Chase Chen's latest oil painting (large) is of me pulling my daughter Ona in a pony cart (Sulky) over in Hansen Dam in Shadow Hills. I modified this cart adding the rattan seat and used it to train a lot last year, preparing for a self-assisted Badwater attempt that was not meant to be.
I am moving back to Shadow Hills to be closer to my daughter. More reports to follow.
Titled: Reading (she is reading A Series of Unfortunate Events)
We are a very lucky family. Our good friend Chase Chen whom we have known since he practically got off the boat from China has become our family's personal artist who just happens to paint masterpieces. Such is life.
Many people have told me that Leadville indeed may be barefootable, i.e. doable by one conditioned and well practiced in the art of barefoot trail running.
One question I hoped to answer during my trip to Leadville this year was whether or not one could finish the course unassisted by footwear within the 30 hour cuttoff.
This question remains open.
While crewing and preparing to pace Caballo, I got a good overall picture of the course, but not much of the trails.
While pacing for Mas Loco member Cabro (Chris Labbe), I wore my FiveFingers Sprints.
Why not barefoot?
Well, it was not my place to experiment on a rocky portion of the course during the last 15 miles of a race at 3am in the morning in the dark on an unfamiliar trail with a runner who is close to breaking 25 hours.
The FiveFinger Sprints performed quite well in this section of the trail that I ran. It would have been much trickier to handle this territory at night barefoot during the last 14 miles of a 100 mile race..., but POSSIBLE in my estimation.
Polar Bear Swim 2007: Part 1 Location: Hansen Dam Swim Lake
We woke up at 7:30am. The swim began at 8am, so we had to move it in order to get there on time. Sun was out, but it was quite windy. This year I stayed in the shallower side of the pool and ran and porpoised my way to the finish.
Very happy to see many regulars at the pool, including the famous Ernie, a.k.a., Headwig. He has participated every year the Polar Bear swim has been held at Hansen Dam.
Swimming in cold water is extremely exhilarating. I think it must get the endorphins pumping vigorously. I did not feel cold on exiting the water, and this year there was a really nice fire pit and big fire burning at the finish. Very nice.
I hope to do it again next year. We are off to Cabrillo Beach to participate in the Polar Bear Swim there.
Polar Bear Swim 2007: Part 2 Location: Cabrillo Beach, San Pedro, CA
I am pretty sure I am the only person in all of LosAngeles who participated in both City sponsored Polar Bear Events, one at Hansen Dam and the other at Cabrillo Beach.
It just so happens that we live within walking distance of Hansen Dam and my mother within walking distance of Cabrillo. So, it has become a family tradition to swim in both locations on New Year's Day.
Cabrillo was fantastic. Water was quite warm, around 58 degrees. I was among the hearty souls who swam out to the buoy and back, about 1/2 mile.
My mom made some terrific stew that I had as soon as I got out of the water. I also had a nice glass of Port. Come and join us next year.
Before the swim
After the swim.
Barefoot Ted's Adventures
PS. You can read about last year's swim here. Ona made the Daily News last year, and apparently, we made it again this year.
Some runners did not participate, because they thought that their endorsement contracts did not allow them to be in a Nike sponsored film, even though it was not a ad. I thought that was strange, but more room for us hams to yap.
After the group interview, they also interviewd me about ultra running (which I am new at). They decided to use the backdrop of my infamous 1966 VW Beetle. I proudly wore my Clif Bar visor and my Vibram FiveFingers jersey, shoes and shorts.
Any inspiration I can give, I will give. Hopefully it is not all hot air!
CONCORD MASS-BASED VIBRAM®
TO SPONSOR BAREFOOT TED IN BOSTON MARATHON
Long Distance Runner Will Compete Almost Barefoot in
WHAT: Vibram®, the worldwide leader in high performance footwear soles based in Concord, Mass., will sponsor Ted McDonald, a.k.a. Barefoot Ted, a six-time barefoot marathoner to compete in Boston. Ted will wear Vibram® FiveFingers, a unique glove-styled shoe that offer all the health benefits of going barefoot with the gecko-like grip and the protection of a Vibram® sole.
FiveFingers was originally developed by Marco Bramani grandson of Vibram Founder Vitale Bramani. Bramani loved the balance and control of sailing barefoot but wanted better slip resistance and toe protection from dangerous rigging.
Although this product is intended for sailing, sea kayaking, and related sports, the concept is gaining traction with barefoot runners, walkers and recreational sports enthusiasts. FiveFingers stretches and strengthens muscles in the feet and lower legs, improving balance, agility, strength and speed.
WHY: For Vibram®, this is an opportunity to showcase their innovative FiveFingers while illustrating the many health benefits of going almost barefoot. For Barefoot Ted, an avid proponent of barefoot running, FiveFingers gives him the freedom and sensation of running barefoot, with the protection of a Vibram sole.
WHEN: Monday, April 17, 12:00 p.m.
WHERE: Hopkinton, Mass. to Back Bay, Boston, Mass.
CONTACTS: For more information or interviews, contact Anne Tommasi, Tommasi PR 603.893.5878, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ona and I met with Paul Campbell today. He introduced us to a huge variety of native sandals made from agave, yucca and other materials. He has a fantastic collection that can be seen in his book "Survival Skills of Native California".
Proud results. Ona holds today's prize
Paul took us up into the local mountains. We found an excellent spot to test manufacture some yucca sandals.
Where we turned off the trail
Start the toe
Finished, dried sandal
Although I have not had a chance to test the sandals (we only made one today), I know that this are going to work. They are very similar to Japanese waraji. They are lightweight and fairly easy to manufacture (especially if you were making a pair a week). The also are like waraji and AEI Shoes: they flex forward and back, but not side-to-side, which may help prevent punctures.
All in all, we had a great time and very much look forward to learning more from Paul in the future.
One of the highlights of the meeting was getting a chance to eat some dried yucca that was over 3 years old. It was delicious.
Barefoot Ted's Adventures
817 5TH AVE N
Seattle, Washington 98109
Barefoot Ted from "Born to Run" is an independent athlete committed to re-discovering primal human capacities and encouraging others to do the same. (bio)(contact)