A lot of our customers wear Primal 2s for physical activity or working out, and sometimes we even hear of them wearing the Boulder Boots. But this one threw us for a loop, Jared Campanella ran an entire full trail MARATHON in his Nine2Fives!
A few weeks ago, I got an email from a girl named Cassy telling me about her and her boyfriend, Jared’s, experience at a trail marathon they had attended the weekend prior. Let me tell you, we get so many great stories emailed in from our customers, but this definitely has to be at the top of the list.
“On October 9th, 2016, I ran Mystery Mountain Marathon and it didn’t quite go how I had expected it to. My girlfriend Cassy and I left our apartment at 4:30AM so we could make the nearly 2 hour drive to Fort Mountain State Park by 6:30AM for race day registration. We made it on time, registered, and decided to rest in our car until the race start which was still about an hour out. When we got up to finally start getting ready, it hit me – I realized I left my running shoes at home, a worst case scenario for any runner. So many runners were willing to offer up their shoes, including one man who was volunteering and wanted to give me the shoes off of his feet! One of the many reasons why I love the Georgia trail running community so much. But of course as fate would have it, nobody wore size 12 shoes! All I had in my car was a pair of track spikes and pair of Lems, brown leather dress shoes, aka the Nine2Five.
Needless to say, I ended up throwing on the Lems and running 26.2 miles in my dress shoes that I would typically wear while working at Tyson Foods. I got a lot of funny looks and laughs at the start line, but many people knew the predicament that I was in. Once start time arrived and I hit the trails, I quickly discovered that the course was absolutely brutal, but beautiful at the same time. The terrain was VERY technical, the elevation gain and loss was pretty extreme at times and the views were incredible as well, which eased the strenuous nature of the course.
For nearly every vertical incline that I had to power hike, there was an equally gnarly, steep decline that I was able to blaze down the other side. I was worried about traction as well as ground feel in my Nine2Fives due to the fact that I had only walked around on pavement at work prior to the race.
As steep and rocky as the trails were, I can honestly say that I didn’t slip, trip, slide or fall a single time. The ground feel was also like unlike anything I had ever felt before. I could feel every little root, rock and acorn under my feet as I ran which made me much more conscious and aware of my surroundings, as well as my foot placement. This made my experience out on the trails that much more enjoyable as I’ve always been an advocate for more natural/minimal footwear. I also can’t forget to mention how wide and comfortable the toebox is. I was worried about what condition my feet would be in once I finished the race but I was surprised to find that I didn’t have a single blister or hot spot on either of my feet, which I was super excited about! There were so many volunteers and runners who were checking on me when they saw me out on the course, asking all kinds of questions since they were concerned (or just thought I was kind of crazy for running in my leather dress shoes)…
I managed to finish the race in about 4 hours 56 minutes landing me in 11th place overall and 10th for the men. Yes, my feet, achilles, calves, and quads were pretty dang sore but I think that’s to be expected after running 26.2 miles over such brutal terrain. I loved wearing my Lems to work, but unfortunately, I think they’re a bit scratched up and dirty after hitting the trails pretty hard, so I don’t think I’ll be wearing them to work anymore.
One thing is for sure, I don’t think I’ll be taking them out of my car any time soon! If they’re comfortable enough to wear running in a brutal trail marathon, I think they’e comfortable enough to wear wherever you work, so check them out! I’m willing to bet that it would be pretty tough to find a more comfortable and stylish shoe than the Nine2Fives.”
– JARED CAMPANELLLA