Aug 2: Ditch Work and Get Dirty

by Christopher on July 22, 2013

Due to pressure from The Man (and the weather), we’re changing the run from before the talk to AFTER. Personally, that suits me fine — I’ve never been at peace with anything that takes place in a parking lot at 7 in the morning. I hope it doesn’t disrupt anyone else’s plans. So, to recap: the Gretna trail run is now scheduled for Aug 2 at approximately 12 noon, directly after Brendan Koerner’s book talk. Carved in stone this time.

The Plan: blow off work on Friday, Aug 2 for a book talk/trail run/lakeside beach party
The Events: a wicked fun trail run on wild Appalachian-style trails with Brendan Koerner, author of the insanely well-received The Skies Belong to Us. Brendan is going to run trails with us in the morning, then join us for a picnic breakfast in the woods, then haul himself up to talk while we loll around and listen. Afterwards, there’s a big lake with a high dive and an old-timey swing for anyone who wants to go for a swim.

The Place: well, that’s the hitch. it’s taking place in Mt. Gretna, PA. It’s a gorgeous little forest oasis about a half-hour north of Lancaster, PA. Not a bad drive, and since it’s Friday, you’ll pass 700 excellent Amish roadside stalls with homemade sticky buns and root beer.
The Time: UPDATED: we’re starting the run at 12 noon, directly after Brendan’s book talk

So why are we doing it? I’m not supposed to be leaving my backyard until I finish the book I’m working on, but I really wanted to hear Brendan talk about his book. Plus, I love Gretna’s trails. At first I thought I’d just dart up on my own, grab a run, catch the talk, and scoot home with no one the wiser. But what the hell: might as well make a party out of it. So if anyone wants to join me (and Brendan, who I just found out is a runner and agreed to come kick dirt with us), make your way to Gretna on Friday morning.

AND IF YOU DO…. Door Prizes! Guess what ELSE is happening on Aug 2? Barefoot Ted and His Luna Monkeys are rolling out a new trail model, “The Oso.” It’s a masterpiece. I’ll have a pair to give away, once again using our Korima raffle system: I’ll award the sandals to two people who want to give them to someone else. So come prepared with a hell of a good story and you’ll make someone else very happy.
I’m also kicking in a dozen eggs, fresh-laid that same morning (including one turkey egg!), because that’s all that comes to mind right now.
Plus, I’m sure Brendan will finagle a free copy or two to give away. Right, Brendan?


How Will This Be Organized? Poorly, believe me. Hit me on Twitter or via ‘info” on my website if you want a seat in the soccer-mom van. If other rides from Lancaster become available, I’ll update. Otherwise, safe travels and see you there.

Wow, another terrific-looking film about Native American running. I loved “Racing the Rez,” but now “Running to the East” looks it could be a contender for my favorite running movie.

***!!! “Racing the Rez” is Ready !!!****

by Christopher on September 12, 2012

I just got my copy of the DVD today. what a fantastic film. if it’s not the best running movie ever made, it’s damn sure in the fight.

And it’s totally do-able. It ain’t cheap, but opportunities of a lifetime never are.
From Outside magazine:

Next winter, Jurek is joining forces with the Himalayan Cataract Project and imagine1day to offer 14 runners the chance to join him on a 10-day voluntour and running expedition to Ethiopia. “I’ve been trying to find partners and projects that bring together my passion for running with my desire to give back,” says Jurek of the Accelerate Ethiopia program, a fundraising initiative launched today to support HCP, a group that supplies high-quality, low-cost eye care in the developing world and imagine1day, a Canadian non-profit working to provide all Ethiopians access to quality education funded free of foreign aid by 2030. “This trip allows runners to not just raise money through racing, but to experience an amazing culture and give back along the way.”

The trip, which runs from February 22 to March 3, 2012, is a unique opportunity to train and race with some of the world’s best endurance athletes in one of the most stunning trail running settings on the planet. In addition to spending time with Jurek, participants will join Ethiopian superstars Gebre Gebremariam (winner of the 2010 New York City Marathon), Werknesh Kidane (world cross-country racing champion), and Haile Gebresalassie (two-time Olympic gold medal winner in the 10,000 meters) on runs in the rugged Gheralta Mountains, home to some of the world’s oldest Christian churches.

At his wedding last month, Scott and his new bride personally served dinner to every single guest. For those of us with shabbier moral codes, it’s hard to ever measure up to a guy like that. Here’s your chance.

Running Shoes, re-Born.

by Christopher on August 9, 2012

Coach E, the guy who beat me in a bet when I said there was no way I could run a 50-mile footrace, also opened my eyes to the sins of structured running shoes. Better put, he won the bet because he showed me how destructive they are. Instead of just beefing about the problem, he’s come up with his own solution — he’s designed his own minimalist shoe. He’s calling it B2R, although I have to point out that it’s entirely his business, not mine (the punk hasn’t even gotten around to sending me a pair yet. Size 13, please! 14 if you’ve got it).
What I like most about his approach is his idea that shoes are an accessory, not a solution. The best shoes protect your feet but stay out of your way. They don’t change anything. They don’t fix anything. If you’re doing something wrong, nothing you buy will help. If you learn to run correctly, you can wear whatever you please.

Even Crocs. Maybe especially Crocs. According to John Kent, a 62-year-old New Zealander, all you have to do is sling one of his Eazirun ankle straps around your Crocs and you’ve got a cheap, durable, ultra-ventilated pair of zero(ish)-drops that will last 1,000-plus miles. Think he’s wrong? You’re arguing with a senior citizen who can blaze a 10k in under 40 minutes. That’s 6:25 a mile for 6.2 miles at age 62.

Echoing hooves…

by Christopher on August 8, 2012

Caballo’s girlfriend, the Apache Butterfly, helped design this beautiful race poster for next year’s Caballo Blanco Ultramarathon. (I’m betting right now the tattoo artist at Coyote’s Born to Run race is going to face heavy demand for that design).
To top it off, Maria then grabbed a’hold of the same burro that Caballo ran with last year in Leadville’s Boom Days race … and finished in eighth place, same as he did. “I felt his spirit with us along Mosquito Pass,” she writes.
The 11th Caballo Blanco Ultra, in March 2013.

PS — Why does it hurt so much when you stub your toe, way more than the damage done? Barefoot Ken Bob explains, at about 3:10

Dr. Lieberman, Harvard’s “Barefoot Professor,” breaks it down to 5 easy tips:

And to put it all together, I still haven’t found anything better than the 100 Up.

Here’s Alberto Salazar, coach of America’s new Olympic silver medalist, Galen Rupp, putting it into action:

Caveman vs. Podiatrist

by Christopher on July 30, 2012

“Born to Run” was just featured in the new THNKR series. Fascinating to watch a podiatrist on the verge of changing his thinking before your eyes…

“Worrying lack of high-quality research”

by Christopher on July 23, 2012

That’s what the British Medical Journal and the BBC found in a study aired last week when they looked into the “science” behind running shoes and sports drinks.

Puma, for instance, claims its running shoes are “designed to… minimise injury, optimise comfort and maximize speed.”
But when investigators asked for evidence?

Puma declined to provide his research team with any studies to prove that their shoes can deliver on those claims.

Oddly, American media keeps missing this story. Over the past three years, they’ve been giving a pass to what is arguably a multi-billion dollar case of consumer fraud. HBO Real Sports is the only media source in the U.S. that has ever revealed that running shoes are likely doing more harm than good.

Among the prizes this Sunday at the Mt.A 5k — “The World’s Friendliest Footrace,” as certified by Jenn Shelton, also the race director — is Queen of the Climb:

At an undisclosed point during the first half mile of the Mount A 5K–America’s Friendliest 5K– race course, there will be a cow bell hanging from a pole.
The first overall female and male to ring the bell will be crowned QUEEN (or KING) OF THE CLIMB and win a free jacket from Patagonia, the title sponsor of Mount A 5K –America’s Friendliest 5K.
Don’t forget to shoot out of the gates, only one lady knows where the bell will be placed, and she’s not talking without an extensive belly rub and four jelly doughnuts.