“I have always wanted to fly. I’ve spent my whole life exploring the outdoors and in 2015 I started learning to paraglide. Not long after, I started speed flying, which is paragliding down a steep slope with skis. I made an error and crashed into the ground going really fast. It’s a pretty unforgiving situation. I broke my leg and pelvis and spent about four months in a hospital bed. My crash made me learn about pain, patience and most importantly, compassion. My self-identity was deeply informed by my physical self. After I realized I would never be the same, I was forced to separate my own self-image from what I had always been. I still aspire to be that, but I’ve had to dig deep and appreciate the abilities that I still possess. I have an active career as a musician and I was able to write music and play the guitar through most of my recovery. Music is a healing element for most people and I count myself among that number now more than I ever have.” – HOKA fan Tim Bluhm from San Francisco, CA
Tim’s favorite shoe is the Challenger.
“I lost my mom to early onset Alzheimer’s on New Year’s Day. Running has always been an outlet for me — I started running in middle school to handle my dad’s alcoholism and my brother’s addiction to drugs. But, I didn’t really realize how essential it was to keeping me whole until I started to grieve for my mother. During her final days and right after her death, I became a recluse. I spent a lot of time thinking by running and hiking trails in the Appalachian Mountains. Those technical, steep trails burned my lungs and caused a few scrapes and bruises, but they also helped heal my soul. Those trail miles helped me come to the realization that I was not alone in this grief and gave me the courage to lean on my friends and husband. I purchased my first pair of HOKA shoes right after I lost my mom and in a way they have become symbolic of the pain I overcame at the beginning of this year. I wore the Clifton as I worked through it, needed to blow off steam and reflected on the memories I had with my mom. They were on my feet when I ran into the sunrises and remembered how grateful I was to see the beauty and light in this life. They will continue to be on my feet to help me face the next challenge or adventure that life throws my way.” – HOKA fan Christina Proctor from Athens, GA
Christina’s favorite shoe is the Clifton.
“While my running times are ordinary, my aspirations to push my boundaries are not. I ran 63 marathons in 63 days to set the world record most marathons run by a woman consecutively. I already loved running, but it was the adventure and the enormity of this challenge that truly motivated me. I set my first challenge to run seven marathons in seven days. I learned a lot from that experience — mainly that I was capable of more than I thought. Seven years later, my 50th birthday was the ultimate catalyst. Fifty marathons in 50 days was my goal, but the world record was at 60. I figured if I could get to 50, then why not attempt to break the record with 63 marathons and raise money for charity.
My good friend has Huntington’s disease and I promised him that I would raise money for the charity that helps him and his family. He even ran marathon #29 with me — one of my most memorable. For nine weeks I challenged my physical and mental boundaries and truly live by my motto, ‘think big, then do.’ If you judge by completion times or finishing positions, then I achieve very ordinary results. But what I lack in speed, I certainly make up with in determination, resilience, persistence and love.” – HOKA fan and world-record holder, Nikki Love from Nottingham, UK
Nikki’s favorite shoe is the Clifton.
“Losing my leg wasn’t a reasonable prospect. But as time went by, there was scar tissue built up from different surgeries and the infection was still in there. In late May of 2015, I went for a trail run and it had been a really wet month — there was soil and rocks falling in weird places. I stepped on a big rock and all of the sudden it moved and I moved with it. I remember free falling and I landed on my back and lifted my head up as soon as I hit the ground. Then I was seeing a big rock land on my leg and I was in excruciating pain. They did a three-hour rescue and I went to the hospital. Over the course of that summer, I probably had 13 or 14 surgeries. It was a rough summer. It was borderline depression or whatever. I was hopeful I could get through it. I had no reason to believe I wouldn’t heal from this. I was still optimistic and I had a lot of options, but at a certain point I realized, ‘Oh, this isn’t working.’ Even if I would’ve recovered and done all the surgeries and tried to save my leg, I still wouldn’t have functionality. For me, it was just logical to amputate it. Other people in the same place might make another decision. It wasn’t a happy experience at all, but it was comforting to know that the course was set. There wouldn’t be all these vague things dragging on for years. It was good to know something that’s definite — an extreme definite. After the surgery, I had goals to be able to walk with the prosthetic. The reality is it takes months for that to happen and even longer to run. But, I’m still optimistic about where everything’s going. You know, I’m going to have setbacks and maybe there will even be an abrasion or a fit issue, but that’s just short term. Right now, I can go out on most days and do a little exercise with the family and that’s good.” – HOKA Athlete Dave Mackey from Boulder, CO.
Dave’s favorite shoe is the Challenger.
“I cannot imagine seeing a situation, especially a literal life-and-death situation, where I would prioritize a race over stopping. It’s just not who I am. When I was at mile 26 of the bike during IRONMAN® Santa Rosa, I saw a man down on the opposite side of the road with two other athletes sitting with him. I asked if they needed a doctor and they said yes, so I cut across and circled back. The man was unconscious and in clear need of intervention. Another athlete stopped by and he knew CPR. He started doing compressions and I started doing the breathing. We were all still in our helmets, glasses and bike shoes. I’ve been a physician long enough that I typically remain calm in stressful situations. In the moment, you’re mostly focused on the situation in front of you. Panicking is never helpful and staying methodical is key. Other people stopped over the next few minutes to offer help or just say a prayer, but we were in a rhythm and kept going until EMS arrived. After they arrived, getting back on the bike was really difficult for me — I had no idea of the outcome was and it was hard to stay focused on the race I still had in front of me. When I found out he had survived, I was just starting the run and I smiled for the entire marathon. It’s a great feeling to know I was part of the team that saved him.” – HOKA fan Tricia DeLaMora from New York City whose amazing rescue got her an entry to the IRONMAN® World Championships
Tricia’s favorite shoe is the Clifton.