Outdoor Gear Exchange Fun Run: a Vibram Demo, but pavement still sucks

by nomeatbarefeet

Last week Katie and I attended a Vibram demo at Outdoor Gear Exchange (OGE) in Burlington. OGE is a pretty cool local store that specializes in everything “outdoor” (read: hiking, skiing, running, kayaking, etc.). Twice a month they have trail “fun runs” that, depending on the level of the runners, can be short 1 mile runs or longer more techinical ones. They also have sponsors come and demo shoes and other products.

We showed up and began chatting up the Vibram rep. Turns out he was pretty impressed that we both were wearing the laceless Spyridons, which had only been released a week earlier. (We got ours a month ago from REI, which had them before anyone else!) He had samples of a bunch of different Vibrams, and a few people who were going to run decided to do so in a pair of Spyridon LS. [We even got to see two pairs of super, top secret Vibrams that won’t be released until 2013. Hint: its all about water and watersports.]

After getting fitted out, taking pictures, and chatting it up about all things Vibram we headed off for a run. The rep even gave Katie and I each a Suunto to try on the run in tandem with a pod attached to our velcro (we could check our pace, distance, and cadence—pretty cool). We really didn’t know where or how far the trails were from OGE (which is located downtown: not really surrounded by deep nature), but a few of the other runners set off at a brisk pace through the streets of Burlington. [By brisk I mean fast: our demo watches said we were running a sub-7:30 pace, which was way too fast for us, especially on pavement.] Turns out there was a short trail about a mile away that dumped us onto the Burlington Bike path on Lake Champlain. We then followed the bike path down to the beach, ran on the sand for a bit (sand is Vibrams is almost as bad as sand in shorts), and then took a single-track trail that ended at an cliff overlooking the lake.

All in the all the run was around 5.5 miles total, which is relatively short. And yet…perhaps it was the heat; perhaps it was what we ate for lunch; more likely it was the fact that we ran on pavement at a really, really fast pace…but we both felt awful after the run. Our knees, ankles, and hips hurt. Our stomachs were aching and grumply. To ease the discomfort we got pizza from Leonardo’s and a couple beers. The run simply confirmed what we already knew about ourselves:

Trails = yeah! Roads = boo!

Oh yeah, plus got more awesome shwag. We each got a new Vibram shirt, stickers, key chains, a water bottle, and a pair of Darn Tough socks! It was a fun time, but we could do without the pavement next time. Maybe the rep will see this and hook me up with a job, seeing as how we LOVE Vibram so much (wink wink).

I want to end by saying thank you to Outdoor Gear Exchange, especially Will, who hooked us up with some awesome stuff. If you are ever in Burlington check them out on Church Street. Also, Jonathan from Vibram was great as well; he gave us a great time running and chatting about Vibrams! Thanks guys!