Wednesday, 4 January 2012

The Emergence of 'SLOW'.

Three or four years ago came an idea which rocked the running shoe manufacturers to the core- the proposition that running in barefeet was good for you and running shoes actually bad for you. The gear manufacturers responded, lowering heel differentials,telling gullible consumers about the benefits of shoes which allowed you to run as if you had no shoes on. New advertising campaigns were designed, damage to profits minimised. The wind of change continues to blow. However this particular paradigm shift is one that threatens the profits of the watch makers, the race organisers and maybe the existence of competitive running per se............The emergence of 'Slow'.

Other outdoor activities seemed to get it from the start.

 The surfing scene in the 60;s and 70's,shunning competition and chasing beautiful waves and heavenly locations. They got it.

The Yosemite climbing scene at the same time. They got it.
Chongo, in between smoking weed, holding court at the corner table in the Lodge cafeteria, and discussing quantum theory, liked to climb the big walls. Slowly.
In 1970 Warren Harding and Dean Caldwell spent 29 days on the face of El Cap, putting up the route ' Wall of Early Morning Light.'
In 1981 Richard Jensen and Mark Smith spent 39 days on El cap to establish the route 'Wings of Steel.'
They got it.

Last year I gave thought to running the Spanish pilgrimage route, the Camino de Santiago. I talked to walkers, looked on the Camino forum and the response was the same, 'Why run it?' Instead of taking 10 days of slog and toil, why not take 30 and enjoy it? They got it.

And times are a changing in my particular love,running. The move towards slowness is quickening. Times are becoming irrelevant. Racing a waste of time. News has reached me of two 'slow' challenges guaranteed to prick up a few years. Two iconic routes under attack by the non fleet of foot.
 The first is in the peak district, and will be carried out by a friend of mine,and vanguard of  'The East Lincs Slow Movement.' The fifteen trigs is a well known fell challenge devised by our friends from the Dark Peak. The Fifteen Trigs in Fifteen Days is a test of stamina and courage. Will our friend make it from one trig to the next in one day? Only time will tell.

Tortoise. He got it.

The Endless Summer Gang. They got it.

Chongo on the slackline. He got it.

Enough wine for 29 days?

The Wings of Steel Boys.

The second challenge is a biggy. Some say impossible. The 42 day Bob Graham round. Peak out/ camp, peak out/camp, peak out/camp....42 times. One thing for sure- if its successful, and that's a slim if, the public will definitely notice the emergence of  'SLOW.'

Don't forget: ENJOY
                   THINK BIG
                    ...................THINK SLOW!


Natasha Acres said...

I'm a relative newbie to running. I started a year ago as a way to get fit for rowing. I've ended up doing a half marathon and am now training for the London marathon. What amazed me was the number of people including none runners who wanted to know 'my time'... "What's your pace? What time do you want to do it in?". They're missing the point to me, the miracle isn't in what time you did something in - I'm not racing Paula Radcliffe after all! No, the miracle for me is I put one foot in front of the other and I stack up miles! I get out there and I taste the early morning air, I see the nature around me and if I'm overtaken by a 77yr old on a zimmer then good on them! I'm moving under my own steam and that's the joy of it.

I'm all for slow. As Ghandi said "there's more to life than increasing its speed".

Dennis Rainbow said...


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