The three-mile Furrow Euro race helps fund the El-Paso-Gridley cross-country team. It’s also Bushwhacker shoe guy Corey Shoopman’s favorite run.
“The race itself is really fun,” he says. “Kind of in the old European style. What I mean by that is there are hay bales to jump over, a creek crossing to go through. In the late fall weather it’s usually a little chilly, and it’s a good time.”
Corey first ran the Furrow in high school. More recently he’s wrapped up his second year at Bushwhacker. He keeps track of the shoe stock, keeps up with fill-in orders and plans inventory for the upcoming season. His specialty is cross country shoes.
He’s also completed another successful year as a cross-country coach at Peoria Academy and Metamora High School.
Cory’s tips for cross-country runners:
Maintain a consistent training schedule. Cross-country demands well-conditioned legs.
Train on the surface you’ll run on. Especially for races like the Furrow, it’s important to build experience and distance on grassy, hilly terrain. Road running won’t prepare you for cross country’s greater energy demands.
Put the miles in to increase stability and comfort as you run over rugged terrain.
Wear the right cross country shoes.
“Road and trail shoes both protect your feet from the running surface. The difference is thickness and tread. Road shoes, since they figure you’ll be on pavement or a hard surface, the tread is very thin. Grip isn’t a huge issue.
“Trail running and cross country shoes, on the other hand, usually have a luggier tread pattern. It’s a thicker tread overall to help with grip on uneven surfaces like roots, rocks and mud.”
Bushwhacker’s cross country shoe lineup includes the Altra Lone Peak and Superior, in men’s and women’s models. The Lone Peak has more cushion, while the Superior is a firmer shoe. Both have a wide toe box to give your toes room to spread out. And both have a zero-drop platform, which means the cushion is even from heel to toe—no raised heel like a traditional running shoe.
“I like them because I love the fit with the toe box, and I find that the zero drop platform it just stays out of my way when I’m running.”
Unlike, say, hay bales, creeks and other runners.
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