Letsrun, home of the (in)famous message boards, is a self-proclaimed place where dreams become reality. It’s a running website that provides unparalleled news on elite running and indeed hosts a “World Famous Message Board.” But it has a bit of a website equivalent of a bad-boy reputation that might put you off and prevent you from discovering the plethora of useful information and tips to improve your running life that lurk deep within its recesses. I’m here to help you clear through the immature running fan-boy reputation and help you use the site to find great advice and useful information!
Letsrun was founded in 2000 by twin brothers, Weldon and Robert Johnson, also known as the BroJos. Their primary objective was to provide quality coverage of the elite running world because at the time, this type of coverage on the internet was next to nonexistant. Looking back, I remember being obsessed with Dyestat.com, a popular website that primarily focused on elite high school phenoms in the running world. But a news website for professional running? Nowhere.
Meet Letsrun. What started out as a pioneer in reporting elite running news became an instant cult hit among runners. Don’t let the elite focus shy you away, either. Years of information in the form of message boards provides excellent insight, if you can tolerate the occasional (let’s be honest, sometimes more than occasional) troll. I, myself, find the trolls to be entertaining.
Don’t also let these so-called male dominated message boards stray you away either, ladies. The message boards are a haven for quality information; like shiny, little needles hidden among dirty hay. There are even highly respected female posters, such as txRUNNERgirl and jaguar1 (who also happens to be Camille Herron!). Wondering about running and birth control? There’s a thread for that. Wondering where to put your key when you run? There’s also a thread for that. Wondering if post nuptial shut-off really exists? Well, there’s a very famous thread for that!
So don’t be shy. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to check out Letsrun. I know, I know! It’s a scary prospect with all its notoriously troll-y reputation, so allow me to help you navigate the site to get to the good stuff. Here are some deets on the Letsrun staples and a few tips for sorting through the muck.
World famous message boards. As mentioned above, you can search through thousands of message boards, some dating back all the way to the early 2000s! Some threads take off. Others are great topics but only a few have replies. And if you are brave enough to post your own, be sure to skip below to “criticism” to prepare yourself for, well, criticism! What’s great about the Letsrun message boards is that many experienced and serious runners participate, so when you search for something like “running strollers” you are going to discover which running stroller works best for someone seeking to train at a high-level with a running stroller. While the majority of posts might be useless to most of us, this is the best place for message board advice from a collective of serious, successful and experienced runners there is at the moment (Speaking of which – Cinnamon, is that forum done yet?)
Black screens. The site pays homage to big events in the elite running world with “black screens.” Black screens appear with a picture and caption of the event on the homepage when someone in the professional running world smashes a record. Or wins an Olympic medal. Or passes away. Lately though, the screens have changed colors during the Olympics.
April Fool’s Day. If you decide to check out Letsrun on April Fool’s Day, be sure to not be fooled by the news that Usain Bolt will be running the New York City Marathon or that Shalane Flanagan has quit running to become a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader. The BroJos have fun with the day and change the entire front page to include fake running news and mock threads. You can check out years past pranks here.
Beware of the Following:
Trolls. As mentioned above, many of trolls have been known to lurk on the site. Once you get the hang of the message boards, it becomes easier to spot them. Trolls like to kid, make up fake stories and at their worst, harass. A key feature of Letsrun is that it doesn’t require users to register to use their message boards. Thus, the troll count is much higher than other sites. At the same time the anonymity and ease of posting lets the conversations flow at times.
Criticism. I’m always mistaken for a guy when I post a thread. I’ll take it as a compliment, even when I’m mistaken for an insecure, whiny, and uneducated male. When I posted my first thread, I did change my identifying information but my question was for real. I don’t remember the details of the post (I purposely forgot) but it involved questioning the legitimacy of the GED exam. Everyone bashed me for scoring so low. I remember crying my eyes out at the hatred, which likely seemed worse at the time. But for every bad thread there’s a good one too. My thread on Once A Runner made the “On The Boards” section of the front page back in 2010!
So next time you have a few minutes, check it out and see if you can find a few diamonds in the rough. Of course, if you have questions about running you can always ask us or post them on our facebook page (where we promise not to make you cry with our responses), or you can go ahead and ask on Letsrun and see what happens.
Does Letsrun have a bad reputation in your mind? Do you frequent Letsrun? If so, what’s your favorite thing about the site? If not, what don’t you like?