My next race starts now!⏱

A note from Kyle

My next race starts now! ⏱

Well, we had a good run, dear readers! 

After 165 laps — or 41 miles — worth of Wednesday morning newsletters, this will be the last one with me at the helm. The Lap Count isn’t going anywhere — but I am. That’s because I’ll be joining Michael Johnson’s new league – more on this below!

I started writing The Lap Count following my retirement from pro running for a few reasons: One, I had a lot to say. But the other, more significant reason was that there was so much happening in our sport that it was difficult to keep up with it all. I wanted to help make that easier. 

My goal was to create a portal that lowered the barrier to entry to becoming a fan without resorting to dumbing things down. My hope is that for the 16,233 subscribers who read this little newsletter, that you feel like you’re a better fan of track & field now than when you first subscribed. 

This has been a personal project that has meant a lot to me and something that I am immensely proud of — it was a lot of work! And no one sacrificed more than my wife, Patricia, who encouraged me to keep writing and to make sure the email was always sent out — even if she was giving birth on a Tuesday. She made it possible to balance an office job with family life, while taking on this weekly writing, self-imposed assignment. And as a loyal reader herself, she’s always been willing to offer feedback and challenge me.

Next, I have to properly thank my fearless editor, Paul, who did not know what he was getting into when I casually asked if he could look over that first short newsletter. He not only made me sound smarter than I am, but he wrote some great jokes along the way that I have happily taken credit for. 

Thank you as well, to the whole stable of CITIUS MAG contributors, whose knowledge was always aggregated to help develop my ideas. And on that note, also, thank you to all the incredible athletes I’ve had the chance to speak with, and hopefully share their stories a little bit wider.

An unsung but hugely important aspect of this newsletter has been its economic viability, and that’s because of the sponsors that fueled the late nights and kept me consistent by making this a financially sustainable side hustle. 

With that portion of my Oscar acceptance speech out of the way, I want to reiterate that this newsletter is not going anywhere, I’m just stepping aside. 

Chris is going to share some of his plans for The Lap Count moving forward, but I want to stress that I would have told him to shut things down if I didn’t think TLC could continue along the same trajectory as it's been on over the past few years. Its fit within the CITIUS ecosystem has always been an effortless one, and along with CITIUS, The Lap Count will continue to grow and be a source of news, information, and humor.

Chris and Mac have been unbelievably supportive the last couple of months as the conversations about my departure became a possibility. We are still BFFs and just spent the weekend together celebrating Chris’s pending nuptials. I would not have made this decision if they did not agree with it.

The media landscape is so important to the growth of the sport. It’s complicated, it’s heavily protected, and it’s hard to make money. And yet CITIUS is thriving, and that’s because of its loyal followers —so thank YOU!

CITIUS started as a blog in 2017, and over time became more of a podcast platform, but after the Trials of Miles meet in Austin in 2021 it became a bonafide media company. If there is one thing that defines the CITIUS team, it’s that we are deeply passionate about the sport and have a lot of fun covering it. I hope that energy is contagious. 

Now, a bit about why I’m handing things over, in a slightly meandering way… Yesterday, I was balancing two jobs: today I have just one.

If you have read any of the half million words that I have poured out these past few years, then you know that I love this sport and I believe in it fully, however, it deserves more. And no matter how much I write about what’s happening each week, there are still fundamental limitations to its infrastructure that prevent it from reaching the audience of its potential.

I have shared many times in the newsletter what direction I believe we need to move in to make that happen. My time with CITIUS has been a great opportunity to turn those words into action, but there’s so much more work to be done. And that’s where I am going — to keep building that future of the sport with another team whose vision aligns with what we have always preached. 

Starting today, I am the Director of Athletes and Racing working alongside Michael Johnson to help revolutionize track and bring it into the mainstream of sports.

More details will be coming in June and I am excited to be able to share them with you soon. But know that even if my role has shifted, the goal has not changed: I want it to be fun as hell to be a fan, and I want more people to get in on the action.

Thanks for reading,

Kyle Merber