Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Shoe Story

Tom Mertz from Urbondale IA will receive a pair Zoot Ultra Tempo+ 3.0. He's also getting a 2009 Zoot Kona Visor for inspiration. Dude is training indoors right now because he lives in Iowa. The Visor is there to remind him that it will get hot!

In May of last year the family and I were living in Germany. We drove down to Austria so I could race in the Ironman 70.3 St. Polten. We drove down a few days early so we could tour Vienna and the surrounding area. Everything was going just fine until I went out for a run in my planned race shoes and instantly noticed something wrong. Somehow I had crushed the heel counter and now that heel counter was exposed and rubbing a hole in my heel. I had a pair of "Training" shoes with me but it was not ideal for the kind of race I wanted. Here I was, an adidas footwear guy without shoes to really race in. Nice story right? So I get to the race sight the day before the race and plan to find a shoe to race in. The only thing I had to do that day was meet up with my buddy Brian from Zoot. He was in town to do the race and it had been a couple years since we had seen each other. By the time I meet up with Brian I'm desperate. No shoes yet and I'm settled to racing in my heavy training shoes. The first thing Brian does when we get together is pull a pair of the above shoes out of his bag and says "Look at what we've been up to". I slip them on and say "Can I give them a go". What's Brian going to say, "No". Of course he wants the adidas guy racing in a pair of Zoots. Lucky for me nobody is there who cares about this except Brian, me and my son. My son of course is laughing at me because I don't have 3 stripes on my feet.
Race day and my Zoot shoes are set up in transition. Other than a couple short runs I have no experience in the shoes. Zoot shoes have this BareFit thing going that says I should be able to go sockless so I decide to give it a try. Mind you I'm one of those people who has lived with messed up feet from triathlon for years. I figure it's part of the game. The race is great. If you get a chance, travel to Austria for this race. I get off the bike and I'm ready to run. It's hot, and there is no shade. My kind of run. I slip the Zoots on and start running. During the entire run I'm focused on running. Not once did I ever notice my feet. Not once, no hot spots, no tongue problems, nothing. I finish the race slip out of my shoes and nothing. Feet don't hurt. No blood anywhere. Sure I felt like I had run 21K but that's it. The feet are in great shape. Just ask my wife, that usually doesn't happen.

Fast forward 2 months, we're moving back to California and I need a job. I talk Zoot into hiring me and here I am telling this story. I couldn't make this up if I tried.

It's a good life...

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