Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Natural Runners Get Extra Prizes

I've decided to give a couple extra "random" prizes to any Clinton Lake ultra racers that run the trail (and finish) either barefoot or in Vibram FiveFinger shoes (KSO model pictured at left).  Home-made huaraches/sandals might work too.  At the race start, and finish, show me you are running natural and I'll make a note so you'll be eligible for some extra prizes.  Racing flats don't count---it would be too hard to draw the line at what is a racing flat and what is a lightweight trainer.  To qualify, you gotta be completely barefoot (this option also gets you a big hug from me and an extra dose of respect), have bare bones huaraches, or wear FiveFinger shoes (any model).  Am I on Vibram's payroll?  No...although I did approach them about race sponsorship.  They had too many sponsorships this year, but said next year was a possibility.  I got a free t-shirt.  I'm starting this to promote runners getting back to natural running.  If nothing else, it should generate some discussion and debate.  Our feet are fantastic tools so let them work without restrictions! If no one qualifies, then the prizes will go to "regular, non-natural" racers...except for the cool, hand-made, coffee mug...that may go to the race director who'll be wearing his FiveFinger KSOs!  Sweet.

Personally, I hope to run a 50K trail ultra this fall in my FiveFinger shoes.  Maybe Rock Cut Hobo in September of Farmdale in October?  They are both part of the Grand Slam and the courses aren't too technical.  Wish me luck...and I wish all the Clinton Lake runners luck too...especially if you are trying for one of the extra "natural runner" prizes.

Feel free to protest this race director decision.  I read & respond to blog comments.  And if you are really upset, start your own race and make whatever decisions you want...or you are welcome to be Clinton Lake race director next year and make similar bone-headed choices.

NOTE: Make the transition to barefoot or minimalist shoes slowly.  It's easy to overdo it.

8 comments:

Jerry Davison said...

Please don't tell me the custom coffee cup is a Tracy original. I love free stuff. You're killing me.

Chris said...

Yep, Tracy Thomas (artisan and extreme ultra runner) made the overall champion awards (run fast my friend!) and a few smaller extras as prizes. The barefoot mug is one of Tracy's originals.

jason elliot said...

I love Tracy's pottery! I'd run the course backwards if I was guaranteed a custom mug from her. Um, but I'd rather run forwards in Vibrams.

So, I'm not sure I understand. Will there be a drawing from among those eligible, or is a prize guaranteed? What about the first finisher among the unshod?

Chris said...

Jason and others,
There will be one prize for the fastest minimalist runner and a couple random prizes for other minimalists. Tracy's mug is the "fastest minimalist" prize. So, if you want the mug, run fast in your funky gorilla shoes! And if you win the entire race, you get a huge piece of Tracy's handywork. Tracy was kind enough to donate a couple more ceramic mugs as other prizes too. Best attitude? Slowest? Oldest? "Race Director Pick"? Who knows...

me_gusta_correr said...

Any chance a "natural runner" could still get into the race? (I normally wouldn't ask but I saw the latest post). I mostly run in VFF. If possible, please let me know. Gracias.

Andy said...

Darn if I didn't have a conflict on race day. I'll probably do a VFF 20 miler out there on the Friday before. You need anybody marking or trimming branches?

Chris said...

Unfortunately, the race has been full since October. Can't let anyone else in now--and I still have a wait list of over 20 runners!

@Andy
Jeff will be doing a Friday morning hike of the course to clear and mark things. He would be happy to have company--but he'll be going slowly.

Andy said...

OK. Maybe I'll take a hand trimmers and a finger saw with me just in case.