Yes, it’s a provocative charge, but what else can you say about a Reuters story by Alastair Himmer headlined, “Tokyo marathon runner solves mystery of sore nipples“?
I do not come to this judgment in a hasty fashion. I love running. I love reading about running. I love writing about running. I have a high tolerance for the minutiae of the sport which make for less-than-scintillating stories.
Nevertheless, I suspect the story of how 33-year-old bank employee (or is it banker?) Brian Jones became the subject of a Reuters profile would be a lot more interesting than the profile itself.
Let’s dissect this marvel, shall we?
It begins innocently enough: “Choking pollution and sapping heat will be the major concerns for the world’s elite marathon runners at this year’s Beijing Olympics.”
OK, Himmer’s covering the Tokyo Marathon, but let’s follow him.
“But for millions of other marathon men and women, concerns are of an altogether more painful nature.” And what could they be?
“After his first assault at a marathon last year banker Brian Jones was shocked to discover the sharp pain in his chest was not cardiovascular, but bleeding nipples.”
After just having written a column about peeing, I’m in no position to throw stones on account of frivolity. But the story goes nowhere from here.
Apparently this was Brian’s second Tokyo Marathon. He had chafed nipples last year, but used Vaseline this year. He ran a 4:37:46, an improvement of 11 minutes over last year. He walked for two kilometers. It was windy and cold.
The crowd of spectators helped, but he was demoralized because he was running slower than an old lady, and there was a guy in front of him running backwards.
He was in a lot of pain when he finished, but he might run another marathon. Maybe.
That’s all, folks. Reuters is “the leading global provider of news, financial information and technology solutions to the world’s media, financial institutions, businesses and individuals” but it couldn’t find a better or funnier story among 32,000 runners and 12,000 volunteers.
We can even use a new tagline for the Running Blog Family: “Better writing than Reuters!”