Shoe Retirement

That time has come again – when there are little aches and pains after runs that hadn’t been there.  When that mileage number creeps up into big numbers.  And when the heels of your shoes look like this:

Retired Beasts

A quick obituary – I bought this particular pair of Brooks Beasts on August 25th at the Westchester Road Runner in White Plains, New York.  They are being retired with 396.34 miles on them – miles that include a half marathon and a Ragnar Relay among seven total races.  My current 5K, 10K, 15K, 10 mile, and half marathon PRs were run in these shoes. And they are stylish and comfortable, to boot.  Thank you, Beasts – you’ve been a great pair of shoes.

While it could be easy to go a bit overboard here – these are, after all, just shoes – I found the poem below a couple of years ago and I think it does a really good job of summing up these feelings.  We don’t take our shoes lightly, do we?  How do you retire your shoes?

The following poem can be found in the original blog post here.

Retiring Shoes

By: Stephanie Schultz

The Shoe Retiring Ceremony is held for runners
once every five-hundred miles,
on a Saturday afternoon after a final race
in an old casket factory on the Northeast end of town.

The ceremony begins with the shoes—
bald, wrinkled and tired—
and their moment to say thanks
for the ability to do the job they were made to do,
the miles they were meant to run.

The runner then gets to remember
her ten minute improvement in the half marathon,
crossing the finish line of her first full marathon,
kicking up red dust in the Arches of Utah,
taking an unexpected dip in the Mississippi River.

These memories are then inscribed onto the box
in which the shoes came
and in which they will finally rest—
a box to be displayed on a mantel or bedside table
like a photo of a loved one or a gold trophy

where they can whisper to a new pair of shoes:
Take these feet, these legs
to further distances, to new places.
They are ready for you.

2 thoughts on “Shoe Retirement

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