© Copyright – 2015 – Athletics Illustrated

Top Athletics Illustrated News and interviews for 2015

This year was newsworthy in the sport of athletics mostly for drug related stories centred around apparent systematic doping in Russia, corruption within the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Independent Commission report. Part two of the two-part report is yet to be released; no doubt the anticipated “jaw-dropping” report will make the top-read list in the 2016 year in review.

The most read posts during the year inform what is chosen to be published at Athletics Illustrated.

Monthly visitors, the percent of overall traffic and percent up or down over 2014. Interesting the US tops Canada by a small margin, even though approximately 60% of the content is about Canadians, Canada or Athletics Canada.

United States 37,105 (36.32%) + 3.1%
Canada 37,045 (36.26%) + 2.2%
United Kingdom 5,715 (5.59%) + .09%
Australia 2,546 (2.49%) + .09%
New Zealand 1,563 (1.53%) – .01%
Russia 1,270 (1.24%) + 54%
Germany 1,186 (1.16%) + 4.5%
France 1,152 (1.13%) + 1.9%
Ireland 1,080 (1.06%) +.03%
Spain 992 (0.88%) +72%

This time last year:

“From Germany, ARD television and famed journalist Hajo Seppelt, once again made big news in the sport of athletics by exposing apparent systematic doping in Russia with their documentary, How Russia Makes Champions. The revelations sent shock waves around the world and throughout the sport of athletics. This sounds dire and perhaps is; however, a silver lining at the end of the day may be that the sport of athletics may get the clean-up that it requires, so that honest athletes can compete on even footing. Former WADA President and founder Dick Pound will head up a commission to study the claims made by ARD. This story will carry over well into 2015.”

We continue to see the fallout from this today and will through to 2016 and years to come, no doubt.

Most popular interviews during 2015:

Athletics Illustrated contains nearly 800 interviews with athletes of all levels, who come from all corners of the planet. The most read interviews that were published during 2015 are listed below. The list needed to be cut off somewhere, so I went with 20 of the most read interviews of 2015 that were also published in 2015. There were several that could make this list that were not published during the previous years, they are also listed below.

Jon Brown-Part 1, Roger RobinsonRon ClarkeHaile GebrselassieMo Farah, Sir John WalkerSir Richard BransonKeith Livingstone as well as the strange and wonderful series of eight interviews with multiple personalities called Fartlek and Low Things in West Auckland, which made a bit of a comeback in activity during 2015.

Interestingly, as popular as video has become as a media format for journalism, the written word – at least at Athletics Illustrated – far outperforms video in terms of user engagement. Where video interviews will receive 100 to 1000 views in the first week of upload, written interviews will have 3,000 to 20,000 reads during the first week of publication.

The most read written interview to date had 12,952 views in a single day, from the 2012 Hajo Seppelt interview, the first of three that now tops 150,000 total reads. The two most watched videos are the men’s senior race at the 2012 Canadian Cross Country Championships at over 46,000, while Adam Campbell’s 2013 Guinness World Record for running a marathon in a business suit has collected over 31,000 views.

Several racewalking interviews and articles nearly made the list. There appears to be a growth in interest in this event, perhaps we will see more of that for the 2016 list.

The written articles in the style of satire, humour, opinion and interviews take the lion’s share of traffic at Athletics Illustrated. Site visitors are more apt to share via social media a satirical story or an opinion article more than any other material, written or in video.  Sorry video, the pen continues to be mightier!

The interviews and articles below are in order of most read per month on average since they have been published. This is done as for example, a January 15th article or interview will have more reads than a November 15th just due to time since posted.

Some of the interviews and articles had an advantage when linked by other popular websites like Let’s Run, Runner’s World, Track and Field News, Running Times, Runner’s Web, FloTrack and several others.

Most read interviews of 2015

Molly Seidel – USA – General and NCAA XC – Middle-distance
Dathan Ritzenhein – USA – General – Distance
Shannon Rowbury – USA – General – Middle-distance
Jack D. Welch – USA – Book: When Were Young – Author
Collis Birmingham – Australia – General – Distance
Sasha Gollish – Canada – General – Middle-distance
Angela Petty – New Zealand – General – Middle-distance
Dr. Kenneth Kunz – Canada – Running and lower cancer rates – Oncologist, researcher
Trent Stellingwerff – Canada – Carbohydrate and athletics performance – Physiologist
Adharanand Finn – England – Book: The Way of the Runner – Author
Liz Gleadle – Canada – General – Throws
Kendra Pomfret – Canada – CIS, General – Middle-distance
Fiona Benson – Canada – 2015 track season – Middle distance
Steve Mullings – Jamaica – Doping and conspiracy – Sprints
Erin Burrett – Canada – GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon – Distance
Olivier Collin – Canada – CIS XC – Distance
Laurier Primeau – Canada – Coaching at Trinity Western and UBC – Coach
Whitney Rowe – Canada– General – Sprints, jumps
Sami Jibril – Canada – General – Distance
Dennis Kimetto – Kenya – 2015

Top ten interviews (actually 13) read, but published before 2015

Hajo Seppelt: Kenyan Doping Exposed – Germany – 2012
Ron Clarke – Australia – 2013
Sir John Walker – New Zealand – 2013
Sir Richard Branson – England – 2010
Jonathan Brown – Part 1 – England/Canada – 2010
Paula Radcliffe – England – 2013
Roger Robinson – England/New Zealand – 2013
Haile Gebrselassie – Ethiopia – 2012
Sonia O’Sullivan – Ireland 2013
Ingrid Kristiansen – Norway – 2014
Moses Mosop – Kenya – 2014
Matt Hughes – Canada – 2013
Emmanuel Mutai – Kenya – 2012


The most read article was unfortunately about doping, however, there were a few well-read articles about the sport such as a hotly debated comparison between Rod Dixon and Steve Prefontaine, as well as a piece on the demise of Running Times Magazine. The Far Reaching Effects of Corruption in athletics was intensely read for a few days. There seemed to be some sharing amongst the athletes who were directly affected by doping. Of the other articles that could have made this list, there were about 20 on doping and about 20 published in other years, that were well read and shared – but again, I had to cut-off the list somewhere.

Top ten (actually 14) most read articles in 2015

To the IAAF: Ban Russia Now – Opinion
Steve Prefontaine Was Great but Rod Dixon was Better – Opinion
Running Times Magazine closure – Opinion
The Far Reaching Effects of Corruption – Opinion
The Needle and the Damage Done – Opinion
Melissa Bishop’s Stunning Season – Editorial
Is Athletics Canada’s Declaration Policy Useful? – Opinion
The 800-metre Race: An Angels Breath from Glory or Death – Creative
Rachel Hannah’s Debut Marathon Performance – Editorial
Doping: Men’s 100-metre: Gatlin, Gay and Powell Not Alone in their cheating – Data
Natasha Wodak Breaks Canadian Record  – Editorial
Nick Symmonds to Play John-Boy Walton – Satire
Fiona Benson’s Fantastic Season Continues – Editorial
Best of 2014 – Editorial/Data

Ten most read articles during 2015 that were published before 2015:

Cross Country Running Should be Included in the Pyeongchang Olympics – Opinion
Beer Mile Controversy – Humour
Doping: It is Time Now for the IAAF to Act with Force – Editorial
Canada’s Fastest 5K: Will we Ever Know? – Opinion
Turkey Soup: 31 Turkish Athletes Suspended – Editorial
Gay Powell and Simpson: Delusion a Symptom of Vanity? – Opinion
The Power of the Foot – Fitness
Cross Country Respect: Where is it? – Humour/Opinion
Tirunesh Dibaba: Where is the Recognition? – Opinion
Doping in Sport: India Sets an Example – Editorial