Many of the racers are running in what look to be clown shoes. These Hoka runners are flying in the face of the minimalist trend that has been sweeping the running world these past 2 years. In one respect, however, they actually share an important feature with the minimalist shoes: they have a very small drop from heel to toe. What distinguishes them is the extremely thick and wide sole. It's extra wide in order to be stable, and the extra thickness provides much needed cushioning when pounding over rocks. They are surprisingly light given their size.
One racer has been reduced to running in the flip-flops she brought for around camp. Her runners had chewed up her pinkie toes to such an extent that she couldn't bear putting them on anymore. Unfortunately the flip-flops clearly weren't designed for this kind of abuse, and are rapidly falling apart. She may need to get back in the trail shoes for stage 4.
The leaders, however, are running in light, flat, racing trail shoes. Take from that what you will.
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