EDITORIAL: Runners, Let's Bring Back the Hoops

 istockphoto.com

istockphoto.com

Note: Editorials reflect the opinion of Dumb Runner's editorial board (Mark Remy) and its CEO and publisher (Mark Remy)—not of its news staff (also Mark Remy). 

We don't want to alarm you, fellow runners, but our sport is in trouble.

Road race participation in the U.S. has been declining for years. Running publications are folding. And no less an authority than The New York Times has declared that "the running bubble has popped."

What can be done to reverse this trend? We'll tell you what, in one word: Hoops.

Not hoop earrings. Not the metaphorical hoops we jump through to score an entry into a popular marathon. And not running while hula-hooping, which is just silly. We're talking about running whilst rolling an upright hoop as you go with a stick. (We should also bring back the word whilst.)

It is high time we revived this old-timey practice. Here's why.

  • First and foremost, hoops would inject some much-needed fun into what can be—let's face it—a dull sport. Just look at that illustration above this editorial. You can practically hear the hoots and the laughter!
  • Running with hoops would "level the playing field," at least at first, slowing down fast runners as they learned to master this new skill. This would make, say, local 5Ks appear less daunting for newbies.
  • The introduction of this novel element could bring "retired" or burned-out runners back to the sport.
  • Likewise, the running industry would get a much-needed boost as they rush to fill the demand for this brand-new essential piece of gear. Road hoops, trail hoops, racing hoops, travel hoops... the possibilities are endless. 
  • It would give us an excuse to show off our collection of Victorian-era clothing.
  • According to Wikipedia, hoop rolling is also called "hoop trundling." This is reason enough for us, because we love the word trundle almost as much as we love the word whilst.

Running industry leaders, are you listening? It's time. For the good of the sport, roll out the hoops.