The New York Review of Magazines

Want to Take the Runner’s World Challenge?

By Frederick Dreier

It’s no secret that in this, the digital age, media companies have tried to create platforms where the reader can interact directly with the writer, thus eliminating the old one-way communication model of the past. Open the doors to the drooling masses and you will truly engage them (and their pocket books). Not a bad theory.

How is the staff at Runner’s World (the world’s first active lifestyle magazine, founded in 1966) trying this? Last year they started the Runner’s World Marathon Challenge. The consumer forked over $130, and got to run the Richmond Marathon alongside 14 members of the staff. Customers also get a customized training plan designed by running coach Bart Yasso (

Interesting concept. The magazine is expanding the challenge for 2010 to include a handful of other races. I suppose that means the staff is going to have to train more.

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