© Copyright – 2023 – Athletics Illustrated

The year 2022 was another one of growth for Athletics Illustrated. Traffic increased, the length of time per visitor on site increased and the source of visitors varied greater than ever before — who knew there was a place called Truth or Consequences, New Mexico or Batman, Turkey. We know some bats**t turkeys, but this takes the cake, like Cheesequake, New Jersey.

Keep it weird folks.

Many older stories dominated, however, there was one story in 2022 that garnered much more attention than any other.

Dave Proctor’s record run of 7200K

It was Dave Proctor’s record run across Canada. He took down what was once an unbeatable record by Al Howie of 72 days from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Victoria, BC, some 7200 kilometres. Proctor ran it in 66 days and 10 hours.

Dave Proctor with approximately 10K to go, running on HWY 17 (Patricia Bay Highway) in Victoria, BC. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall/Athletics Illustrated

Once Proctor arrived at the Mile 0 landmark on the south end of Victoria, BC he said, “There is the Al Howie bench over there and I just want to go sit down and have a word with him and thank him for the standard he set. Without him, I couldn’t have done it.”

Mile 0 is the start or the end of many treks across Canada. Former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy inline skated across Canada to raise awareness about sexual abuse. Terry Fox, whose statue stood where Proctor finally rested his weary head at Mile 0 had intended to stop there. Fox’s run was finished by Steve Fonyo. For Proctor, it was redemption after running into back issues in his previous attempt two years prior.

The Five Lydiard principles

This isn’t the first time that this older article The Five Lydiard principles has dominated the views. People apparently want to learn to train well. Arthur Lydiard is the father of modern running (if anyone is, give him the credit). He was inspired by Jack Dolan and Emil Zatopek, but Lydiard’s training resembles neither.

Peter Snell, Murray Halberg, Barry Magee, Alan McNight. Photo: Leon Hamlet (From Garth Gilmore collection)

Lydiard was a national coach in five different countries. He was also given the equivalent of a knighthood in two countries, Finland and Japan. When John F. Kennedy gave an honour to Bill Bowerman for creating the first running boom in the US, Bowerman said, “I am merely the disciple, it is Arthur Lydiard of New Zealand who is the prophet.”

Interestingly, The basics of the Lydiard method is another top read.

Ollie Hoare defeats Wightman and Cheruiyot

Wedged in between the two Lydiard articles, it is Australian Ollie Hoare who attracted the most attention from a race this year. Considering Eliud Kipchoge broke the marathon world record again and there were the World Championships in Eugene and the European Championships in Munich, he had newsworthy competition.

But it was Hoare in the Birmingham Commonwealth Games who was the competitive newsmaker. Wightman won the World Championships over Jacob Ingebrigtsen, which was a big surprise. Hoare is fast, but taking down Jake Wightman of Scotland and Timothy Cheruiyot of Kenya was some serious scalp work.

How to watch the Berlin Marathon

No need to discuss, however, this article-non-article about how to best watch the Berlin Marathon garnered top-10 views. The interest in seeing Kipchoge did indeed draw attention, 2:01:09. Enough said. It was jaw-dropping.

Sinead Driver’s marathon record

It is possible that if Sinead Driver’s record run happened in the spring, it may have been the number one most viewed article at Athletics Illustrated. People like their Aussies, we gather.

Her masters performance was one for the ages, plus, she took the regular national record.

The article started like so:

“Early Sunday morning in Valencia, a couple of East Africans shattered what was thought possible for both athletes. The athletics world is a buzz with the out-of-this-world performances by Kenyan Kelvin Kiptum with his runaway debut success, a 2:01:53 performance. Likewise, Amane Beriso of Ethiopia crushed her own personal best with a 2:14:58 running. Both athletes ran the third-fastest times in history and Kiptum’s was the fastest debut ever. Meanwhile, Irish-Australian Sinead Driver broke the Australian and world age-45 marathon record.”

She did so in a remarkable 2:21:34. It was and still is a popular read.

Eilish McColgan breaks European 10K record

To say that Eilish McColgan is a popular athlete would be putting it mildly. Ten articles about her are in the top-40 reads. This one was exciting. She has had a tremendous past couple of years and 2022 was a busy one. For British athletes, they were able to compete in the three majors: Commonwealth Games, European Championships, and World Championships. She did, performing well in all.

Eilish (R) with mother Liz, a great athlete during her career, near Birmingham, 2022.

She finished the Great Scottish Run in Glasgow in the time of 30:18. The previous record that she held was set in May this year at 30:19.

She told Scottish Athletics, “I am thrilled with that because it is so long since I ran in Scotland – certainly on the roads – and I really wanted to do well.” 

Bekele to go for the win, but not for world record at London Marathon and…

Who is better Bekele or Kipchoge? Why not ask the question? It’s closer than you may think. Both articles garnered a similar amount of traffic. Like McColgan, Kipchoge and Bekele easily draw attention to the pages of Athletics Illustrated as we are sure many other publications.

From NN Running

With back-to-back Olympic gold medals, wins in every marathon that he has run but two, and the two fastest times in history, it is hard to bet against Kipchoge.

However, when Kipchoge had 2:01:39 as the world record, Bekele was a 2:01:41 marathon runner. That two seconds could have easily been made up if Bekele had better weather — Berlin in 2019 was rainy, windy, and cool. Let’s not forget the 5000m and 10,000m world record pre-supershoes as well as an unprecedented run of World Cross Country Championships.

It’s a tie, right now.

Keely Hodgkinson

Keely Hodgkinson, along with Athing Mu grabs much attention from both sides of the Atlantic. They are the same age and went 1-2 in the 800m at the Tokyo Olympic Games and the World Athletics Championships.

Hodgkinson got her gold at the Munich European Championships, but before taking another silver at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

Poor connection during Zoom interview, image “cartooned” for effect post-edit

Hodgkinson, one of the most talented 800-metre runners in the world was a bridesmaid for the third time in three global championships,” the article read.

No one had expected Kenyan Mary Moraa to win the race; it was Hodgkinson’s for the taking. Not so, according to Moraa.

Prior to the heavy racing summer of 2022, we interviewed Hodgkinson over Zoom, she gives some intel into her training and expectations. It is a popular view, as is the transcribed version.

Russian and Kenyan doping

Not quite the hottest topic, but simmering below the breaking news is all the discussion about Russian and Kenyan doping. Feel free to use the search bar up top to find the story that you are looking for. There is much breaking news from the Athletics Integrity Unit’s suspensions as well as Court for Arbitration for Sport and World Anti-Doping Agency news stories.

There are also over 1200 interviews, written and in video format, with kids and pros and everyone in between.