8:15 Miles - From Team Type 1 SANOFI's Run Across America

8:15 Miles by Marcus Grimm

The Run Across America itinerary is based on Team Type 1 SANOFI running 8:15 miles.

How fast that sounds, of course, is relative. To the men on Team Type 1, an 8:15 mile – or a few of them strung together – is not particularly fast. In fact, most of their marathon times are faster than that per mile.

But don’t kid yourself; 8:15 isn’t exactly slow. Go to any local 5k in your neighborhood, pay the twenty bucks, toe the line and knock the race out in about 25:30. In most cases, that time will put you in the top third of the field, and depending on your age group, you may even come home with a magnet or ribbon for placing in the top 3. Now realize this: the pace you just ran is equal to what the members of Team Type 1 SANOFI are averaging for their entire run across the country.

Not that they’ve been able to knock out even efforts so far. At this point, in Arizona, more than seven thousand feet above sea level, they’ve climbed a lot of hills. In Van A, Matt Patrick jokes that Tom Grossman has been lucky enough to have taken most of his pulls on the uphills while Patrick has benefitted from more than his share of the descents, which he’s taken at more or less his own 5k pace. For reference, that’s about 5:30 per mile, while Grossman has chipped away at the grotesque uphills at a much slower pace. Still, when you average it altogether, Van A seems to be holding up their end of the 8:15 bargain.

Speed is one of the advantage claims of Newton, the upstart running shoe company out of Colorado that sponsors Team Type 1 SANOFI. Many of the runners on Team Type 1 SANOFI believe there’s more than marketing behind this claim.

“The shoes really make you feel fast,” says Jon Obst. Obst has been pounding out many of his miles in the Distancia, one of Newton lighter models, primarily designed for speedwork or shorter races. Then again, for Obst, used to one hundred mile races, the Run Across America is somewhat like speedwork.

Meanwhile Matt Patrick has been chewing up his miles, downhill and otherwise, in the Newton Gravitas and is very impressed with their performance. The shoes encourage a mid-foot strike that Patrick loves. Heel striking, he knows, can be the equivalent of tapping the brakes and with millions of footfalls from California to New York, nobody has any interest in hitting the brakes on this trip.

The secret of the Newton shoes are the lugs, a raised platform in the forefoot of the shoe, that helps to roll the foot forward, creating a fulcrum-like effect that propels the runners forward.  Eric Tozer is taking pictures of the lugs as the journey progresses.

“These shoes are incredibly durable,” he says, “But I’m eager to see how they change by the time we get to New York.”

Curiously, we could all probably say the same about the runners, who are merely one-quarter into their epic journey at this point.

Team Type 1 is made up of 100 of some of the finest professional and diabetic athletes in the world. Their mission is to promote wellness and achievement among diabetics worldwide. The Run Across America, a journey of more 3,000 miles, culminates on November 14, World Diabetes Day, in New York City. 


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