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Thread: Mountain Marathon GRIPE! page 2

  1. #11
    Bananabonobo's Avatar
    Bananabonobo is offline Senior Member
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    Are you secretly one of the race people? And did you bother to read the bit where I mentioned that they're reconsidering, for future races if not this one?

    1) The pro-barefoot race you're describing doesn't exist. I don't have the resources to start one (that's kind of a ridiculous suggestion).

    2) I'm not here to debate their point, rather to rant and to possibly recruit attention to the problem of lack of respect for the barefoot community. Like the paleo movement as a whole, barefooters are still a bit "fringe" in the minds of many conventional athletes (including these race organizers) and I think it's polite agitation the way I've been doing with them that will help bring it into the mainstream in such a way that these prejudices don't happen, more barefooting products are made, and people aren't constrained by the marketing crap of conventional footwear.

    3) I can't be the only person in the world with feet that simply don't work in conventional footwear. Therefore, "you can't race in shoes that work" = "you can't race anywhere ever." I bet that if someone told you that you couldn't wear your shirts of choice in a race because it was somehow inappropriate, you'd be pretty raging too if you couldn't wear what they deemed appropriate. I don't see my foot size and shape as a handicap, but telling me I have to wear something that is injurious and doesn't fit suddenly makes them such.

    4) The biggest point I want to make with them is that their risk assessment (and as it turns out, your risk assessment) of racing barefoot is inaccurate. If don't correctly, it's safe; ergo ban = misled.

    Incidentially, I also just did 6 hours on a sea level-900m hill on the west coast of Scotland over miles of bog, heather, a steep scree and grass gully, bare granite, and woodland. In Bikilas, naturally. How are my feet, one might ask? Fine and dandy.

  2. #12
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    I don't pretend to know much about rules and regulations for trail races and other off-road events, as I am mostly a road runner, but the few local trail races I'm involved in seem to allow any sort of footwear one deems appropriate, even to the point where I saw a guy set out to run a tough 50-miler on technical trails in Crocs (he didn't finish). It would seem that races w/rules regarding footwear are in the minority and would be easily avoided if one didn't choose to comply w/those rules. Now, I'm in the US and the event you're talking about is in Scotland, so perhaps things are different, but it seems to me there must be other races that DON'T have this footwear rule. I would have to agree with pace2race that you have voiced your complaint to the appropriate folks at this particular race and, for this year at least, the answer is no. They do have that right, like it or not. In your shoes (or out of them!), I would simply set my sights on a different race.

    It seems that your statement regarding how "you can't race in shoes that work" = "you can't race anywhere ever" might be a little overstated, as I have to imagine there are any number of other races that allow you total freedom of choice regarding footwear or the lack of it. I have seen barefooters in virtually every local road race I have run in recent years as well as while running non-local events like Boston and the Twin Cities Marathon. Boycott races that don't allow Vibrams/barefoot! Voice your opinion to the organizers clearly, intelligently and respectfully and do not participate. You may miss your chance to run this particular race this particular year, but disappointments happen to runners all the time--an injury prevents training well or prevents one from even racing, bad weather rules out a good performance, illness affects the outcome, and so on. Write it off as something that just won't happen this time around and move on to the next goal.

    Best wishes in the future!
    Last edited by honeypig; 05-07-2012 at 06:10 AM.

  3. #13
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    it's their race, they get to set the rules. I think they're over-subscribed most years, so they can probably call it successful.

    They ask for shoes with enough grip for off trail, not full hiking boots or similar, so how about splitting the difference and getting some inov-8 baregrips or similar?

  4. #14
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    Honeypig: that's the plan for now. mikeyt: if you read the whole thread, i've said a couple of times that I LOVE BARE GRIPS and i would totally have a pair - but they won't fit on my sasquatch feet. hence the rage.

  5. #15
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    Actually, all you have to do is show up wearing whatever you want. They aren't the police. The worst they can do is deny you official recognition.


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  6. #16
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    I don't understand if it's a matter of grip why they won't accept VFF Treks or another somewhat lugged minimalist shoe. Also, if they accept the Bare Grips, then it seems more a matter of not liking Vibrams specifically than not liking minimalist footwear. I agree, it's silly.

    My partner just ran a trail marathon in his Komodos--it was a standard 42.2, but this course is used by the local ultra-marathoners as training for things like the Canadian Death Race and the Sinister 7, so it's quite difficult, not mountains but very hilly cross-country (and this year, a 20% DNF rate). No injuries or issues on his part. It's N=1 and unpublished, though.

    From what I know, both Sinister 7 and the Death Race have no restrictions on footwear despite having mandatory gear lists for safety.
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  7. #17
    mikeyt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bananabonobo View Post
    Honeypig: that's the plan for now. mikeyt: if you read the whole thread, i've said a couple of times that I LOVE BARE GRIPS and i would totally have a pair - but they won't fit on my sasquatch feet. hence the rage.
    fair enough, I hadnt seen that and my inov8s are very narrow too. My merril barefoots are a bit wider, might be worth a try?

    and I was thinking about you on sunday as I hiked round Kinder Scout - how are vibrams on long, steepish but not crazy steep downhills? I found it really hard to avoid heel strike and was grateful for the little bit of bounce in my inov8s.... (but the rest of the walk would have been perfect for vffs - dry peat and nice grippy stones

  8. #18
    Bananabonobo's Avatar
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    ooh, I can't say I know Kinder Scout --- errrr??? But on long steepish downhills I THINK they're fine - the parallel I'd draw is Rothiemurchus forest trails near Aviemore, maybe. Running downhill in them sure, sometimes my form was probably a bit more flailing than footstrike perfection but I felt pretty good. At least, I never noticed anything untoward about my shoes or my form. But then again, any bounce in my shoes for me is pretty much the first step to wrecked ligaments so if you've got a winning formula, I'd say stick with it. Re inov8s: I would donate a kidney for them to make me some size 6 superwides in baregrips or roclites or something. HEAR THAT, INOV8? A FREE KIDNEY!

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bananabonobo View Post
    ooh, I can't say I know Kinder Scout --- errrr??? But on long steepish downhills I THINK they're fine - the parallel I'd draw is Rothiemurchus forest trails near Aviemore, maybe. Running downhill in them sure, sometimes my form was probably a bit more flailing than footstrike perfection but I felt pretty good. At least, I never noticed anything untoward about my shoes or my form. But then again, any bounce in my shoes for me is pretty much the first step to wrecked ligaments so if you've got a winning formula, I'd say stick with it. Re inov8s: I would donate a kidney for them to make me some size 6 superwides in baregrips or roclites or something. HEAR THAT, INOV8? A FREE KIDNEY!
    Kinder is in the peak district, near Sheffield. Dont bother, Aviemore is about a million times better!!

    Have you tried the merrill or vivo shoes? My merrils are wider than invo8 (size 13 though... ) and apparently vivos are even wider!

  10. #20
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    hey fyi guys.... i won! sort of.

    Clip from the email they sent me last night:
    'It may be too late but we have decided that in your case we would be prepared to allow you to wear your Vibram FiveFingers Bikilas. Although we do feel they are not suitable for running hard in over rough ground, you may find them suitable if you go steady.

    Here is an excerpt from the latest kit rules “In rare circumstances we may allow "barefoot" footwear but in every instance you must contact us before you enter as we feel that this footwear is NOT suitable for hard running over rough, steep terrain.” '

    this applies to all barefootwear - not just vibrams.
    it is a bit late at this point - the race is in 3 weeks and neither my partner nor i did any focused training for it (we assumed neither of us would be allowed, as she wears BareGrips) but i'll see what she says. either way, next year's on for sure, probably in spyridons. @Mikeyt: merrells fit mostly, but the wide size isn't over in the UK yet, and vivos just seem to be rare beasts here full stop. i'm tempted by the merrells but their lugging isn't on par with baregrips or spyridons, so i'm still hemming and hawing.

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