Luis Gomez, an Orlando local, has been running marathon for the past 12 years. From charity runs, to fun runs, Luis has participated in over 20 marathons and ultramarathons. He runs to challenge himself, to be involved in the community, to contribute to charities, and to experience the comradery that comes with running races with friends and family.
When we learned that one of our friends and previous coworkers was undertaking an epic feat, a 100 mile ultra-marathon, we jumped at the opportunity to get involved. Like any ambitious individual, he strives to do great things, and took on recently took on the toughest run of his life, the 100 mile ultramarathon in Arizona, the Javelina Jundred.
When we got in touch with Luis, he was interested in testing out our laces during the run saying that ‘if they work for a 100 mile run, they should be strong enough for your average customer’. We’d have to agree with him. So, we let him take them to the ultimate test and sent him some laces to test.
To show his triumph and journey to tackling the ultimate test, we’ll start at the beginning. At first, running wasn’t easy, or even enjoyable. Luis started distance running in 2004. His first marathon was the 2005 Disney marathon which he ran with his family and with Team in Training – a fundraising organization for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Saddled with new challenges in his growing professional career and a lack of marathon training, his first marathon was difficult and felt under-prepared to go distance. He powered through the pain and found strength to come back year after year to fundraise for a cause. In the process, he found mental clarity in his runner’s high proved to have cascading benefits in all area of his life.
Through his training in the coming years, he came across a popular book for marathon runners called “Born to Run”. The book introduced him to the ultramarathon world and to minimalist running. He experimented with barefoot running on the soft beaches or Florida. He used barefoot beach running for months during his training and found it eased runners knee and back pain which he had developed during his training. He learned to train in minimalist shoes and other types of running terrains to become a more dynamic and accomplished runner.
In 2014 he started ultrarunning with his first 50k at the Croom Fool’s Run. He jumped at the opportunity to see for himself what kind of athlete did it took to complete a 100-mile race. He was amazed to find that the 100 mile finishers were average looking people, all with a love for running. All shapes, sizes and ages. That’s when it Luis found it might just be possible for him to complete the ultimate running feat, a 100 mile ultra marathon.
In 2016, he completed his first 100 mile race, the Keys100. It was an amazing experience and accomplishment to add to his running resume. Training in Florida allows you to become proficient in hot flat running, and now he had to hurdle his next challenge running at elevation for the Javelina Jundred. It had just under 8000 feet of elevation gain. The Javelina Jundred trails were said to have rolling rocks that would be painful to run on with minimalist shoes. He started training in the Altra Olympus shoes to have more padding for the rocks. He had broken a few different shoe laces on his minimalist shoes, so he knew he needed a dependable lace for the Javelina race.
Prior to the race, he switched out his laces with a pair of the Lace Kings Rope Laces and never looked back. Javelina was tough, and the elevation pushed his upper legs and thighs further than they’ve ever been pushed. After 26 hrs, 24 minutes and 26 seconds, he had accomplished the unthinkable. He never had to change his shoes, and only tightened his rope laces once to prevent small rocks from getting inside. Want the same laces Luis used during his race? browse our Round Rope Laces collection for find a size and color to fit your running shoes for your next race.
After his successful completion of the Javelina Jundred, he’s earned a ticket to submit to the Western States Endurance Run 100 mile race lottery. Western States is the original 100 mile race and an honor to run among ultrarunners. Chances of lottery selection are slim, but he hopes to complete a qualifying race each year to double his chances each year to earn a ticket. He’s enjoying the journey and will be rocking Lace Kings laces through his training, and many race miles to come. Luis now runs over 2000 miles a year has gained a great appreciation for laces that won’t let him down during a run.
Want to take the Lace Kings race test?
Tell us about your inspirational race story, why you run, and you could be selected to be featured on our blog. As a special thanks for your commitment and inspiration to the community, Lace Kings will send you a personalized thank you and a pair of our premium laces as token of our gratitude and congratulations for your accomplishments.