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Thread: Mountain Marathon GRIPE! page

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    Bananabonobo's Avatar
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    Mountain Marathon GRIPE!

    I just got invited to enter the Scottish Lowe Alpine MM with my pal for the first time ever and I got all excited and then --

    they told me Vibrams weren't allowed!

    *extreme irritation*

    edit: anyone have links to published stories about champion athletes doing mountain marathons or mega-off-trail, heavy navigating hill races in their VFFs? so far Google's come up a bit blank, but I'd like to send the organizer some polite links for him to reconsider in future race years.
    Last edited by Bananabonobo; 04-24-2012 at 02:43 AM.

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    What is it to do with the organisers what you wear on your feet, or nothing at all? What is their rationale for banning particular brands of footware?

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    It's a regulated race over a 2-day course, and they do kit checks for safety and adequacy. That is, they won't let you do a two-day race with an overnight camp without bringing an actual tent, for example. Footwear is also prescribed in advance.

    ..but I'm negotiating.

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    OMG. I realize there are like no replies to this thread whatsoever, but I'm so flabberghasted at the email correspondence I'm getting from the race organizers that I had to share. One of them emailed me back this:

    "I think they work in theory if you start young but if you start after 20 plus years of trainers you're heading for injury. The physio hates them as he only sees the unsuccessful stories. They work make you use a good running style but most of us have no arches and foot strength now so are going to get injured."

    So... we should all use faulty conventional footwear because we're all injured already, so we might as well continue to wear conventional footwear so we stay injured and future racers can get injured, so they can also wear conventional footwear? WHAT?

    I'm impressed with myself for the very pleasant, polite, and informed argument I made in response, rather than being like, WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH YOU?

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    I would put this in the same line as calling it off due to heat here in the States. Personally, I've raced many a Summer marathon and have been fine. I've slowed down an have been fine. That being said, it's their race on a course that they have gone over and it's their privelige and responsibility to have rules. I couldn't imagine racing long distance over fixed or loose rock without a hard, stiff toe box and support in the shank for downhill landings while running. If the race is remote and you are going all night, you are out there and a major problem if you become unable to make it at least to the aid station under your own power. They can't exactly cart you out of an area on most mountainous single track trails. I wouldn't allow them on the loose rock here and we don't have any mountains involved. Just lots of toe busting, face plant and blister causing loose rock. Golf ball, baseball, softball sized and up. You want to allow them. Start your own race and deal with the problems.

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    Pace2race, don't you think that should be up to me, as the informed racer, to decide? It's not like this is unfamiliar territory to me. (As you say, you've raced marathons in heat... so too have I covered this ground in Vibrams.) Furthermore, I and anyone else is likely to get injured in any old way on that terrain, so rescues are likely (and planned for) regardless of footwear.

    Finally, much as I hate to be a "what would Grok do" purist, ...humans are capable of covering tough ground without shanked, stiff, foot-corsetting boots. I draw the line at steep and solid ice. Where do you draw yours? Would you apply your argument to, say, pavement?
    Last edited by Bananabonobo; 05-03-2012 at 07:20 AM.

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    Yet Grock adapted and one of those adaptations, across a staggering number of cultures and races is shoes. Grock did'nt have toilet paper either. Montrail Hardrocks and North Face Rucky Chuckys are hardly the boots you describe. It's their race. Reasons for rules include certifying organizations like USTAF if your race is part of a series, permitting Government agencies, local emergency responders, insurance companies and sometimes, just plain old common sense. You have fewer injuries to treat if runners aren't slamming their toes into fixed rock or having repeated hard landings on sharp, pointy rock without reasonable support.
    Last edited by pace2race; 05-03-2012 at 12:48 PM.

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    That's none-they-business what, if any, kind of shoes you wear. It's not like you're bringing along a bicycle or anything.
    If I just said LOL, I lied. Do or do not. There is no try.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pace2race View Post
    Yet Grock adapted and one of those adaptations, across a staggering number of cultures and races is shoes. Grock did'nt have toilet paper either. Montrail Hardrocks and North Face Rucky Chuckys are hardly the boots you describe. It's their race. Reasons for rules include certifying organizations like USTAF if your race is part of a series, permitting Government agencies, local emergency responders, insurance companies and sometimes, just plain old common sense. You have fewer injuries to treat if runners aren't slamming their toes into fixed rock or having repeated hard landings on sharp, pointy rock without reasonable support.
    You talk like I don't know what I'm doing. I did mention the race is on territory I've covered before, in Vibrams, right? I'm not going into this blind or thinking barefoot is magically going to protect me.

    ...you do know how barefooting works, right? running in such as way as to reduce hard landings, no matter what the surface? Put more padding in, and you start adding impact and other injuries - including sprained ankles due to the loss of proprioception you get from padded shoes and boots alike. (Have I been there? Yes I have. For YEARS. And yet I haven't sprained an ankle, lost a toe, broken a foot, or suffered anything worse than the occasional blister after going barefoot/VFF-clad, and that includes in the race territory.) Any shoe technology on par with Rucky Chuckys is no more than 10 generations "in" to human evolution, but feet have been in for millenia. Furthermore, you clearly aren't familiar with the territory here - Ruckys are a *terrible* idea that would have you sliding back down the hill.

    I don't really think much of your "ban everyone from a public race who doesn't conform" idea. It's a bit too close to the idea of banning saturated fats or banning something else "convention" doesn't deem healthy. I'm asking to wear footwear that confers no advantage and merely prevents me from getting injured (am I phobic about spraining an ankle again? you bloody well bet I am), on territory that I've covered before, and with which I'm very familiar. Moreover, I've just gotten a sympathetic email from one of the race organizers mentioning historical English fell racers who were completely barefoot, before the days of the Nike Cortez and simply because they thought hobnail leather boots (the major option of the day) were too heavy. Should we retroactively ban them too?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bananabonobo View Post
    You talk like I don't know what I'm doing. I did mention the race is on territory I've covered before, in Vibrams, right? I'm not going into this blind or thinking barefoot is magically going to protect me.

    ...you do know how barefooting works, right? running in such as way as to reduce hard landings, no matter what the surface? Put more padding in, and you start adding impact and other injuries - including sprained ankles due to the loss of proprioception you get from padded shoes and boots alike. (Have I been there? Yes I have. For YEARS. And yet I haven't sprained an ankle, lost a toe, broken a foot, or suffered anything worse than the occasional blister after going barefoot/VFF-clad, and that includes in the race territory.) Any shoe technology on par with Rucky Chuckys is no more than 10 generations "in" to human evolution, but feet have been in for millenia. Furthermore, you clearly aren't familiar with the territory here - Ruckys are a *terrible* idea that would have you sliding back down the hill.

    I don't really think much of your "ban everyone from a public race who doesn't conform" idea. It's a bit too close to the idea of banning saturated fats or banning something else "convention" doesn't deem healthy. I'm asking to wear footwear that confers no advantage and merely prevents me from getting injured (am I phobic about spraining an ankle again? you bloody well bet I am), on territory that I've covered before, and with which I'm very familiar. Moreover, I've just gotten a sympathetic email from one of the race organizers mentioning historical English fell racers who were completely barefoot, before the days of the Nike Cortez and simply because they thought hobnail leather boots (the major option of the day) were too heavy. Should we retroactively ban them too?
    Yet if you're putting on an event that is part of or sanctioned by an organization like the International Skyrunning Federation for example, you comply with their guidelines. That was the point. Athletes competing for a series or trying to qualify for championship meets seek out sanctioned events. I ran Pikes Peak Marathon with 1,500 other runners. Guess what? ISF Guidelines were part of it. Nobody is stopping you from running your way any day of the week you like. Go to a race that allows them No one is trying to get you injured or take away from your running experience. You are the one asking for the exception. They can bar you or disqualify you from their race. They ban vibrams, they ban running with dogs, headphones, kids in strollers, they enforce cut off times and anything else deemed to be in the spirit or safety of the event they have fronted the time and money to promote and organize. You asked, they answered.
    Last edited by pace2race; 05-04-2012 at 01:13 PM.

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