Posts tagged bookis

I’ve had my eye on this race for a while. Unfortunately it was canceled in 2011 so my adventure there had to be postponed until this year. Everything happens on the Island of Ometepe in Lake Nicaragua. The course nearly loops around the entire island and boasts two volcanic climbs; Maderas, or as I liked to call it, “The Beast”, is inactive, wet, cold, and MUDDY and Mt. Conception which is active, long, and generally run in the dark. The two volcanoes represent Fuego y Agua. 

Island of Ometepe

Let me start by telling you about the most magical place on earth. Ometepe is a hidden oasis in Nicaragua, even if  you’re not going to run, at least make some time for adventuring on this island. I’ve never felt so welcome in a foreign country. Before and after the race I managed to eat tons of good food, scooter around the island, attend a seriously old fashioned rodeo, kayak to Monkey Island, hike to waterfalls, and swim at the most amazing water hole ever; Ojo de Agua

The island is quite easy to get to; flying into Managua you can hop into a cab to take you to the ferry; the ferry is crammed to the brim with people, livestock, supplies, and food, but it will only run you about $2. Not bad. Once on the island you can walk to a whole slew of great hostels and hotels to find a place to sleep, eat, and drink. I stayed in a pretty tiny room for about $6 a night. Pretty much anywhere on the island you can find amazing cheap food. I’m vegan and I was still able to find plenty of arroz con vegetales mixto.


Some of you may remember my successful Leadville race with hardly any training, well this race I had even less training, and I was totally unprepared with food, hydration and lights. Yeah, I knew this was gonna be a fun one. Luckily, everyone’s favorite Texan, John Sharp, had me covered with an extra light. The race started at 4am, we had a couple hours of running in the dark. The early hours were pretty uneventful, scooting along soft trails through the backwoods of Nicaragua. Some time after sunrise I approached my favorite aid station. Yep, it’s the waterhole I mentioned earlier, Ojo de Agua; this is a perfect spot to stop and take a dip. From Ojo de Agua we were headed towards Madares. This is what everyone came here for.


Maderas is brutal. On my way up the steep mountain I learned that just the week before a hiker got lost on the mountain. I could see exactly how this could happen, and I wasn’t even at the crazy part yet. We were warned that the mountain would be muddy and that we should have an extra pair of shoes waiting in a drop bag on the other side. I was using the ATS laces, which at the time were still in prototype, so I didn’t know quite how they would perform, so instead of in my drop bag I just strapped a trusty pair of Leadvilles w/leather laces to my hip belt. This is one really awesome benifit of minimalism, I could carry an extra pair of footwear with me!

Maderas is pretty much always strapped with it’s very own cloud:  

Once I got up into the cloud, things got a lot wetter, and since it’s ALWAYS wet, there is no “dirt”, only mud. At one point I reached for my camera because I was standing up to my knee, literally, in mud, but I forgot to bring it :( No photo of crazy mud. Not only am I supposed to get my leg out of this muck, but I’m supposed to be running. I kept slogging along, mud and vines and water, lots of water, not just on the ground but on everything — grab a branch for stability and a pint of water will dump down your arm. I don’t know if this sounds terrible, but it wasn’t, it was so much fun, I felt like a kid with no cares in the world. I was SO dirty and wet that it didn’t matter anymore, there was no reason to avoid any of it, the best thing to do was embrace it. Let the mud take over.

Once at the top, you drop down into the crater of the volcano where a foggy lake lives. Somehow they managed to get an aid station up here (???), which was a very surreal sight. Some happy volunteers greeted me, I saw a sleepy pooch lying by a makeshift tent placed next the the shore of the lake. This was literally ALL I could see, everything else was engulfed in the mist. I caught my breath here and moved on not knowing that the best part was just ahead of me. After crawling out of the crater, I was greeted with more mud except on this side things felt a little more like a fantasy Tarzan world. I was using my upper body just as much as my legs, swinging and flowing through the swampy jungle, climbing down muddy slopes, at one point I was crawling over a giant root system and suddenly looked down to see nothing below me, just empty space, a few hundred foot drop, the roots had protruded from a cliff side and I was “running” on them. Soon after this I remembered the extra sandals strapped to my back. I figured if I were ever gonna compare the performance of the ATS laces to traditional laces this should be the time.

I took a second to change from my ATS laces to the traditional and took off again. The difference was night and day, the leather straps weren’t strong enough to hold my foot in place, the layer of mud on the sandal meant that I had zero traction, the ATS laces had been doing all of the work. Within 5 minutes the extreme pressure from my foot sliding pulled the knot through the toe hole. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve run some crazy things in traditional laces and managed just fine, but this was beyond crazy, this was unreal, a Hollywood movie could never capture the raw jungle of this place. With the ATS laces securely back on my feet I made my way down the mountain.

The Rest

The aid station at the bottom, Hacienda Merida, marked the 50k point. I was feeling pretty good, but the volcano had taken a good chunk of energy and time. The rest of the race didn’t go too well for me. I left the aid station not thinking of hydration at all, having just been cold and wetter than if I were swimming. The next 8 miles was along a dirt road that went through a couple small towns. Turns out that that day was one of the hottest of the year, and I was running totally exposed right in the middle of it. I quickly ran out of water and trotted feeling pretty miserable, I had become dehydrated and exhausted from the heat. But I had one thing to comfort me: I knew the next aid station was back at Ojo de Agua and I had a pretty good idea that is where my girlfriend would be. If I said that my plan wasn’t to grab a fresh coconut, take a dip, pull up a chair next to my lady friend, and call it a day, I’d be lying. And that is exactly what I did. This is my second DNF to date, but in my mind it was the absolute best 38 mile race the world has ever seen.

From what I hear the rest of the course is pretty amazing, unfortunately I never got to climb Conception, but you should check out the entry from a good dude (Joseph Ryan) that I met there. The race was fantastic, the volunteers and organizers did a fantastic job. The aid stations were stocked, the course was well marked, and they made sure the each and every runner was happy and safe, They were even quite helpful in organizing much of my travel. The event also hosts a kids 5k where 500 local kids get to run there little hearts out, and the race gives away a pair of shoes and a medal to every child who participates. The next race is happening February 16th, 2013, seriously sign up now. You can snag $50 off for signing up early. I would highly recommend checking this race out. Bring a friend and have a blast.

Fuego y Agua

25k | 50k | 100k
February 16th, 2013
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Greetings Lunar Monkeys!

We have some big changes, new products, and a weekly contest to talk about as we head into spring:

  • 10% Off Everything Sale
  • Leadville with ATS Lacing Option
  • BFT Runs Avalon Benefit 50 Mile Run
  • Winter OR in Pictures
  • Monthly Photo Contest Winner
  • When Are the Leadville Pacer and Vegan Elasticized Laces Coming Back?
  • Fan Pics and New Photo Contest

Full Moon Sale: 10% Off Everything

From toe socks to a custom Catamount with 1/2” red elasticized laces, everything is 10% through Friday at noon SLMT (Seattle Lunar Monkey Time). Use the code SLMT10 at checkout to receive your discount. Go at it!

Introducing the Leadville with ATS Lacing

The ATS is Dead! Long Live the ATS!

We recently discontinued the ATS as a separate sandal model, but the ATS (which now stands for All-Terrain Strapping) lives on as a lacing option on the Leadville. Here’s a little faux-Q&A based off some of the questions we’ve recently received about the change:

But why? I love the ATS!!

We did too! Unfortunately securing the non-slip footbed to the soling material proved too time consuming and costly, so we kept the strapping system and added it as an option on the Leadville model. The secure, tubular nylon strapping is what made the ATS so effective, so the Leadville with ATS is a great all-terrain sandal that performs almost identically to the ATS.

How is the Leadville with ATS different from the ATS sandal?

The only difference in the footbed. The ATS sandal used a Leadville or Leadville Pacer sole. Once the Pacer is back in stock (sometime around early March; see the sidebar for instructions on being added to the wait-list), it will also come with an ATS lacing option.

Is ATS going to be a lacing option on other sandals? Pretty please with sugar on top?

Yes! We’re working on adding ATS lacing to more models in the near future. However, the lacing is very difficult to thread through sandals with shell cordovan leather, so we’re working on other methods of creating the laces. Stay tuned to Facebook, Twitter, and future Full Moon Newsletters for announcements on new ATS lacing options.

What about other non-slip footbeds? Gimme!

We’re testing out new materials and should have another non-slip option before next winter rolls around.

Barefoot Ted Recaps 50 Mile Minimal Training Experiment

Ted recently ran the Avalon Benefit 50 Mile Run on Catalina Island in his Leadvilles with ATS lacing, successfully completing the run with minimal training. How minimal? Try a maximum of 2-5 miles per day of combined running, trotting, and walking. Check out his blog to find out more on how, and why, he took the minimalist approach beyond his feet and into his training regimen.

BFT and the Monkeys Storm Winter Outdoor Retailer

One of these things in not like the other…

The Luna Sandal Tree, where we grow each and every Luna

BFT = Ladies Man

Monthly Photo Contest Winner

Our winner for the January Wet ‘n’ Pet Fan Photo contest is… Scott Mullins! His thieving mutts steal the show in his photo submission:

Congrats Scott! Please email us at with your t-shirt size and color, bracelet size, toe socks size, and address to get your prize package.

Our new theme for February: Anything Goes!

Forget the theme, we just want to see your great pics involving Lunas. To participate, add your favorite Luna photos to our Facebook wall. The winner will get a special, limited edition sandal! Winners, runner-ups, and the identity of our limited edition sandal will be posted in March’s Full Moon Newsletter

Hop on the Leadville Pacer or Vegan Elasticized Laces Waitlist

We’re expecting to have our 8mm Pacer soling material and vegan elasticized laces back in stock sometime around March. If you’re waiting patiently to get your hands on either of these, send your name and email address to with the subject line "Put me on the waitlist" and let us know which product you’re waiting for. Remember, the Leadville Pacer will have ATS lacing available!

As soon as the materials are available to order again, we’ll send you an email to let you know.

Our Favorite Fan Photos

We received some seriously awesome fan pics this month, so thanks to everyone that submitted! Want to show us pics of you and your Lunas out in the wild? Send them to: or simply post them to our Facebook page.

Happy Trails from Seattle,
The Monkeys

Greetings Lunatics!

It’s been a busy (in a good way) month at Luna Sandals. Here’s an update on what’s been happening recently at Luna, as well as a preview of things to come:

  • Two new Luna sandals now available
  • Luna Sandals made a big splash at the Outdoor Retailer Expo
  • BFT and Bookis are getting ready to run the Leadville Trail 100
  • Run and chat with other minimalist footwear fanatics at the NYC Barefoot Run
  • The Full Moon Gathering and Trot returns
  • Full Moon Discount and Catamount & Leadville Wait Lists
  • Our Favorite Lunatic Pics

Introducing: The LeadCat & Leadville Pacer

We’re stoked to announce two new additions to the Luna line of sandals. Barefoot Ted will be running in Leadville, CO wearing the LeadCat, and the Leadville Pacer is $10 off for a limited time (see the Full Moon Discount below). Here’s more info on each new Luna sandal:

The Leadville Pacer with red traditional laces

The Leadville Pacer: Equipped with a rugged 8mm neoprene sole, the Leadville Pacer is a slightly leaner version of the original 10mm-soled Leadville. This new addition to the Luna family comes with either a naked top or copper brown suede footbed. The Leadville Pacer starts at $75 ($65 if you order before Sunday!).

The Lead-Cat with black leather laces

The LeadCat: Combining the Leadville Pacer’s 8mm neoprene sole with the Catamount’s Shell Cordovan leather footbed, the LeadCat is a premium sandal that takes the best from both the Leadville and Catamount to create a highly durable, highly versatile sandal. A new countersunk knot in the toe hole means your laces sit completely inside the sole of the sandal, protected against ground wear. Unlike the sandwiched knot found on the Catamount, the countersunk lacing system still allows you to switch out laces should you want to try something different. The Lead-Cat runs at $125.

Luna Lands at the Outdoor Retailer Expo

The Outdoor Retailer Expo in Salt Lake City, Utah was a huge success and a great time for BFT and the other monkeys who attended (watch Ted’s interview at the Luna booth). The expo was packed to the gills with all sorts of innovative outdoor gear, and as a result of the show, we’re receiving some positive attention from the outdoor tech community. We’re thrilled and humbled to be included in Gear Junkie’s “Best of Show” along with some other great products.

We also want to take some time to thank Zac Merten of Waterdrop Workshop for building our beautiful booth. Zac’s handcrafted creations are built with salvaged and recycled materials, and the fine level of craftsmanship is something you have to see to appreciate.

The Leadville Trail 100

Barefoot Ted and Bookis are gearing up to take on the Leadville Trail 100 Ultra Marathon, a challenging run through the Rockies with elevations ranging between 9,200-12,620 feet. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages for pics from the event, including glimpses of the new Lead-Cat with a prototype lacing system.

2nd Annual NYC Barefoot Run Reminder

Luna Sandals is sponsoring this two day barefoot running event for both curious beginners and experts alike. Come join us on September 24-25, 2011 for clinics, minimalist footwear expo, talks, discussions and running with Christopher McDougall, Barefoot Ted, Professor Daniel Leiberman, Barefoot Ken Bob, Erwan Le Corre, Lee Saxby, Jason Robillard, Michael Sandler, Dr. Daniel Howell, Esther Gokhale, John Durant, and more. Check it out here:

Full Moon Gathering & Trot

Our Full Moon Lunatic Gathering and Trot will meet Saturday, August 13th, at 9pm in Volunteer Park in front of the Seattle Asian Art Museum. We’ll run an easy paced, meandering 2-3 miles through the neighborhood with big smiles on our faces and a big moon in the sky. See you there!

Full Moon Discount: Leadville Pacer

The brand new Leadville Pacer can be yours for $65 (regularly $75) if you order before 6:04 AM PT (Seattle sunrise) on Sunday, August 14th. No coupon codes required, just add it to the cart and check out. Happy full moon!

Waiting for the Catamount or Leadville?

The Lunatics have been going crazy for our Catamount and Leadville sandals, which led to a supply shortage. We’re expecting to have new soling materials back in stock by the end of September, so if you’d like to be placed on a waiting list for the Catamount or Leadville send your name and email address to with the subject line "Put me on the wait-list".

As soon as we receive the materials needed to make your sandals, you’ll be the first to know!

Our Favorite Lunatic Pics

We asked you Lunatics to send us photos of you wearing your sandals, and below are some of our favorites. Want to show us pics of you and your Lunas out in the wild? Send them to

Caleb Wilson running the 5k Tour de Pain

Jarod Reisin in costume complete with Lunas

Erin Griffin in her custom Catamounts

Benny Halevy getting wet in his Lunas

Happy Trails from Seattle,
The Monkeys