Heartfelt Obituary for Red Dash
We received a bittersweet surprise this week from our friend Drew in Ashland, Oregon. Drew is an accomplished trail runner and minimalist shoe aficionado. He is also one of our favorite shoe testers, since he'll very literally give our shoes a beating and run them into the ground on his many adventures. The feedback he provides helps us increase the durability of our shoes and modify designs for better fit and performance. His input played a key role in helping us develop our Dash RunAmoc a few years ago.
This week, Drew sent us a carefully-wrapped package containing a very worn pair of red/chocolate Dash RunAmocs, along with a note requesting "I hope you have a place of honor where my dearly beloved Red Dash can rest in peace." The note was followed with a heartfelt obituary for the heavily-loved shoes.
It seemed appropriate to host a funeral for the Red Dash, with many other shoes (and elf) in attendance. We're happy to share with you Drew's kind words:
Obituary for My Red Dashes
Born in the summer of 2011, my Red RunAmoc Dash arrived in the sparkling splendor of youthful, unwrinkled leather. I welcomed him into my growing family of Dashes and Moc3s, giving him his first taste of trail on July 25th. A few weeks later he finished his first dusty race at the Mt. Ashland Hill Climb.
Only one month later his lovely sister was born, the gorgeous Silver/Blue Dash with the first sewn insoles. Amidst my wealth of children, I confess that I overlooked older brother Red Dash for much of the remainder of that year, lavishing many miles of attention on his beautiful sister. It was only the death of his siblings, Silver/Blue Dash and long-running Purple Dash (454 miles) that brought Red Dash back onto my loving feet.
During his 397-mile lifetime, Red Dash was seen and complimented at every trail race he attended:
- Two strong finishes at the Mt. Ashland Hill Climb (13.2 miles)
- A hard lesson at the Lost creek Lake Trail 30k (18.6 miles)
- A very fun leg of the relay race, Siskiyou Challenge 9k (actually only 3.6 miles)
- And most recently, a 6th place finish at the Run for Uganda 10k (6.2 miles)
Besides these races, my most memorable runs with Red Dash were a fantastic ~18 mile run around Applegate Lake, another 18+ mile run to ostrich peak on a beautiful trail called No Candies, and an epic run up a historic trail called Time Warp to the top of Mt. Ashland.
My final confession is that I have taken all of my Dashes to that thin line between loving and abusive behavior. Even though I had no intentions of hurting them, I pushed them hard on steep treacherous terrain. Collisions with rocks are noted throughout my running log. If there is an open casket, one may note the scars. Surprisingly, the Vibram soles even wore through on the middle of the forefeet, testifying to the great sacrifices they made for the sake of my feet.
Humor aside, I honestly want to bow to the creators of these beloved shoes, and I simply say "thank you." And as the Red Dashes depart, I thank them for all the lessons they taught me about running softly, quietly, with awareness. I look forward to loving your siblings for years to come.
A couple of our favorite photos of Drew running in his Soft Star RunAmocs