Tuesday 5 July 2011

Marathon Men

In broadcasting, a surefire waste of good airtime is the post-match/pre-match/pretty much anytime interview with a sportsman/woman. With few exceptions, they have nothing to say, and they manage to say it in the most mind-numbingly boring manner. A prime example is Andy Murray, whose interview responses consist of a string of inarticulate grunts punctuated by 'y'know' every three seconds. Though naturally resistant to the notion that humans are 'really' automata, I do find myself having doubts when I listen to an Andy Murray interview, or indeed watch him play... However, on the radio this morning there was an interview with a sportsman that was rather engaging, frank and even amusing. The interviewee was ultra-marathon specialist Dean Karnazes, who, as can be seen here, has performed amazing feats of endurance running. Why does he do it? asked Evan Davis, gamely jogging along at his side in a London park. In the last analysis, Karnazes replied, 'because I'm not intelligent. I can't see what's ahead.' Excellent. Later Davis asked if he didn't sometimes find it rather boring. Hell yes, he replied (or words to that effect) it's 'the most boring thing on earth'. He can only get through it by listening to talking books... Of course, even Karnazes's ultra-running feats pale into insignificance compared to those of the strangely little-known Yiannis Kouros - but he probably gives a better interview.


  1. I can just about manage a slow jog around the neighbouring golf course - the thought of running non-stop for days on end is enough to give me the vapours

  2. Perhaps Evan has set a trend, interview them during the event, the interview would be satisfyingly short, bit of a problem in the 100 meters though.

    My favorite interview was Whymper's, surrounded by the European press, gathered in Zermatt as he strode in with the Taugwalders and Croz after his epic first ascent of the Matterhorn. "What spurred you on to the summit" they cried "I saw the lion of England before me" he said.
    The headlines over the following days in some of the newspapers read....Lion seen on the Matterhorn.