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WoBtoberfest 5k 2014 - Race Report

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  • Thursday, October 02 2014 @ 11:57 PM UTC
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Gainesville Running Tabs and World of Beer (Tioga) put on a nice little 5k for the Octoberfest season called WoBtoberfest.

Good times!


Pictured are Dan Clark, Dan Stoner, and John Davis. Photo by Colleen Anderson.

I was not able to catch Lederhosen Man Dan Clark in the final sprint:


Photo by Julie Taylor.

I felt pretty good and was able to finish strong for a 2nd place finish. The photo above shows that my form still has some tweaking opportunities. I have not yet been able to completely solve that trailing leg dipping inward.

Here is the Video of the finish:

 
Race schwag included free beer and a really nice Swamp Head Brewery pint glass (pictured below):

Vibram FiveFingers Settlement

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  • Tuesday, August 19 2014 @ 12:21 AM UTC
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The court documents, online claim form, and additional information are avaiable on the official settlement website:

https://www.fivefingerssettlement.com/

It seems that a number of Vibram FiveFinger shoe fans have such strong opinions on class action lawsuits and the American legal system in general that they want nothing to do with this case. I am not a lawyer (don't construe anything I say for real legal advice) but I did read the court documents and I think that people are missing an opportunity here.

 
A quick summary of the suit begins with the fact that Vibram denies all wrongdoing.
 
 
Vibram will pay a one-time settlement of $3.75 million USD which buys them a quick resolution and freedom from getting sued on this issue ever again. I will come back to that point later. The lawyers get paid a fixed amount regardless of the number of claims filed. The only variable in the case is how much unclaimed money gets donated to the named charity, the American Heart Association (AHA).
 

And as stated elsewhere in the documents:

"Unless you exclude yourself from the Class, if the settlement is approved all of the Court's orders will apply to you and you will not be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against Vibram about the claims in this lawsuit, ever again, regardless of whether you submit a Claim Form."

The date for filing an Exclusion is already passed, so if you bought VFF during the specifiied timeframe and have done nothing to be excluded, you are part of the Class. The only real choice left is whether or not to file a claim.
 
If you continue to do nothing then your share of the settlement will go to the American Heart Association. The AHA continues to support Canola Oil as a "Heart Healthy" food which I know a lot of my Paleo friends are not happy about.

If you wish your donation could go to a different charity, or if you believe that Vibram FiveFingers are good products and do encourage stronger feet, you still have an opportunity to file a claim. It is very easy to file an online claim and no proof of purchase is necessary for 1 or 2 pairs of shoes. You have until Sept. 24, 2014 to file a claim (see the link near the top of this blog post).

There are articles flying around the web with titles such as "FiveFingers Maker Will Pay Millions To Suckers Who Bought Its Shoes".

There are also articles that provide other opinions such as "Vibram Suit: Poor Judgement" and "Was Footwear Justice Served When Vibram Recently Settled Its $3.75 Million Class Action Lawsuit?" and "The Vibram lawsuit, barefoot running and science perspectives".

One of the specific claims in the suit says:

"Vibram will not make or assist others in making any claims that the FiveFingers footwear or products similar to the FiveFingers footwear are effective in strengthening muscles or preventing injury unless that representation is true, non-misleading and is supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence;"

In fact just last year a study demonstrated that "barefoot shoes" such as VFF do strengthen foot muscles.

That study, The effect of minimal shoes on arch structure and intrinsic foot muscle strength, makes that very conclusion:

"These results suggest that endurance running in minimal support footwear with 4 mm offset or less makes greater use of the spring-like function of the longitudinal arch, thus leading to greater demands on the intrinsic muscles that support the arch, thereby strengthening the foot."

Maybe Vibram will get to re-use those marketing materials after all.

There are folks who disagree, but my own feeling is that the best way to show support of Vibram and their products is to file a claim, get the settlement payment, and then go buy another pair of FiveFinger shoes. Wouldn't it be interesting if Vibram's sales numbers showed a marked increase immediately following the conclusion of the suit?

As much as I believe that Vibram would have actually won the suit had it gone to trial, I can see how they would jump at the opportunity to make this lawsuit (and all lawsuits like it) go away forever.

While reading through the court documents I found myself impressed by the amazing legal verbiage used to describe the "you cannot sue them ever" condition. Vibram seems to have coverered their butts rather well. Below is the full legal blurb in all its glory:

Trail Running the Cataloochee in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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  • Wednesday, July 09 2014 @ 06:41 PM UTC
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I recently had a chance to do some trail running in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. After checking the maps near our rental cabin, the nearest trail I could find was the Cataloochee Divide Trail. I was able to get to the trailhead after about a 20 minute drive.

One word of warning... there isn't much parking at the trailhead at Cove Creek Gap on Cove Creek Road. I have read other hiking reports on the web that suggest parking at the Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center at Purchase Gap or at The Swag Country Inn (SWAG), but I recommend reading those reports for all of the caveats.

Parking and restroom facilities are available in the Cataloochee Valley itself and there are many connecting and loop trails that lead back up to the ridge trails.



I ran from the trailhead at Cove Creek Gap to the McKee Branch Trail and back again, which according to the trail signs was 4.6 miles each way.

Although tree growth obstructs much of the view of the surrounding mountains, there are a few places that offer spectacular views:



The trail was very runnable and much of it looked like this:

Melon Run 2014

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  • Friday, July 04 2014 @ 09:47 PM UTC
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The Melon Run on the 4th of July is a Gainesville tradition.

My finish time for this 3 miler (not a 5k!) was 17:46 and I was able to win my age group and bring home a nice watermelon as an award.



The Superman shirt is from the Under Armour Alter Ego collection. I raced in my blue Inov-8 Bare-X Lite 150 shoes.



Race results are posted here:

http://georesults.racemine.com/Start-...un/results

Gainesville Free Track Meet Series - Summer 2014

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  • Saturday, June 28 2014 @ 03:34 PM UTC
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Update 7/2/2014: The information below has been up dated with the latest info provided and includes minor schedule changes for the July 3 meet

The Gainesville, Florida track community is offering a series of Free Summer Track Meets at Fred Cone Park. I have attended the first two meets. It has been a lot of fun with plenty of different ages and performance levels. It is great seeing the kids out there. The electronic timing is appreciated. Thank you Gaine sville and everyone involved who have put in the hard work to make this event happen.

Come on out and have fun under the lights!

When: Thursday nights on June 5th, June 19th, July 3rd, and July 17th

Location: Fred Cone Park - East Unive rsity Ave, Gainesville, FL 32641 (Google Map)

The MS Word document provided by Coach Larry Holsey for the July 3 m eet is available here: https://db.tt/lAoKjhRF

I have reproduced the content and schedule below for convenience (as in, I'm not official, I am just sharing the info rmation I have been given)...

About:

  • No registration required, just show up at the starting line and run.
  • Electronic Timing by Half Mile Timing.
  • Participation Ribbons given to kids at the end of meet
  • Concession Available

The meet follows a rolling schedule (one event immediately after the other) with the following event start time estimates:

Running Events
6:40pm200 meter hurdles All Ages
6:45pm50 metersAll Ages
7:00pm 800 meters All Ages
7:10pm 40 Yard Dash All Ages
7:30pm 300 meters All Ages
7:45pm Community Walk 10-minute community walk
8:00pm 4x100m Fun Relays Parents / Coaches / Kids / All Ages
8:20pm 1500 meters 8 and up
8:30pm 100 meters All Ages Competition - Bring it on
8:50pm 200 meters All Ages
9:00pm 3000 meters All Ages
Field Events
6:30pm Long Jump 8 and Up (Two Jumps)
6:30pm Shot Put All Ages (Bring your own implement)

For More Information and Sponsorship Help:

Larry Holsey, 352-281-2630
The Gainesville Striders Track Club
http://gainesvillestriders.org

or

V12 Athletic
Daniel Medley

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