Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Holy Hoge Hakken!

Now that racing in marathons and stressing one's endurance in triathlons have become the habitat for serious-money athletes, a variety of races have emerged to attract the fun-seekers. There are competitions for fun that ask entrants to slog through mud, get sprayed with different colors at specific junctures of the race, and even contests in which the walking dead try to disrupt a runner's concentration by lumbering our from behind a bush or a tree: somewhat like racing through a haunted house during the daylight.
Glamour magazine, back in 2006 decided to sponsor charitable events for the well-heeled woman...or at least the high-heeled woman. Called "hoge hakken" (high heel) runs, these women-only events aimed to raise money to support efforts to promote women's rights. Originated in Amsterdam, these races generally charge a 30-pound entry fee with corporate rates for 5-women teams. Certainly, there are disclaimers concerning injury...specific to the fact that the shoes worn must be at least 7 cm off the surface with a width of no more than 1.5 cm on the heel. Precarious to walk in and potentially ankle-crushing to run in, the shoes make me wince at the thought. Fortunately, the races are generally short: 45-200 meters through crowded cityscapes.
Lest you think the Dutch have been addled by lax drug laws for too long, the race has grown in popularity, and competitions can be found in faraway places like Moscow, Singapore, Australia, the Philippines, and Buffalo, New York. In a spirit of gender equity, the last two locales also have a male division (what woman has feet wide enough to accomodate a man-sized foot?) Can the major sport-shoe manufacturers be too far from introducing a special shoe for this event?
More dangerous than zombies and less tiresome than a marathon or a triathlon, this even is a shoe in for the most unusual running competition.


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