It's Thanksgiving Day, so our writers have the day off to spend time with family and friends, watch football, participate in their local turkey trots, and eat copious amounts of food (but hopefully not the cranberry sauce because c'mon, you're better than that).
While this article may not be filled with insightful running commentary chock-full of analysis, I thought today would be a good time to shed some light on our contributors and how much of an impact they've had on The Stride Report. With that, let's dive in...
Maura has been a phenomenal addition to TSR. One of the hardest working individuals among our contributors, she is capable of producing a plethora of well-researched, detailed content in a short period of time. I am so wildly impressed by Maura each and every week. She has stepped up when we needed content and continues to be an immensely valuable member of TSR. I don't know how she deals with grade school kids and me on a consistent basis.
Without Sean, I'm not sure that we would have been able to sustain our detailed level of women's coverage. When we first started covering women's distance running in the fall of 2018, Sean (along with Sam Ivanecky) took on a heavy workload and helped jumpstart a monumental phase in our site's life cycle. His ability to seamlessly bring insightful and thought-provoking commentary to both the men's and women's sides of our coverage has made him a talented, multi-faceted content contributor for TSR.
John was the first one to ever truly believe in TSR. When everyone else thought that this was some dumb side project, John stepped in and bought into the potential that TSR had. He was the first one (as far I know) to pioneer legitimate, in-depth D2 analysis. John brought an entirely new dimension to The Stride Report and with it, an untapped audience that has grown to be far larger than I ever realized. Through all of the highs and lows, John has stuck by TSR and has assembled the D2 infrastructure of our site.
One our newest additions, Brian is an absolutely perfect fit for The Stride Report. Brian had one of the best first-draft writing samples that I have ever received. He completely understands what TSR is trying to accomplish and what kind of content we want to publish. His writing style is fun and easy to read, but also informative and concise, a balance that even the best writers struggle to find. Brian has been willing to jump into a handful of different projects and will even be publishing some new, very different content in the near future...
Logan is one of the more under appreciated contributors on our staff. He makes all of our lives easier and does so many things that go unnoticed. Logan was instrumental in helping jumpstart our new article series - The Commit - this year. He has made numerous high-quality graphics for so many different articles, has contributed as a writer in a handful of Group Chat articles, has helped construct our Recruits dataset (which will be updated soon), and has taken photos at the D1 XC National Championships. Without Logan, things wouldn't be as smooth as they are now.
I couldn't be more pumped to have Brett on board. Brett joined our team this fall to help jumpstart our D3 coverage. He has taken the initiative on a handful of projects and knows how to perfectly construct articles that our audience wants to read. Even more than that, Brett has also ventured into our D1 coverage at times, which shows just how knowledgable he can be in a variety of different areas. There aren't many sites that cover D3 (although trackyack.com does a very nice job), but both Brett and Hannah believed that there was an audience for it, and so far, they couldn't have been more right.
Today is a rare day where I wont poke fun at Sam. Without Sam, I'm not sure where we would be as a website right now. He is the reason why our women's coverage started in 2018. Back then, Sam took on an unbelievable workload, pumping out so much content that I almost couldn't keep up with it. Since then, he has been willing to take the lead on a handful of projects. He keeps me on track with content scheduling and simply makes my life easier. There are very few people in the running community as passionate as Sam. If everyone had that same level of commitment to what they love, the world would be a better place.
I am so incredibly proud of Quenten and all that he has done in the year that he has been with our TSR team. His writing has improved a ton and you can tell that he has made all of the necessary steps to ensure that he is producing high-quality content every time he submits an article. With such high-demand for D2 content and a limited number of writers in that area, Quenten has been the backbone for consistently keeping our coverage at the level that is. All that I want from our writers is to care about the work that they publish and Quenten is the epitome of that.
I'll be 100% honest, I'm not sure our D2 coverage (specifically on the women's side) would be where it's at today without Grace. There are very few people who not only accept a ton of work, but voluntarily take on more of it. Despite being with us for only one season, Grace has been an absolute rockstar. The level of detail in her work is astounding. People like Grace are rare and I'm so happy that she reached out to join TSR. She is a big reason why we have not only sustained our readership, but also grown it.
Sometimes, TSR can be packed with serious, analytical-based detail. It's not easy to make that content lighthearted or easy to consume. But somehow, Hannah does it. Along with Brett, she has been a monumental reason why we have D3 coverage. She knows how to perfectly balance running commentary with energy and charisma that makes you feel like you're chatting with your teammates on a long run. In her rankings, she is extremely thoughtful and considers every aspect of the big picture to ensure that what she is producing is fair and accurate. Hannah has been a phenomenal addition to TSR and has worked seamlessly alongside Brett this fall.
Michael joined the site back in the spring of 2018 when it was just John and I. He immediately stepped in and did a little bit of everything. He was one of the first people to completely buy-in to TSR's brand and because of that, we've grown by a spectacular amount. Whenever we need a preview, an extra writer in our Group Chat article, or a few more names added to our Recruits dataset, I can point to Michael and know that he'll be able to get the job done. It also helps that his predictions are wildly accurate (check the ACC section).
Last but not least, we have Ben Weisel. What some people don't realize is that Ben is extremely accomplished outside of TSR. He is a top-notch student, one of the better 1500/milers in the OVC, and just an all-around great person (I don't have a link for that, but just believe me). He contributes to every article, hosts the Blue Oval Podcast, and actively reaches out asking what more he can do. When you look up reliability in the dictionary, you'll likely find a picture of Ben.
One Last Thank You
We could have all of the contributors in the world, but none of it matters if no one reads what we write. I want to give one last thank you to our readers. You have made this project incredibly rewarding and I am thrilled that you have all joined us on this journey of growing as a site and as an audience. Whether you just found out about us or have been reading for years, we're happy to have you on board.
We hope you all have a very fun and safe Thanksgiving!