"Stiletto Run" in Amsterdam
If these determined runners look a little different from your normal sprinters - they are. They are on a very important mission - a quest to win 10,000 euros (about 12,000 U.S. Dollars), towards a shopping spree. The only wrinkle - they have to ditch their sneakers for stilettos (high heeled shoes).
The race sponsored by Glamour Magazine, is in its third year and has become tremendously popular among the women in Holland. This year over 4,000 women applied to run - only a lucky 150 "finalists" were selected from the qualifying rounds that were held in other parts of Holland prior to the grand finale in Amsterdam on March 7th.
The rules of the race, whose motto is "Shopping is a Sport" are simple. Competitors have to make the 350-yard dash for cash, wearing shoes which have heels that are 9cm or longer. Also, the width of the heels cannot exceed 1.5 cm. The prize money has to be spent on shopping.
As is the case in most competitions, there was a little friendly rivalry at the beginning, with women shoving, pushing and elbowing each other. Miraculously, there were no bad falls or sprained ankles among the 150 competitors. Things settled down as the better stiletto runners broke away from the crowd.
The winner was 25-year old Tamara Ruben, who said she would buy anything but high-heeled shoes with her prize money. The race has become so popular that there are now "copycat" races being organized in Russia and other parts of Europe - Not a bad way to earn some shopping money!
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