I've been following this debate with great interest. It is the same debate that went on for months before we set up the new look/format we have today. Seems like a zillion years ago.
The rational for the current arrangement is that those of similar experience have a lot more in common than just the distance they choose to race and therefore generate more resonant discussions than what might be otherwise be the case.
Moving up the experience scale involves substantially more than just a time line. It implies a lifestyle change that is significant. This is the reason many seemingly related topics, like running a marathon for example, appear to be the same topic all over the board, but in reality they are worlds apart.
As was demonstrated by numerous example in the months before the change, the intermixing of ideas from vastly different levels of experience left a settling of content to the lowest common denominator.
This was due in part to the disproportionate number of relatively new runners; but also to a severe undertone of resentment concerning what was considered to be elitist perspectives that became very hard to control.
On a more subtle level, just plain intimidation and the feeling of not really belonging influenced much of the dynamics and especially the participation.
In the final analysis, I suspect a Marathon Forum would only serve to further dilute participation in other forums as was pointed out by the R&RR example.
Just my 2 cents.
It's now been 2 weeks since the last meaningful post and no response on a decision. I know you moderators are volunteers, and I appreciate all you do, but 2 weeks should be enough time to mull this one over.
Since this is a suggestion board, I suggest one of the moderators say something as opposed to 75+ comments just laying there.
Thumbs up or thumbs down?
I'll toss a vote in just cuz this thread got so long.
I personally don't think coolrunning needs a forum specific to the marathon distance. The existing forums cover it just fine.
And we certainly don't need a forum for shoes.
if the moderators have been discussing this, well then, I feel left out!!!!! But for some reason everyone believes we are making the decision on this. Honestly, I am on the fence.
To get more to the point. Unless, there is an total overhaul...I'd vote no. I think the last changes with all the new forums really spread us thin. In "us", I mean the forum itself and you can throw in the moderators as well. After the change the moderators lost touch with each other also.
Then again, I would like to see a marathon forum-- but at the cost of losing other forums. I do think that "mainstream racing" could be one that would easily fold into the forum.
As for Kemibe as moderator. Frankly, I'm suprised that it appears that he may be interested. I think he is absolutely perfect.
Really, how much moderating needs to be done outside of CH, anyway? Moderating in "mainstream" is about zilch..frankly, I found that alot of useful information was be given when there were some harsh words among posters. When we start mixing all abilities into a training forum--well, things will probably get a little more complicated and more hands on moderating.
Those are my thoughts, and you can see, I'm a fence-sitter. But if it were to get Kemibe onboard more often. I vote yes to marathon, and nominate him as moderator.
Ultimately, Kevin (admin) has to make the decision on what to do.
Kevin: If you go with revamping, I have no problem stepping aside or whatever. Too many forums may equal too many moderators as well.
Even though there has been a lot of positive interest in a marathon forum and it is a good idea, it would require a re-org of the overall structure. At this moment in time that is not possible due to other technical "behind the scenes" upgrades happening on the site. Therefore at this moment we will be staying with the current forum structure.
Thanks and regards