RUNNING THE ALTRA DREAM WITH BRIAN AND KARA
MEET BRIAN AND KARA – RUNNING LONG AND STRONG WEARING ALTRAS
Meet Colorado runners Brian and Kara Husmann – ultra runners, marathon runners, Ironman triathletes and parents to twin girls who rock. I first met this duo in the pool, ironically without shoes, but their passions is running – a long way.
They dedicate much of their time and racing to raising awareness for Type 1 Diabetes, a condition one of their daughters has developed.
Brian qualified for Boston in 2018 and both have run the Leadville 100 Trail Run – an run of epic proportions, terrain and mental challenge.
As signed, sealed and delivered fans of running in Altra shoes, Brian shares their story of how their feet found Altras and their no-blister running story of the year.
MY ALTRA RUNNING SHOE STORY – BRIAN – Olympus, Torin, and Escalante
A little over two years ago my wife Kara said she was signing up for the Leadville 100 Trail Run. We had been running Ironmans and Marathons together for some time now, however, 100 miles of trail running was a totally different ballgame and sounded beyond crazy to me. Since Kara and I do virtually everything together and keep each other motivated and competitive, I had to sign up for this race too. It was eight months until the Leadville 100 Trail Run in August 2016.
The first thing I knew I needed was a great pair of super cushy and burly trail shoes. I was always intrigued by the big thick soled running shoes I’d seen people wearing at the gym. Now I had my chance to wear them too. After some quick research, I found there to be two major brands to try. The Altra Olympus 2.0 looked like a good bet for long distance hauls through the mountains. It appeared to be a tough, well-made and substantial shoe with a super grippy Vibram sole for chewing up the trails. The shoe fit awesome right out of the store, and best of all, it had a wide toe-box. No cramped, bloody, and blistered toes for me. I told my wife about these shoes and she bought a pair too.
Our first long training run with our new Olympus’s was a 25-miler at White Ranch Open Space on a drizzly spring morning in 2016. The first thing I noticed on the loose and wet gravel areas was how stable and grippy the shoes were. While running downhill, there was no slipping or sliding and the soles were very grippy on the larger embedded rocks. The cushioning was perfect and well balanced – plenty to absorb the rocks while not being spongey or Styrofoamey feeling.
Throughout our spring and summer training before Leadville, we ran solely in our Olympus’s. Our trail runs included 100 mile+ weeks consisting of many high-altiutude runs over rocky terrain including 13er’s and 14ers. For two weeks in mid- summer, we ran the gnarly, muddy, humid trails in northern Wisconsin. 35 mile runs with river crossings posed no problem and caused no feet ailments. We ran a good amount of pavement in them as well. We’d switch out to a new pair of Olympus’s after about 300 miles or so to keep everything fresh. Man, the shoes were awesome. Stable, plenty of cushioning for the downhill runs, and again, so grippy on the pea gravel and the boulder hopping on the 13er’s 14er’s. “Can you believe how grippy these shoes are?” we’d always find ourselves saying to each other during our runs together. Did I talk about grippiness yet? Anyhow, no blisters all season long and no leg pain except sore muscles due to the high mileage. And, our toes always felt relaxed in the wide-toe box.
The shoes brilliantly carried me through the Leadville 100 Trail Race. I had two pairs for the race. One for the first 60 miles and another pair for after the river crossing at Twin Lakes. The only issue was a hot-spot under my right foot that started at about mile 87. Since buying our first pair of Altras two years ago, it’s the only shoes we’ve trail run in. Kara recently ran another 100 miler – Run Rabbit Run 100 – in these shoes. Again, no issues. I must mention, however, that the Olympus 2.0 is still our favorite – even over the recently released 2.5’s.
Which leads me to the Altra Torin – Altra’s high cushioning road shoe. Soon after I bought the Olympus 2.0, I bought the Torins for road running and triathlon racing. While not as high cushioning as the Altra Paradigm (which my wife loves), it is a well cushioned shoe, with the signature wide toe-box, and is awesome for longer road runs. Again, since buying the Torin two years ago, I’ve run in nothing else for my road runs (well, except for the Altra Escalante). No blisters, no knee pain, and no hip pain. As for the zero-drop, I think it may have improved my overall running by helping me run more on my fore-foot. In fact, I recently PR-ed both my Marathon and my Ironman Marathon in this shoe. Kara runs solely in the Paradigm for her road running and she also recently achieved a Marathon PR in this shoe.
The Altra Escalante is my favorite shoe for shorter runs and treadmill runs. Super comfortable like a slipper with more of a softer cushioned feel. I like to wear this as an everyday shoe as well.
Needless to say, we love our Altra shoes. I need to try the newer Altra Timp…it could very well be my next favorite trail running shoe.
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