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emulating competition conditions on feet

Chelle Sherman
OK - I understand that this is a scientific discussion, but something
about this struck me as kinda funny - here in New England, we have every
kind of condition to ride on, usually all within one ride - pavement,
rocks, tall grass, deep mud, soft trails, and usually LOTS of god-awfully
hard dirt roads with the consistency of 20-grit sandpaper on concrete. I
can just see asking my town road crew to come in and turn my entire
pasture into one big wasteland of New England hardpan! <grin> A slow leak
in my water tank would create the mud, and maybe the road crew could dump
some rocks and assorted logging slash in one corner, so I could chase my
horses over it daily <doublegrin>.
I keep thinking about those African marathoners who run all those races
barefoot on their native soil - when they come over here and race (and
usually kick our butts, I might add), they usually do it wearing shoes,
despite their conditioning and their feet of iron - why do you suppose
that is? Is it because Nike and the like buy their tickets to come over
here or is it because they know that the shoes are needed for the hard
pavement surfaces that marathons are raced on in the U.S.? Don't know the
answer - just wondering...

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