Years ago, I was battling a nasty case of IT band syndrome and some piriformis pain. I found that the solution was completely overhauling my gait mechanics by transitioning to natural running form and more minimal footwear. I instantly felt more light and efficient and the knee pain vanished. Unfortunately, I overdid it and suffered a metatarsal stress fracture while training in Vibram Fivefingers. Not to be discouraged, I stumbled upon the Altra Samson and fell in love with the flat platform, wide toebox, and great fit. Three months after getting out of my walking boot, I
ran the Marine Corps Marathon and have been running injury free since.
In 2013, my wife and I opened Crozet Running, a Natural Running Center partner store in central Virginia where Altra is a top seller for both runners and walkers. I also transitioned my running over to trails and ran four ultramarathons including the Mountain Masochist 50 Miler and Hellgate 100km. You’ll always find me out on the trail wearing my bright red Lone Peaks – they are truly the best trail and mountain shoe I have tried!
For 2014, my goals are to run a Boston qualifying marathon time this spring, then take that speed to the great fall trail ultras that Virginia has. Our store’s goal is to educate as many people as possible about the benefits of going to a zero drop shoe with a wide toe box – the way our feet were made to be!
2014 Schedule (where you’ll see John):
Feb 15: Holiday Lake 50K++, Lynchburg, VA
Mar 15: Thomas Jefferson 100K, Charlottesville, VA (assistant race director)
Apr 26: Promise Land 50K, Lynchburg, VA
May 3: Crozet Trail 5K, Crozet, VA (race director)
May 4: Potomac River Run Marathon, Washington DC
Nov 1: Mountain Masochist 50 Miler, Lynchburg, VA
Dec 13: Hellgate 100K, Fincastle, VA (*pending entry)