The Boston Marathon. The Peachtree Road Race. The Fifth Avenue Mile. And now, the Glamour Stiletto Run.
Laugh if you will, but the next time you find yourself complaining about blisters, black toenails and bunions after a training run, think of how you would feel after running that same distance in high heels.
That’s just what 150 women did in Amsterdam last week, in the latest incarnation of the Glamour Stiletto Run. The race covers 350 meters in the heart of Amsterdam’s upscale shopping district, with a nasty 90-degree turn early on. The winner receives a 10,000 euro shopping spree. The catch is that you have to wear heels of 3-4 inches. No platforms, pumps, espadrilles and, especially, no running shoes.
Stiletto races are becoming all the rage in Europe, with races of varying lengths in Denmark, Poland, Russia and Germany. This British TV report will give you a good view of the proceedings, but this Dutch report includes the pre-race expo and post-race shopping.
It doesn’t appear the idea has caught on too well on this side of the ocean. A stiletto run in Mexico City limited participants to “women by nature” and was met with protests. Last year’s Amsterdam run spawned a heated exchange on (where else?) Manolo’s Shoe Blog.
But here at CompleteRunning.com we prefer to avoid the social and cultural implications of a high-heeled race and focus our investigatory powers on a different question: ringers!
Tamara Ruben, the winner of the Amsterdam stiletto race, is an international-class athlete in the 400 meter high hurdles, finishing fifth in the SPAR European Cup.
It’s a short hop from high hurdles to high heels. If the amateur nature of stiletto runs isn’t protected, we can expect other European nations to field ringers. The Ukrainian contingent would be particularly formidable.