In a way, the trivial joy associated with April Fools’ has succumbed to the advancements of social media. Merry jokesters across the globe fill their Facebook feeds with puerile pranks on their nearest and dearest, while the most wittily contrived fables (think spaghetti-tree hoax) are shot-down by the Twitterati almost by the time it reaches your feed.
Spanning the news-wires across the globe, the running world still managed to produce some comic gems that, while not astounding us in disbelief, still deserve attention for their acerbic wit.
USA Track and Field (USATF) Association announced a revolutionary shake-up to their coaching set-up. Their CEO, Max Siegel, decided that the USATF would no longer be the national ‘governing body for the people, but of the people'. The body were passing over the athlete’s training schedules, methods and diets in to the hands of social media.
“I’m not surprised,” said former Nike Oregon Project head coach Alberto Salazar: “What does surprise me is the fact that it took them this long to come to that conclusion. I’ve been getting my workouts from social media for years.”
Staying stateside, RunKeeper led with the news that their app would incorporate a regional localisation for their audio cues. The regional voice was to be suited to the individual, with the sample Bostonian accent lending words of encouragement such as, “Great job kid!” and “Not so fast there, chief.”
Our own scottishrunningguide.com made considerable waves with the news that Alex Salmond was planning to make his big race debut at Edinburgh Marathon. The Scottish commander-in-chief, the article claimed, was taking time out of his independence quest to embark on his very own 26.2 mile freedom march along the Royal Mile, before attempting a 90 mile plus ultra.
The Daily Mail, however, deserves mention for executing perhaps the grandest of running-themed April Fools’. In 1981, the paper broke the news that Japanese long-distance runner, Kimo Nakajimi, who had taken part in the London Marathon, had mistakenly kept on going after the race. Due to a translation error, the Nakajimi believed he was to run for 26 days, not 26 miles, and the paper claimed he had been spotted on the roads of England, determined to finish the race.