The Sunday Read: A hard week for the running community

It’s not been the kindest week in running, to put it mildly. First came the news that ultrarunner Micah True had gone missing on a long run, and then the story that Vibram had been slapped with a class action suit.

In one of those eerie coincidences of life, mid-week famed author Christopher McDougall tweeted that he was going out on “a beer run” to celebrate the fact that his book, Born to Run, had been on the bestseller list of the New York Times for a year. That same afternoon, the subject at the heart of McDougall’s book, ultrarunner Micah True, set out for a run in the Gila National Forest from which he was never destined to return. After an extensive four-day search, authorities found True’s body Saturday evening. The story is here:

A class action suit filed last week in Massachusetts contends that barefoot running fails to confer the health benefits that shoe makers claim are the result of running in minimalist footwear. Rather, the suit against shoemaker Vibram over its FiveFingers brand alleges that “there is no adequate support for the Defendant’s deceptive representations,” that minimalist footwear brings health benefits, such as reduced risk of injury and improved posture. Among other things, the suit seeks individual restitution to each member involved in the suit, and that Vibram “cease their wrongful conduct.” It’s not known at the time of writing whether Vibram had yet filed a statement of defense.  The story is here: and a copy of the class action is here:

Part of what helped us evolve into long-distance running animals are the pleasurable chemicals pumped into our brains, according to recent research in the Journal of Experimental Biology. While the runner’s high is hardly breaking news, the research team set out to determine exactly the role endocanabinoid signalling played in the “so-called ‘reward centres’ of the brain”  and the differences of that in mammals with high activity and those with low activity.  Read about the research here:

A new, comprehensive report on the state of cancer in the U.S. declares that overall rates of the disease have declined. However, “researchers said that for more than three decades, excess weight, inadequate physical activity, and an unhealthy diet have been second only to tobacco as preventable causes of disease and death in the United States,” according to a story in Medical Daily. Commenting on the release of the Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, a U.S. researcher said in a statement: “This report emphasizes that the growing obesity problem and decreased overall physical activity in our society compared to decades ago have a real impact on multiple diseases, including cancer.” More on this story here:

No word whether Agents Mulder and Scully will be there, but one of the newest half-marathons on the schedule is the Area 13.1 nick-named the “Alien Half.” The race set in – wait for it – Roswell, Georgia (and, no, that’s not a geographical mistake) capitalizes both on   its name and the fact that organizers plan to run it in the dark and hand out glowing gear beforehand. ET, run home!

About subthree

A multiple award-winning journalist, I'm currently a contributing editor with both Canadian Running and Canadian Cycling magazines. My articles have appeared in Explore, Canadian Geographic, enRoute, The National Post, The Globe and Mail, and many other magazines and newspapers. Formerly a competitive cross-country mountain biker, I switched to running in 2006. I've run seven marathons, qualifying for Boston five times (and which I've run once). Generally, I've placed or won in my age group in races, in distances ranging from five and 10 kms to half and full marathons. I've also taught spin classes at a number of leading Eastern Canadian gyms. Sub-three was a 2012 #Runchat finalist for Best Overall Blog.
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