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May 19, 2011


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Don't feed the trolls


Alan and Tyler,

What I said can be summarized in the following quotes from the piece:

You need to responsibly select your gear based on your needs and abilities, not on some hyped 'really cool' trend.
...the new minimalist mentality seems to rely very heavily on others to fulfill unrecognized need. Cool minimalism is often a burden on the responsible who recognize need and safety and plan accordingly. 

Paul (Hopwood) (who often chooses minimalist gear) knows his limits, just as I know mine, but he has come upon these after many long hard ultra length runs. (For the very uninformed, Paul Hopwood is the undisputed best Ultra Runner in Hawaii.)

If you are going to practice minimalism without first doing a lot of long hard learning then please, at a minimum, do it at a maximum distance from those who are truly devoted to the activity of ultra running in Hawaii.

I stick by what I said. Neither of you did anything more than whine and complain that I was not nice. I'm not. I did not write the piece to accumulate a lot of feel good 'likes' and 'thumbs ups', nor do I particularly care what people who are obviously not ultra runners feel about the hard truths of personal responsibility when distance running. If you can not read and understand, it is likely you can not run and learn. You are both likely serious dangers to those you run with.

Finally, your assertion that I appear angry is a revelation of absolutely no consequence as it provides no new information to the regular readers of this site.


A heck of a tirade against ?? You had an bad experience with one pair of shoes and now you opine against something you won't even try ?? And you greatly admire one very admirable runner ?? What a waste of space that could have been filled with something coherent and intelligent.


Your article seems especially angry and I'm not really sure why. Anything you are saying about minimalism running (the "braking [sic] 'research', slick ads, a plethora of magazine articles by running pimps and whores, and really neat looking 'gear'") could be said of ultra running, and in running in general.

I agree that some people may be jumping on the bandwagon when they are not ready but I hardly think an angry op-ed about minimalism in general is the proper response. Sounds like you had a bad experience with a shoe you usually buy and that you were annoyed because someone on 'your' trail needed supplies? Or bailed out? Or something.

Really, I don't understand the vitriol and I would be more inclined to listen to what you had to say if you weren't just angry and accusing. In fact, all your 'I' statements involve how you were victim to a big bad company and all your 'You' statements just insult the reader.

And to try and draw a parallel to Women's Right's is misleading at best and just silly in general. Everyone knows capitalists will try to capitalize on anything so don't try and make Women's Right and Ultra Running share some sacred ground, because they don't and all you are trying to do is pull in sympathy with your analogy.


I agree wholeheartedly with your comments. Minimalist shoes can serve a specific purpose for those with excellent biomechanics that have adapted to using them, but can be dangerous especially when training with higher mileage.

Case in point- while marathon training I tried out a pair of VFF last summer and they felt great on a few trail runs, but I must have overdone the miles in them and wound up with a stress fracture in my foot.

I should have known better than going too far to quickly, but it was only the fourth time using them the fracture occurred. And aside from a slight numbness there is very little notice that the damage is happening.

rick otani

Great read and thanks for sharing it all. You could add the category of "Please just let me finish in one piece and upright."


Thanks to you and gordon for the resupply all this time. We should hump
in our own supplies and this should be only for emergency.


This article reminded me: We can no longer drive up and drop water at Peacocks due to the heightened security levels on military bases. The water is for emergency use only! I've brought hundreds of gallons of water up there, and have used probably about 2 gallons in the last 2 years. Please plan accordingly!

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