Having waited in countless starting corals before races, I've seen every variation of running gear imaginable. I've seen women (and men) wearing running shorts that were essentially spandex panties. I've seen tank tops, tube tops and no tops at all (on men, not women as that would be inappropriate). I've seen those stupid water-bottle belts with clear liquid, blue liquid and red liquid. But there is one thing that, oddly enough, I don't recall having ever seen before. Black running sneakers.
While sneakers generally, and running ones specifically, come in pretty much every color imaginable with some even containing five or six colors themselves, for some reason, the black running sneaker has never been the preferred color for any runner. While it's conceivable that some runners might believe that black running sneakers may attract more sun and thereby cause their bodies to heat up unnecessarily, then I have to wonder why I still see so many runners wearing black shirts or shorts for a race. Maybe many runners feel that black shoes don't look as good as white running sneakers (the preferred color to a majority of runners based on my observations. But that couldn't be the reason either since I have seen some some runners wear Gumbi outfits for certain races. The possible reasons for the lack of black running sneakers are endless and no matter what the reason is, the fact still remains: black running shoes are seldom worn for running.
Until now. Next time there is a race in New York City, take a look at your fellow runners' running shoes and try and spot that one pair of black sneakers. When you spot them, look up at that runner and you will be able to feast your eyes on....Mr. Petes!
Having been a devotee of all running shoes with the Adidas trademark on them, I have been using the Ozweego 365 Running Shoes for the last eight months and have loved them. They have an excellent amount of cushioning, great arch support for those of us with an arch resembling that of the famous golden arches of McDonalds and are made with an almost mesh-like material that allows for an abundance of ventilation. Unfortunately, whether specific to me or a general malfunction, the Ozweego's material begins to tear after about four months and forces those of us who won't try an alternative, more durable sneaker, to continually purchase new pairs every so often. And, as it so happened this last time around, when I went to purchase my third pair of Ozweegos, Adidas had sold out of the white-colored version and I was thus forced to purchase the darker blank-on-blue versions. Hesitant to wear these foreign looking sneakers, I thought about my then-current white pair which had become more sandal than sneaker and, seeing no alternative, gave the man my credit card as the beginnings of a tear began to form at my eyes.
Two weeks after purchasing my new shoes, I have to admit that I kind of like running in black sneakers. After getting over the odd glances from other runners who looked at me as though I thought I was better than they and wanted to stand out, I have come to realize that running in black sneakers gives you some personality and differentiates you from the homogeneity of most others in those starting corals with you.
While my strategy for marathons may be to maintain the status quo and be as comfortable as I can, sometimes doing something a little different is not such a bad thing.