San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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February 17th, 2009
Moe's Better Half, and the shoes to make it comfy

Run with Moe: A column
By MOE JOHNSON
San Marcos Runners Club

The pace is being picked up for the ARA-Moe’s Better Half Marathon and the CASA Speak Up For Kids 5K runs on March 1 out at Tanger Outlet Center. Shirts are ordered, awards are ordered, plans being made for the race day and volunteers are being lined up.

It seems that a race needs to be planned about three months in advance with details getting talked over until about two or three weeks before the race. All the plans and meetings have to get organized in a short time. Who will lead the runners, who will make sure no one is left out on the course? Where will portable toilets be placed? Who will be at the aid stations? Who will be around to give directions and who will set up the awards to be handed out? The list goes on.

It gets to be a very busy week for the race organizers, but it looks like things will work out for another successful run. There is still time to register for both races and, if you do not want to run, there is always room for more volunteers.

The CASA Speak Up For Kids 5 K is a little different this year in that there are two categories to run. If you just want to run for fun and get nice T-shirts and help a worthy cause, there is the non-competitive part of the race. Those who want to run for an award have that option and can actually race for a place finish in an age group. There is also a Kid’s 1K run where every kid gets a medal and will be led around the course by members of the Texas State track team.

Each year the shoe manufacturers come out with the latest design in their running shoes. Some are similar to last year’s model but have added another bell or whistle to make it new and better. Some improvements work to make the shoe better for a runner. But for the runner that has already found the perfect shoe only to find out that the improvements do not suit them, and that their shoe is no longer available to them, it becomes a new effort to find another perfect shoe.

Lately, the trend is to go back to nature’s best thing for running and that is the bare foot with a little color added to it. The one that comes closest to that is the Vibram Five Fingers Classic that actually has five places for each toe, similar to a pair of gloves for the hand. The only drawback is the shoe is designed for a generic foot. If you have a short toe, a long toe or one that slants to the side, the shoe won’t be the best for you.

Next in line is the Vivo Barefoot Aqua shoe. It has a very thin sole. It is just a thin step up from being barefoot, but offers no support for the foot, and some runners like a little cushion. If you are a heavy-footed runner, this might not be for you.

There are a couple of new designs out that sound good, but seem to be more of a gimmick than an actual better running shoe. The MBT Lami comes through at $230 and has a rocker shaped sole to it. In other words, the center of the sole is thicker and rounded to give the foot placement a rocking motion. It sounds good, but I recommend putting on a pair and running around the store several times before investing.

The Z-coil shoe has been around a few years and has a spring coil in the heel to absorb the shock of the foot when it strikes the ground. For the heavy-footed runner, it does a good job of absorbing the shock and cushions the foot strike. The disadvantage is that the shoe is quite heavy and the high heel can lead to a severe sprain of the ankle if you step on a rock or uneven surface.

Whatever shoe a runner decides to buy, it is best to stick with the shoe that has kept you injury free in the past. Put a pair on and run around the store a few times and try to run on a hard surface versus a carpeted floor. Running around town on sidewalks and asphalt is harder than a carpeted floor.

See you at the races on March 1.

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