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Dirt and Distance Bites: Trail Running Clinic – Grand Slam of Trail Running – Trail Running Shoe Choices Expanding in 2011

Regional and national trail and ultra running news that caught my attention.

Trail Running Clinic in Austin – September 8 6:30 pm

The Hill Country Running Company is providing a free trail running clinic by local professional athlete, Andrea Fisher in Austin, Texas. The clinic will consist of both presentation and Q&A learning opportunities. Basic and more advanced topics will be presented benefiting 10 km to the 100 mile ultra nuts. Definitely appears to be something for everyone.

Check out the HCRC new page for more information.

TALON Athlete, Drew Meyer, Going After Grand Slam of Ultrarunning

In the Dallas Morning News article, is an inspiring note about Texas flatlander, Drew Meyer.

Ultramarathoner on track: Drew Meyer, 63, of Fort Worth completed the Leadville Trail 100-mile run Sunday in 28 hours, 59 minutes, 37.7 seconds, placing second in his age group. Meyer has completed three of the four 100-mile events for a Grand Slam of Ultrarunning. The final race is the Sept. 10 Wasatch Front 100 mile Endurance Run.

Some of you may want to know, what is the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning?

This BA accomplishment requires completion of the four oldest 100 mile trail runs in the United States – in the same year. The 100 mile list includes Western States 100 (June), Vermont 100 Endurance Run (July), Leadville 100 Trail Run (August), and Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run (September).

Do you noticed something? Bam, Bam, Bam, Bam – four months in a row!

A few trivia stats for this challenge:

  • 197 athletes have completed the adventure since 1986 (when this crazy idea started). A total of 226 finishes. Yes some have done it more than once!
  • Average finisher age: 45
  • Number of Grand Slams from TALON athletes: Texas -12, Arkansas – 8, New Mexico – 8, Oklahoma – 0, Louisiana – 0.

A huge amount of positive vibes sent out to Drew for the upcoming Wasatch 100. Go Drew!

You can check out a short Western States interview I did with Drew prior the Western States 100.

Wider Range of Trail Running Shoes Coming in 2011

The innovation in trail running shoes seems to be in hyper-drive these days and 2011 will offer even more choices to find what works for YOU! It was fun to read a recent Running Times article covering new trail running shoes at the Outdoor Retailer trade show in Utah.

Below are some of the new shoes coming down the pipe.

Less is More

There are a large number of trail running shoe companies coming out with more minimalistic/natural-running shoe options. Here are a few that I have noticed.


I recently noticed Montrail coming out with their minimal trail shoe (Spring 2011) – Rogue Racer (8.5 oz, 10 mm heel-to-toe drop).

(Photo: Courtesy of Montrail blog)

More Insight:

New Balance

The New Balance Minimus shoe with 4 mm heel-to-toe drop and under 8 ounces in weight.

Here is a cool video with New Balance trail running athlete, Anton Krupicka highlighting the new shoe line.

(If you can’t see the video, click here.)

More insight:


Merrell is coming out with the Trail Glove (Men’s) and Pace Glove (Women’s) minimal trail shoe.

More insight:


I already felt Inov-8 had a nice variety of more minimal shoes. Well the selection is expanding and includes a complete range of road shoes as well.

One such example.

Bare-Grip 200 – No mid-sole or stiffening which allows for significant flexibility and natural foot movement.

More insight:


Keen is delivering the A-86 (9 0z).

More is More

On the other side of the spectrum are shoes with much more cushioning than we have normally seen.

Hoka OneOne

The Hoka Mafate (11 oz) raved about by sponsored athlete, Karl Meltzer, has a definite unique look for a trail shoe. Although not new for 2011, it may be new to some of us.

These shoes have a sole that reminds me of the moon boots from my snow covered youth winters. Anyone else?

More insight:


Tecnica is coming out with a Hoka-like product called the Inferno Max (12.2 oz).

You can see a picture of the bright orange ones over all

With the huge growth of the sport, kind of cool to see the shoe industry stepping up their game as well.

Fun times are afoot (ha ha!) for both developers and runners.

Be active – Feel the buzz!

David –

About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

4 Responses to “Dirt and Distance Bites: Trail Running Clinic – Grand Slam of Trail Running – Trail Running Shoe Choices Expanding in 2011”

  1. on 03 Sep 2010 at 7:13 am Patton

    Light is right. What an exciting time in running shoes. Keep it us Dave.

  2. on 04 Sep 2010 at 7:26 pm David Hanenburg

    Thanks bro. No doubt, very interesting and exciting times.

  3. on 06 Sep 2010 at 12:07 pm Steve

    Am I the only one getting bored with the minimalist hype? Having previously owned a running shop and always believed “The best shoe is the one that works for you” this traditional shoes are the devil and less is more is getting out of hand. No questions some runners can get away with next to nothing, but the vast majority of runners need the support and protection offered by mainstream running shoes. We all don’t run on soft beds of Oregon pine needles. I recently moved to Texas and have discovered the challenges of cactus needles and jagged rock mine fields. Thankfully my Montrails and Brooks trail shoes keep my feet from turning into bloody stumps. I guarantee that in the coming years we are going to see a whole new era of running injuries because people jumped on the “Born to Run” band wagon. I don’t count on being one of the casualties.

  4. on 06 Sep 2010 at 2:55 pm David Hanenburg

    Hey Steve – Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    My thoughts on it:
    Yes, there is plenty of chatter about the minimalist shoe but that can really one bother you if you let it. I say this in a compassionate way. Nothing is being forced on you.

    I personally like to look at it as the increased number of options to find “the best shoe that works for you” (as you stated…and I did in my article). Since the more minimal shoe in the trail market is a fairly new option, it is not surprising that it is going to be talked about a bit more than the shoes that have existed in the market for multiple years.

    I don’t know exactly what every runner needs. I am still trying to figure out what works best for me. People get injured wearing beefier shoes, flats, and everything in between. Why someone gets injured is often more “gray” than “black and white”.

    I think excitement, inspiration, and innovation is a good thing – in any industry. Could the development in the minimalist shoe market improve the more support and protective shoes – possibly. If fact I am sure some of the development will roll to the other shoes in their product line.

    Yes, bloody stumps offer no special awards 🙂 …but you will see all types of footwear on the trails in Texas.

    Yes, there may be those that get injured and wear more minimal shoes…and there may be some that had always gotten injured with the more traditional shoe and now run injury free wearing less shoe. Whether that is completely due to shoe, may or may-not be the complete story.

    So it all comes back to finding what works for you…

    Disassociate with the label (“minimalist” or whatever) and you simply see the number of shoes options have gone up. That to me, seems like a good thing. 🙂

    Anyone else have thoughts to share on the subject?