I'm not a natural blogger and I'm no techie. I'm an ultra trail runner by passion, and a journalist by profession - in that order of priority.
In this blog I use the one to talk about the other - my trail thoughts, musings and meanderings about running mountains and trails.
I call it rockhoppin', just because... well... that's what we trail runners love to do!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

South Africa's own Tarahumara

Real Tarahumara Indians
Did you know, the Garden Route has its very own Tarahumara Indian?  
Well, practically...    ok, not quite. He's not Mexican, he doesn't live in a canyon or have to run around the wilderness for days looking for food. But he does wear huaraches - they're the real handmade McCoy and he's a runner. That's about as close to Tarahumara as a South African can get.

Andrew Scott, better known as Drew, is a sworn huarache convert. Not only does he make his own Tarahumara-style thonged sandals, but he's tossed all his other shoes. And I mean ALL - he has a pair of huaraches for work, a pair for running, and a "smart leather pair for going out". That's it.
Drew's seasoned foot in his seasoned huarache.
I met Drew when I ran the Addo Elephant Trail Run in March. It was 15min before race start and this guy was running around, leaping up and down and making final adjustments to the thongs that secured a thin strip of rubber onto each foot. He ran the Addo 50km that day - on stony trail, through rivers and up steep switchbacks, all in his huaraches. He's no slouch either - this non-Mexican finished in 14th position out of 137 finishers.

It's all about the thong...  and the rubber.
Drew reckons the huaraches are good for all types of trail running...  apart from muddy conditions, that is. Mud between foot and rubber sole makes the foot slide around and makes gripping a problem. As for grit, pebbles and water, Drew says no problem, he just kicks it all out as fast as it comes in!

"If you love something enough, it becomes a lifestyle," says Drew.

(Personally I'll stick with my trusty Salomons, but hey, whatever blows your wild hair back!)


  1. Thanks for the posts Linda. I've run in the NB 100s, 101s etc and now the Merrel Trail Glove but, for racing at least, I'm beginning to wonder: my feet get very tired, saw that again on the jeep track descent of the JHoek 30km. Anyway, you might enjoy my blog: http://kalkbaypeak.blogspot.com/
    regards, len verwey

  2. Hey Len, you'll want to try out the new "forefoot running" design that Salomon's bringing out then - it's called the SLAB Sense, and it's fantastic. Arriving on SA's shelves in September!

  3. Linda nice article on Drew. Do you maybe have his contact details< I would love to chat to him.Mike Henning blademan@netactive.co.za

  4. Sure Mike, I'll put you in touch with Drew - check your inbox.

  5. Can anyone help me please?? Where can I find Hauraches sandals. Live in Cape Town:)

  6. Hello.

    I borrow one of your pictures for my blog. Hope you don´t mind.
    PS: I made some changes in it.

    Best Regards.

  7. Hi Linda Thought id let some of your follows know that iv opened an online store which will focus on barefoot running. i am now selling the sandals online as well as other items that support running wild. if anyone wants to take a look its at www.Runningwildsa.net slowly will develop site into info centre on running in Garden Route and beyond

    again thanks for the article, you were most flattering. iv still got unfinished business with Addo and will be back for another round in the sandals in 2013.

    kind regards

    1. hallo drew , can you please give me the online store info
      kind regards
      nokkie du toit
      my email:nokka@telkomsa.net