The Tuesday Kick: Embrace the pain

Do you like pain?

The shoe

Montrail Mountain Masochist II (2012)

The official description

The Mountain Masochist II is a stability shoe that weighs in at a scant 10.8 ounces. It features angled blades on the forefoot that “dig deep for grip on loose terrain,” and offers a snug midfoot and open toebox. A gusseted tongue keeps out debris, while the full foot “trail shield” protects your feet from rocks and other obstacles.

We say

Reverse psychology! Calling the shoes the Mountain Masochist suggests you’re not just willing to suck up pain, but you enjoy it. That’s pretty cool…er, in a strange way.

Who wears it

Marathoner and ultra runner Bernie Doucet races the Wascally Wabbit 50-miler near Halifax, Nova Scotia this coming weekend. That’s a long way from his first five km run with his sister, which he has this to say about it: “I threw up.”

Now the 45-year-old (“going on 35”) manager of crown lands for the department of Natural Resources in Fredericton, New Brunswick routinely runs distances many of us would only think of as a challenge at the best of times. In training for his upcoming 50-miler, Doucet logged at least one, 100-km weekend on hilly terrain.

Doucet says he’s been running consistently since 2005 but leading up to his “addiction,” ran for a few years before. Since, he’s  logged a dozen half marathons, seven marathons, two 50 milers and one 100k.

His personal bests include: a 17:51 five-km, a 1:23:59 half-marathon; a 2:56:46 in the marathon at Boston no less; 7:47 at a previous Wascally Wabbit; and 11:52 100 km at the Vermont 100.

Ask Doucet about his motivation, what makes him run ultra distances, and he says it’s hard to describe. “I like pushing myself. It just feels good. When I can’t run. I crave it.”

After Doucet subdues his second Wascally Wabbit, he plans to tackle another Vermont 100k in July, followed by the New York City Marathon in November. Questions the runner: “Now would it be too much to ask to PB them all?”

Why he likes them

The Montrails are the “main go-to shoes for my pronating flat feet,” Doucet comments.  He says they provide stability and “decent” cushioning at a reasonable weight.

Among the features the ultra runner favors are the outsole’s unique lug pattern that performs great climbing in all conditions, mud, rocks, and roots; and a rock plate that provides protection from stones and roots without “sacrificing too much flexibility.

According to Doucet, “this allows the shoe to perform and respond pretty well for the protection. I would say better then most in this category.”

And even with all the protection the Montrail offers, Doucet finds it’s comfortable on the road while running over to the trail. A bonus is at US$90 these kicks won’t break the bank.

Sounds great? Sure, but they’re not perfect. Doucet points out they’re a bit bulky, but admits that might be asking a lot when the shoe is already offering protection, stability, traction and cushioning.

“This is not a shoe that allows you to run a long distance out of the box,” Doucet said. While the Montrail is flexible, it takes three to four runs to break it in.

Overall, he gives it a seven out of 10 – the highest score he’s ever awarded. “I’m still looking for the perfect shoe.”

Until he finds that ultimate kick, Doucet is willing to suck up all the pain the Montrail Masochist throws his way and more. Masochists? Kick me? No, just a good pair of kicks.

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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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4 Responses to The Tuesday Kick: Embrace the pain

  1. SeeAlliRun says:

    Wow, that guy is hard core!!!

    • subthree says:

      Bernie is a heck of a runner, I see his training updates on Facebook all the time and the training he puts in to get ready for the ultras just astonishes me. All-around great guy too.

  2. Dawn Ladds-Bond says:

    Go, Bernie! GO!!

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