The Inaugural Asheville Marathon at the Biltmore - in Luna Sandals (Venado/original)

The Inaugural Asheville Marathon at the Biltmore - in Luna Sandals (Venado/original)

You're out on a run. Your nose is getting stuffy, so you lean to the side for a quick farmer's blow. It's cold out, but you didn't realize how cold until you go to wipe your nose with the back of your glove to clear off any additional moisture -- only to find that it's already frozen around the edge of your nostril in mere seconds.

Welcome to the inaugural Asheville Marathon, held on the grounds of the beautiful Biltmore estate. "Well," I thought dramatically at around mile 20, "At least I'll die somewhere majestic."

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The Bahrain Relay Marathon in Vibram Five Fingers Speeds

Rusty in his Speeds
Rusty running in the Bahrain Marathon Relay in his Vibram Five Fingers Speeds.

Rusty was lucky enough to score some Vibram Five Fingers Speeds while in Germany. He is now in Bahrain and sent us this story:

On October 29th, 2010 our team of 16 from ISA Fire Dept ran in the Bahrain Relay Marathon. I'm deployed to Bahrain. Our team got 32nd out 164 teams. Our team was made up of 16 Firefighters at ISA Air Base. The Speeds did awesome. I love them. I've been using them for the last 5 months here at my deployment everyday for running and working out. Pretty much everywhere I go when people see them they want to know what they are and how I like them. And to tell you the truth, I love them so much because they are the Europe edition and no one has them and they draw a lot of attention due to the fact they have laces! I feel so lucky to have been stationed in Germany at the time they came out. And when I get back to Germany, I will buy another pair of them if I can get a hold of them.

Thanks for the story Rusty! Now if we can just convince Vibram to sell Speeds in the U.S.

New Balance MT101 Review

New Balance MT101 Review

An uptight yuppie of the 1980s, I always envied the laid back hippie lifestyle, but the closest I ever got to living it was an occasional trip to Whole Foods. Lately though, bored with running through the concrete jungle, I heard the call of nature and got into trail running. I first started trail running in the Five Finger Trek Sports but the material on my Five Fingers Trek Sports ripped along the toe, I decided to return them for a refund and search out other options. My inner hippie was an easy target for the New Balance MT101 trail shoe, designed with the help of ultra marathoner Anton Krupicka. So, I ordered a pair.

The MT101 is an updated version of the popular MT100. All of the changes were made to the upper and involve updated styling and function. Justin looked at my pics and said they reminded him of a bug. Well, what is more natural than bugs? The styling changes hit the sweet spot for me and I really enjoy wearing them casually. While the comfortable green mesh upper is at home on desert and mountain trails, its styling would also be welcome at any sit-in, vegan pot luck dinner, or Greatful Dead concert. Though not seen while wearing the MT101, I really dig the paisley pattern on the insole.

But what kind of trail shoe is it? And why is a shoe like this up for consideration in the minimalist running community? Find out after the jump.

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Dentists, Harleys and Vibram Five Fingers

Joy at the Hi-Tec Dental Rally.
Joy at the Hi-Tec Dental Rally.

Joy wore her Vibram Five Fingers to a rather unique Dental Convention and sent us her story:

Recently, our dental laboratory, Dental South, traveled to Knoxville, TN for the 3rd annual Hi-Tec Dental Rally that takes place at Smokey Mountain Harley Davidson. This story is a bit different than your normal VFF story considering I was surrounded by mostly bikers, I was able to walk around both in my Classics and my Bikilas with no problems - all of my fellow bikers thought they were the coolest things they had ever seen! I went to concerts, and trekked all across the 8 acre Harley Davidson shop with lots of stares and inquiries, then hopped on for a ride! Several folks were eager to try them before we packed up and came home... and it was great being known as "the girl with the toe shoes"!

Thanks, Joy! Cool conference. We can always hope for steel toed Five Fingers!

Backpacking with Vibram Five Fingers Flow Treks

Richard Relaxing
Richard Relaxing

Guest post by Richard Mandelbaum

I recently used my Vibram Five Fingers for an overnight backpacking trip and thought I would write up a little review of my experience for those of you who might be considering using your VFFs that way. There have been several hiking reviews recently on this site, all of which I read and appreciate, and hope to add to that with some detail of what worked for me, some limitations, and some of my thoughts.

Read Richard's review after the jump!

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Transatlantic Cruising Five Fingers Style

Bill jogging
Bill jogging on the Promenade deck.

Bill decided to get a little marathon training in wearing his Vibram Five Fingers KSOs while cruising the Atlantic. Here's what he shared with us:

I thought I would share some pictures my wife took of me in my KSOs on our cruise on the Norwegian Sun from Dover, England to Port Canaveral, Florida from 10/4 -10/16/2010. The pictures were taken on 10/9, which would have been near the Canary Islands. I am a 69 year old runner from Folsom, California training for this year's California International Marathon. I bought my KSOs about three months ago and more recently got a pair of Bikilas. I am gradually increasing my mileage up to five miles, but I still do my long runs in Nike Free 5.0 and Free Run Plus. The pictures were taken on the Promenade Deck, which wraps around the ship and has designated walking and jogging lanes. Over the years I have gradually transitioned from Nike Air Pegasus (which are really strange now) to lighter shoes with less support, Nike Free and now Five Fingers. The biggest change for me is fewer niggling injuries. Two years ago, an MRI showed I had a torn meniscus cartilage on my left knee and I was scheduled for surgery. By the time of the surgery, I felt my knee had healed and cancelled. The problem reoccurred a year ago and once again I cancelled surgery the day before. Best decision I ever made and I have been injury free and able to step up to marathon training for the past 6 months. I believe it all has to do with going to less supportive shoes, more upper leg and calf strength training, and my Yoga practice. Perhaps, next year I will be running my first marathon in the 70 - 75 age group in Five Fingers.

Bill

Thanks for sharing your story Bill! Good luck on staying injury free. Hopefully, the minimal running shoes will help.

Philippines Vibram Five Fingers Fan Club

Philippines Vibram Five Fingers Fan Club
Philippines Vibram Five Fingers Fan Club

JB, from the Minila, sent us an update on the Philippines Five Fingers running club that has grown quickly over the last year as Vibrams have become more readily available there. Here is what he shared with us:

Hi I'm JB! I'm from Manila, Philippines. I've been following this site ever since I started using Vibram Five Fingers last year. I have about 6 pairs now. I just bought the Sport Treks and I'm eagerly waiting for the 2011 VFFs to arrive!

I wrote so I could share the local Vibram Five Fingers scene here in my country. Last September 5, some 30+ VFFers from here came together at one of the favorite running spots in the city to have a get-together morning run and to mingle and share experiences and stories about our VFFs. Just last year Five Fingers were a very rare thing around here, with one or two other people I found having them; and we had to buy them over there in the US. Early this year as we found one another, we started runs together. Last April 2010 there were only 3 of us on our first run, the second one in July we were about 10 runners, and this September there were more than 30 of us! A local store that carries Vibram Five Fingers opened this year which helped tremendously to spread the word on the shoes. :) With our growth in numbers, it's pretty evident that a lot of people are learning about the benefits of running in Five Fingers, or even just wearing them casually.

A shout out from Pinoy VFFers! We'll chime back soon :)

Thanks, JB, that is a cool pic! Please keep us up to date on the group.