication that this collecting, organizing and commenting had to consume. The site will really be missed. But I hope there’s a way to preserve the content. Thanks, Pete, for your labour of love.

  11. Terry McCluskey - June 30, 2010

    It has been a true joy to read your blog and to have
    met you in Cincinati at the 10K CC masters Championships ! Your blog has given all of us aging
    childeren a wonderful playground ! It is sad to have
    to leave it. Best of luck to you always Pete ! See
    you on the roads soon I hope :)

  12. gclamp - September 3, 2010

    Pete, you are a phenomenal gentleman. Be the wonderful person you are all the days of your life!:)

  13. Will Lomen - September 14, 2010

    Talk about late to the party. I just found a post-it note with your your blog’s title on it and I had no idea how old it was. Tracked your blog down and found out about it’s demise but was glad to find out you are still writing for RUNNING TIMES. Then I found the June issue of that magazine and discovered your name which I had circled in a letter from a reader and also found your article titled: “Middle Management”; very useful info. Have gone back and read your blog and your love of writing and running shows through. I think your blog focus was “right on” and maybe you’ll give it another shot some day. Good luck!

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