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1544Re: [hr100] Shoes for Hardrock?

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  • Twiggsc@aol.com
    May 2, 2008
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      Matt, I can't believe the weight you would spare would be worth the risk involved in wearing these shoes on HR100 terrain. There are easier ways to go faster, like letting someone else take all the pictures. I think the 5 fingers are best left on the beach. I'll be running in Montrails again this year, hoping for 4 straight finishes.

      Chris
      Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Matt Mahoney <matmahoney@...>

      Date: Fri, 2 May 2008 14:42:25
      To:Ultralist <ultra@...>, Hardrock100 <hr100@yahoogroups.com>
      Subject: [hr100] Shoes for Hardrock?


      I am wondering what shoes to wear for Hardrock this year. There is
      more snow than usual, meaning more than usual water crossings. I would
      like a shoe that dries quickly but grips well on steep snow and mud.

      My last two attempts were DNFs. In 2006 I wore some 7 oz. Nike Zoom
      racing flats without socks. These were well worn so that the bottoms
      were smooth. This was not too much of a problem because it was a dry
      year. However, I did not finish the course. For those familiar with
      the area, I made it to the Silverton ski hut when I heard the town
      clock strike 6 signaling that my 48 hours were up.

      In 2007 there was average snow and we ran counterclockwise. I wore
      Walsh PB trainers ordered from the UK. These are heavier (about 10 oz
      dry) and have an excellent grip due to a grid of monster spikes on the
      bottom. However they don't drain well so they are heavy when wet.
      Anyway, I did slightly better than last year, making it to the corner
      of Snowdon and 11'th St (behind the Silverton library) before time was
      up.

      I think there is room for improvement. We will be going clockwise this
      year. They normally set up an outdoor "living room" under a canopy
      with a sofa, lamp, table, etc. for runners to lounge in. Usually it is
      about 20 feet before the Hardrock. I would like to make it at least
      that far.

      Anyway I looked at the PB racers but the new racers are about the same
      weight as the old trainers (progress, I guess). So instead I ordered
      some Vibram Five Fingers KSO (nfi). I got them yesterday and did a 3
      mile test run on a mix of flat roads and grass. They felt good,
      although my calves got a better than usual workout. It isn't exactly
      like Hardrock terrain, but I live in Florida so it is the best I can
      do.

      Anyway the KSOs are really light, about 5 oz. with a thin mesh upper
      that ought to dry quickly. The sole is contoured to fit the foot,
      including a pocket for each toe so they can move independently. It
      varies in thickness. The thickest areas (about 1/8 inch or 3 mm) are
      around the heel and ball of the foot. I like the flexibility. You can
      roll the shoes up into a ball and put them in your pockets.

      In my test run, I really get a good feel for the ground. There is an
      obvious difference between smooth and rough pavement. So I know I will
      feel every pebble. It does not have an aggressive tread so I wondered
      about steep snow. On the Huaraches list someone said you could dig
      your toes into the snow so it wasn't a problem. Also, I believe some
      rock climbers use them. The traction comes from fitting your foot to
      the ground, which you can't do in a stiff soled shoe.

      I plan to do some longer test runs first (Wickham Park) before I
      decide. But has anyone run on mountain terrain in these shoes? I know
      Barefoot Ted ran Angeles Crest in a slightly different model of
      FiveFingers and said the only slippery areas were sloping granite slabs
      with gravel on top.

      -- Matt Mahoney, matmahoney@yahoo. <mailto:matmahoney%40yahoo.com> com
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