There’s nothing new about running a race in high heels. These are almost always short sprints so that the charitable causes involved aren’t marred by the sight of hordes of injured runners. But one woman is going one tottering step beyond.
Natalie Eckert, pictured here in her racing gear, will be running the London Marathon in pink high heels. She plans not only to complete the race, but beat the world record, which is apparently seven hours. Natalie is shooting for a sub-5.
You might think this would be an extraordinary achievement for any woman, but for Natalie the marathon is a step-down race. In February she ran 51.4 miles in just over 19 hours in heels. On a treadmill.
“My feet were bleeding and blistered after 2 hours where I had wrapped my feet incorrectly but I pushed through,” she said.
I will not be publishing photos of the post-race pedicure.
Running in high heels has hit the media big time. Oh, it has been featured in Running Is Funny – actually, many times before. And it’s getting mentioned in Runner’s World, too. And don’t forget the Australian women who set the world record for the fastest relay in stiletto heels. They made the global wire services and Sportscenter.
But in Grand Junction, Colorado, the law enforcement community took the opportunity to get a bunch of guys in high heels and let them race. The “Run In Her Shoes” raised money for Latimer House, a charity for victims of domestic abuse.
I’ve blogged about stiletto and high heel races before, but the National Stiletto Championship in Paris is the first time I’ve heard of regional rounds, three-runner team relays, and turns (!).
The Boston Marathon. The Peachtree Road Race. The Fifth Avenue Mile. And now, the Glamour Stiletto Run.
Laugh if you will, but the next time you find yourself complaining about blisters, black toenails and bunions after a training run, think of how you would feel after running that same distance in high heels.
That’s just what 150 women did in Amsterdam in the latest incarnation of the Glamour Stiletto Run. The race covers 350 meters in the heart of Amsterdam’s upscale shopping district, with a nasty 90-degree turn early on. The winner receives a 10,000 euro shopping spree. The catch is that you have to wear heels of 3-4 inches. No platforms, pumps, espadrilles and, especially, no running shoes.
Stiletto races are becoming all the rage in Europe, with races of varying lengths in Denmark, Poland, Russia and Germany. This British TV report will give you a good view of the proceedings, but this Dutch report includes the pre-race expo and post-race shopping.
It doesn’t appear the idea has caught on too well on this side of the ocean. A stiletto run in Mexico City limited participants to “women by nature” and was met with protests. Last year’s Amsterdam run spawned a heated exchange on (where else?) Manolo’s Shoe Blog.
But we prefer to avoid the social and cultural implications of a high-heeled race and focus our investigatory powers on a different question: ringers!
Tamara Ruben, the winner of the Amsterdam stiletto race, is an international-class athlete in the 400 meter high hurdles, finishing fifth in the SPAR European Cup.
It’s a short hop from high hurdles to high heels. If the amateur nature of stiletto runs isn’t protected, we can expect other European nations to field ringers. The Ukrainian contingent would be particularly formidable.