By Brad “Dang those shoes are pretty” Anderson
In 7th or 8th grade we had a field day at the high school. I decided to run the mile, which was the final event. I was wearing some Bugle Boys cargo shorts, a Public Enemy t-shirt and my favorite Air Jordan 5’s, which I still consider to be the best Air Jordan’s ever released. It was a sunny spring afternoon when I stepped onto the rapidly deteriorating 440 Yard track, at Morgan High School filled with ruts, and more holes than a wiffle ball. I sized up the competition, and made sure the girl I liked was watching before I set off to remind the rest of the grade that I was a runner and a damn good one too. ;)
When the race started I took off “hell-bent-for-leather” as my Dad would say. Within 200 meters I had a sizable lead. I cruised along, to what I remember in my mind, was the cheering of the entire grade, even though in reality, who knows who even watched. I came across the line in a brisk 5:13 mile. Not bad for running it alone.
I got home and proudly told my Dad about my feat. He was impressed and said: “We should get you in some racing flats and see what you can do.” Up to this point, my Dad had taught me all I knew about running. But, with my expanding Middle School knowledge of how the world worked, I still thought: “He just doesn’t understand how light Air Jordan’s are.” I mean, it’s all in the name right? AIR! What is lighter than air? (Helium…I know. Get off my back, this is my essay.)
It wasn’t until a year or two later, when I got into High School, that I laced up his white and grey Saucony racing flats at a meet at Roy High school. “Holy Crap!” I thought. “Maybe these are lighter than my 23oz AIR Jordan’s.” Ever since that day I have worn racing flats, or spikes when racing.
Now, I know what you are thinking. “Why would a guy as slow as you, Mr. Anderson, need to wear racing flats?” I don’t need to, I want to. The great thing about running is that most people are just running against the clock. I want a PR as much as Haile Gebrselassie does. Let’s look at some of the benefits before we go into some reasons you would not want to wear flats.