Friday, June 20, 2014

Two Thumbs Up for the Vegan Power 50k! 2014 Race Report

There's a Vegan Power 50k?  Oh yes there is, new this year!  There's also a bit of a grass roots movement to increase trail and ultrarunning in the Berkshires.  If you don't know where the Berkshires are, this is in Western Massachusetts, near Albany NY, not Boston, where the Appalachian Trail passes through Massachusetts.  It's a hilly, rocky, rooty area with some of the best hiking in the state.  The Vegan Power 50K is run by BURCS, the Berkshire Ultrarunning Community for Service.  BURCS is new on the trail ultrarunning scene, but is already making an impact with several fantastic must-do races.  Also, importantly, BURCS isn't about making money.  BURCS is about promoting social and environmental activism. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Let's not commercialize the training run!

Step three is profit!
"I love capitalism!"  my friend Ana used to say. Growing up in Sarejevo, Ana was always annoyed by carrying ski boots back to the car.  But in the US, they made these little devices - a handle with a loop of string - to carry the boots.  Someone makes them because everybody buys them.  Hooray capitalism!

I should have just used the one on the right. 

Similarly, commercialization has brought some wonderful gear to trail running.  As an example, last year, I had a packable windbreaker, for hiking, that was cut poorly for running.  I also had a running windbreaker that didn't pack well, and barely tied around my waist.  Now?  I own a packable running windbreaker, and I had several to choose from. I'm happy to pay for great gear.

But is commercialism a threat to our sport?  I can see one trend that frightens me.  It isn't sponsored athletes or pricey races. It's the commodification of training runs.  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

First barefoot run of the season!

Hooray hooray!  What a great day!  It was in the upper 50's when I got home from work, so.... I got in my first barefoot run of the season.   It was only around two and a half miles.  I took my 11 year old out for 2 miles, came home, and ditched the Luna Sandals.  Did that ever feel weird!  It's been a long, long, winter, and many months since I've gotten the skin on the ground.

I'm definitely planning on doing more barefoot running this spring and summer.  It's good to be back!