Men, women race in heels in Marikina

Posted at 11/17/12 1:06 AM

MARIKINA CITY, Philippines - Men and women at the Philippines' shoe capital on Friday raced to see who can strut best in heels.

About 100 runners from the eastern suburb of Marikina, known for its flourishing shoe industry, wore at least three-inch heels as they ran along a 500 meter track in a test of balance and endurance.

Men were separated from the women to avoid injuries as they scrambled to reach the finish line with their heels intact.

Men had even more trouble running as most of them wore heels for the first time.

"It is difficult having to tiptoe and I salute those women who wear high heels. It definitely hurts to wear them," said runner Karel Blances.

Some participants wore colourful costumes to match their high heels hoping to bag the "shoe-perstar award" for the most glamorous runner who can run well in heels.

Glendolly Sumait wore her bridal gown to get the award and finish first, but the bulkiness of the dress weighed her down.

"It is easier to run with rubber shoes because you can easily run fast, instead of wearing heels where you need to look sexy while running," she says.

Some tripped and others even broke their heels, but paramedics stood ready to tend any injuries resulting from the race.

Cash prizes were awarded to the quickest and best dressed runners, but most of them were just glad to remove their heels and rest their aching feet.

Gerald De Asis, the winner for the men's division, says willpower and technique was his secret in running with his stilettos.

"You have to balance yourself so you won't trip and don't think about what you're wearing. Just keep running."

The race was part of the city's annual celebration of their shoe industry.