Meet the shoe that can make any runner 4% more efficient!
Footwear tuned for athletes.
As part of my ongoing research of traditional Mexican Huarache sandals on Huarache Blog, last Friday I went to the 13th Ultra Caballo Blanco race in the small town of Urique.
For those not familiar with Christopher McDougall’s book “Born to Run”, the Ultra Caballo Blanco is a unique 50 mile ultra marathon that offers runners from anywhere in the world the incredible opportunity to run with the local Raramuris, “the light-footed ones”.
15 years ago when I first heard about the Raramuri/Tarahumara, meeting them and experiencing their culture was nothing more than a dream, or at best something reserved only for anthropologists and the most adventurous traveller, both of which I was not.
But today from the Chepe train station town of Bahuichivo in Chihuahua, getting to Urique is only a slightly adventurous 55km, but very beautiful 4 hour switchback bus ride to the bottom of the Urique Canyon,
Click on the photos for a higher resolution image.
The quiet town of Urique is 1,100 inhabitants small and along it flows the beautiful Urique river.
Most of Raramuri had walked for 24 hours and up to 100 km to reach Urique for the 80 km race.
Then on Sunday March 1st at 7am, the13th Ultramaraton Caballo Blanco finally got under way.
And after the tense wait, the start was all smiles.
Most of the Raramuri chose to commemorate Caballo Blanco by wearing the official cotton race t-shirt.
A few also wore the Caballo Blanco t-shirts under their traditional pleated shirts.
Sticks are common Raramuri tools used for running uphill.
Stunning were the Raramuri women with their traditional clothing flowing in the wind as they ran.
What really struck me was also the lack of corporate branding and sport performance products in such a spectacular and demanding athletic event.
These photos were taken at the 30km mark.
For the dozen or so non Raramuri runners from Mexico and abroad, the race was a rare chance to run and connect with Raramuris over the 66 km course.
These sport sole Huaraches were ingenious.
And all the Raramuri protagonists from the book “Born to Run” were also running.
Manuel Luna, Nacho, Arnulfo Quimare and Silvino Cubésare.
But of special interest to me was documenting how the “Pata de Gallo” Huarache is used for competitive running.
Its fascinating that running footwear can be so minimal.
After about 66km finally the finish line was in sight and just 20 meters away!
Rigoberto is 71 years old and with 4 bracelets he ran about 50km.
Resting in the shade after the race.
Waiting in line for the prize corn before returning home, the day after the race.
I hope to be back again next year, the Ultra Caballo Blanco 2015 was for me one of the most authentic celebrations of culture, sport and running.
And as Caballo Blanco said; a message of “truth, peace, beauty and love”, creating “peace and hope, at the bottom of the Canyons.”
Maybe next year I will run, maybe in a pair of Huaraches.
Last year Karley started a small project with local sewing project Shirikisha which empowers deaf and hearing impaired men and women.
Based in Moshi in the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania she is selling very cool running shorts made with bright traditional local materials.
And they only cost US$ 30!!
I think that if you’re a runner, you’ve got to love these shorts!
If you have a body, you can be an athlete.
Via Wildling Shoes
What if traction elements were dynamic, if they could move across the soccer shoe upper depending on flex and strike?
What if the soccer shoe could become more structurally rigid only during ball strike like a tennis racket. While for running the upper could become more flexible? Maybe using Auxetic Structures?
What if running shoe upper breathability was dynamic, if the upper opened up upon gait and flex, pumping out the heat and moisture while sucking in cool fresh air.
Below is the first Nike Just Do It commercial that came out a quarter century ago in 1988.
Its very interesting, in that its very different from your typical adrenalin injected athletic product commercial.
Click HERE to read another post about how Just Do It was conceived.
“Mens sana in corpore sano (A healthy mind in a healthy body)” – Roman poet Juvenal
Probably over 2 million years old and likely the most ancient form of hunting (before the domestication of dogs and the invention of weapons), persistence hunting is/was done without weapons. This was mainly possible because of the unique human physical ability to outrun an animal to exhaustion. Strange as it sounds humans are the best adapted creatures on earth to run long distances in hot conditions. Because unlike most animals our upright bodies aren’t so close to the hot ground, we sweat to cool down, don’t need to drink as frequently as other animals and our breathing is independent from our stride.
But besides endurance running, another important factor contributing to our persistence hunting success was our unique ability for scientific thinking. Humans had to be able to deduce, predict and theorize where the prey might be or run to (more on this in the videos to follow).
Back in the early 1980’s, 22 year old Louis Liebenberg was majoring in Maths and Physics at Cape Town University. There he had begun challenging the traditional view that the human brain could not be the product of natural selection because of it’s appreciation for art and science (which meant that it far exceeded the capacity of all other animals). However Louis had a hunch that scientific thinking was indeed evolutionary and had developed as a necessity for the survival of modern hunter-gatherer societies, especially from the practice of animal tracking in hunting. So on deciding he would rather research his evolutionary intuition than finish his studies, to prove his evolution theory Louis dropped out of college.
Alone, with no background in anthropology, or wilderness experience he moved into the Kalahari desert to find and study the animal tracking of tribal Bushmen (Bushmen are considered to be of the oldest genetic stock on earth with equally old traditions). Incredibly he was able to live with a group of traditional Bushmen for 4 years and eventually was even taken on more than one persistence hunts.