Thursday, January 5, 2017

Happy and Healthy 2017!!

Happy New Year!!!

Hard to believe that another year has passed by... and even harder to believe.. this is my 5th Annual Happy and Healthy kickoff post and giveaway!  Yep.. way back in January of 2012 I launched my first Happy and Healthy... and I can't believe how much it's grown since then!

 I have really appreciated all of you that have been following my blog for the past year, following on Twitter, and liking the Barefoot Inclined Facebook page. Which is why I am so excited to host the ultimate giveaway to get 2017 off to a great start, showcasing my favorite gear and vendors from 2016, and the amazing things from those companies I represent as a proud ambassador!

24 Hours of Palmer Lake, April 9, 2016
But, before I jump to the giveaways, I just wanted to give a little recap of the year.  I had a number of goals for the year, but first and foremost was to continue my journey to better health through clean eating, and also to continue participating in trail ultra marathons. After my first ever DNF in 2015 in an attempt to run 100K, I had set a goal of achieving that distance in 2016, and I managed to do so at the 24 Hours of Palmer Lake in April. 

While it was so awesome to be able to achieve a new distance PR, it also came with a high cost.  I managed to overtrain a tad heading into this one and entered it with some serious Plantar Fasciitis issues in my left foot. In retrospect, I should not have pushed it.. and I even told myself I would just go easy and see how it went.  But, I had my 100K goal in sight, so I pushed on to get it, plus a few more miles.  For a day or two it seemed the PF went away, but nope.. came back with a vengeance.  After April, I ran only one other race... the Southpark Trail Marathon and Half.. the original plan was the marathon, but I dropped it back to a very slow half.  After that, I was done running, and focusing on resting/rehab. 

So... while I had hoped to bore you with recaps of all these amazing races in 2016, I instead can only relay that the balance of the year was a struggle. I've put 20 lbs back on due to not running, and I lost a lot of motivation over that time to work out at all, or to work on any reviews or blog posts..  

But.. have no fear! My PF has faded finally.. well, it's become more of an Achilles Tendonitis type issue BUT.. I know exactly how to deal with that, and I am.  I am slowly working my miles back up, and feeling that joy of just getting out on the trail and moving, regardless of the speed.  And, what else does one do to get motivated?  Sign up for a race of course!  Not just any race though... I've signed up for the Born To Run Ultras in May in beautiful So Cal, and am shooting for 100 Miles!  I know.. totally crazy, but you know.. sometimes you gotta get way out of the comfort zone to kick start things... 2017 is going to be EPIC!!

Speaking of epic..  In 2016 I had the great fortune to continue the year representing Carson FootwearFuel 100Switch SunglassesOrange Mud, and Human Potential Running Series as an Ambassador!! I can't tell you how great it is to be involved with these folks, the amazing products/races they have, and the incredible fellow ambassadors I've got to know...   I am very lucky indeed :-)

OK!... let's get on with the HUGE giveaway to kick 2017 off right! 

Below are brief recaps of some of the reviews I've done over the last year or so, and an opportunity for me to give back, thanks to the generosity of all the great folks I've worked with and represented over the years.   I have a separate giveaway for each, so you have tons of opportunities to win! 

Each giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. (and in some cases, Canada or elsewhere, and will be noted).  I will run these until 10PM MST, Friday January 13th, 2017... so enter early and often!

Let's kick this thing off with a shout out to Carson Footwear, the makers of my favorite trail/ultra running shoe...   These things are amazing!  My first review of these was almost exactly 2 years ago, and you can check it out HERE.  The ONLY running shoe manufacturer that builds their shoes 100% in the US with US materials...  That rocks..  

I love being an ambassador representing Carson Footwear...  I ran a 50K in these right out of the box, and my original Iguana's reached 800 miles before I reluctantly retired them. I also had the privilege of representing Carson at the US Trail Running Conference last year hanging out with shoe maker supreme Carrie, THE Everett Carson, and Carson speedster Rachel :-) 

US Trail Running Conference
Anyway, if you've followed me for any length of time, you know I will go on and on about Carsons.. so I'll stop now, and instead give away a pair of Carson's of your choice, plus a running tank top, courtesy of the amazing folks at Carson Footwear.  If by chance you don't win, you can always score 10% off by using the code "barefootjg" at checkout :-)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Another company I am proud to represent is Switch/Liberty Sport Eyewear.  From my first run in the Switch H-Walls to skiing with the all weather protection of the Storm Riders, I've been hooked.

I love the ability to quickly swap out lenses lightning fast for different lighting conditions, and the fact that the H-Walls are the bomb for trail running... light, durable, and well ventilated...  And such great folks to work with!  Anyway, enter below to snag a pair of H-Walls for your running adventures!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Salty/sweet goodness! Love Electro-Bites from Fuel-100 as part of my fueling for the long haul. I love the no sticky mess alternative to fueling and electrolyte replacement on my long runs. Flavors include Simply Salty, Apple Cinnamon, Salty Vinegar, and my two favorites, Pumpkin Spice and Salty Vanilla. 

Anyway, thanks to co-founders Andrea and Michelle, I'm happy to provide a baker's dozen variety mix to 3 of you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Woo hoo! Now I get a chance to rave about my favorite trail ultra series by far.  In 2016 I continued as an ambassador for HPRS,  Although there is no longer an official ambassador program, you can bet that I will continue to promote Sherpa John's races and events, and participate in as many as I can.  Why? Because he and HPRS get it....  And what is IT?  Simply put.. its that sense of community.  I've met so many amazing folks and had so much fun at these races that it is difficult to describe.  I did try in a post HERE.  The bottom line is if you want an extremely well-run race, killer aid stations, and to feel supported and valued, whether 1st place or DFL..  HPRS is where you belong..  check them out!

And speaking of races.... thanks to Sherpa John's generosity, I am able to give away two (2) race entries to two of you! Entries are good for any race, excluding Silver Heels 100 and Indian Creek 50's. Check out all the races HERE.. and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Xeroshoes Ipari Hana

Xeroshoes (Invisible Shoes then) were my first pair of minimalist runners back in 2011 and I will never forget the impression they made. Steven Sashen has come a long way with his company and products and I've loved working with them over the years.  Last year they released the Ipari Hanashown above which is their first "shoe", and is amazing! 

And in 2016, I finally met the man, myth, and legend himself.. Steven Sashen!  We had a great time at the US Trail Running Conference in Estes Park and got a sneak peek at some new shoes coming out later this year!   And Steven, being the great guy he is, has provided 1 pair of the Ipari Hana, as well as a pair of Z-Trails for me to give away!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


2016 was another great year with ThinOPTICS.  For those of you like me that struggle with joys of presbyopia, ThinOPTICS are a life saver! I carry two phones ( work and personal) and I have a pair attached to each..   and they are awesome.. easy to wear, easy to keep track of as the case is attached to my phones and an incredible lifetime warranty!    Check out my full review HERE.

New for 2017 is a very cool keychain based case!  Check it out in this short video, and then enter to win a pair!  Also, if you follow this LINK to the ThinOPTICS website, you will qualify for a 15% discount on any order!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you haven't heard of RecoFit before, you really need to check them out.  As I noted in my review last year HERE, their calf compression sleeves are the ONLY ones I've been able to run in, and I love how they perform and feel! A great local company that has continued to grow, and I love to see that.

RecoFit ArmCoolers

The great folks at RecoFit are providing a pair of their new ArmCoolers for one of you to check out.  I'm jealous as I haven't tried them yet!  Of course, it's 4F out right now, so cooling isn't an issue, but I love the fact that these can help cool, as well as block out harmful UV rays... an excellent tool during a hot summer ultra!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Another one of my favorite running huarache companies is Shamma Sandals.  I've been working with Josh at Shamma for a few years now, and he and his company have been following a path of continuous improvement in the design and composition of their sandals, and it has been great to participate in that journey.  Last year I reviewed the latest edition of the Warriors HERE, and even since then, the products continue to evolve, so stay tuned for some new stuff in 2017!

2016 Warriors.. sorry bout the ugly feet

Being the awesome dude he is, Josh is providing 2 pairs of any model sandal to 2 of you! Go to the Shamma website HERE and check them out, then enter below!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Now check out this super cool organization called Active At Altitude located in beautiful Estes Park, CO.  So who are they, and what do they do?

Well.. in their own words "Through our running camps, conference, and app, we create experiences and tools to educate, inspire, and empower an active, healthy, mindful lifestyle" and they do that amazingly well!  

I met Terry Chiplin at the 2015 US Trail Running Conference, which is just one of the cool things they do in the trail running community, along with running camps and a cool app called Activacuity.


After the 2015 conference, I returned to the 2016 US Trail Running Conference, and it was even better!  I can't wait until this year's conference in October!

Thanks to Terry and Active at Altitude I'm giving away a one day pass to the Runner's day at the October conference on Saturday October 14th, 2017 and an annual subscription to the Activacuity program/app!!   

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ok!  You've made it this far! Wading through my blah blah blah, entering giveaways left and right... good job!

Last, but certainly not least in this 2017 extravaganza is Earth Runners..  I've worked with Mike Dally since he started his company way back in 2012 when I tested his original Quantums... and most recently, the Elementals last September.   Earth Runners is another fantastic US based company that never ceases to surprise me with the Kaizen approach of continous improvement! Check it out for yourself by entering to win a pair of any style Earth Runner huarache!  Thanks Mike and Earth Runners!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wow... there you have it...   a wrap on 2016 and a huge kickoff to 2017!   Thanks again for tuning in.. I wish you all the very best in this new year and  I am really looking forward to another great year of running and blogging!

Happy trails!



  1. Jeff...I always love how honest and open you are with ALL of your posts, but especially this one. It's nice to know that you have some rough times, too! Glad to hear you are on the mend and have big plans for 2017!

  2. Happy New year Jeff. Great stuff. cheers.

  3. My fav time of year! The extravaganza! Would love love love to win a pair of Carsons, or the new xeros! Cash is so super tight this year, so I got my fingers crossed...would love the cool sleeves, too! I have one pair from another company, and they really help keep me cool in this dang hot desert, but they are not compression. Another opportunity to run an HPRS race? Bring it! As for the extra weight, I am with you on that...15lbs here, had bronchitis for the last month, pulled a rib muscle coughing so no running til that heals, blah blah blah...I still didn't need to eat all that food! Ha ha! Got a 6k coming up in a few weeks, so gotta get on out there...we just keep on keepin' on. Happy New year, buddy! :D

  4. I have been wearing barefoot shoes and sandals almost for 3 years and try to walk barefoot more every summer. 2016 was the most barefoot year for me in that sense. I'll try to beat that this year -maybe I can start running. You see that I'm not a barefoot runner but a walker, however, I really appreciate such blogs.

    I have got to know here for the most generous giveaway I've seen. And indeed will be in my bookmarks just like Birthday Shoes ( and calceology (

    I really wish you an epic barefoot year in 2017!

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  6. I really like the look oc Carson shoes. I think my son would steal them from me if I didn't have bigger feet than he.

    I like the idea of being able to easily change out the lenses to the Switch Sunglasses.

    I usually use Clif Shot Bloks or Gu for fuel.

    I've got a couple of emails about the Ipari Hana. Not totally sure what to think about them, but if I win them I'll sure have an opinion afterwards.

    I don't usually wear compression sleeves for my arms, though I just acquired a pair to try out for fitness. I do use calf sleeves regularly during runs and for recovery. I have recently got a new pair of knee sleeves that cover from lower calf to upper thigh.

    Running in huaraches makes sure that my feet will stay cool even when I heat up and start to sweat. Plus, less laundry since you don't have to wear socks! :-D

  7. So many awesome giveaways! And even things I need (like a new pair of Carsons in a larger size), and a new pair of Xero Hanas to replace the ones that got wrecked when I was building an Earthship in Indonesia. I love the magnetic lens idea of the Switch glasses and those electro-bites look intriguing -- I've never heard of them. Also those ArmCoolers -- very intriguing. . . I'm a sucker for running sandals and a Trail Running conference? Woo hoo!

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. I am new to minimalist shoes, but my initial experiences have been spectacular. A pair of Carsons, Xero Shoes, or Earth Runners (all three would be amazing) would be a perfect way for me to keep reaping and furthering the benefits of setting my feet free.

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