German women take to their heels in stiletto race

21st August 2006, Comments 0 comments

21 August 2006, BERLIN - Rapidly clicking her high-heeled shoes, Nadine Sonnabend, 24, ran along 80 metres of a Berlin street Saturday to claim a 10,000-euro shopping voucher offered by a fashion magazine. Sonnabend crossed Germany from her home in the western city of Mainz to join the field of 100 selected magazine readers in Germany's first Stiletto Run, a high-heels race along the Kurfuerstendamm shopping street. Race organizers timed her at 12.0 seconds. Competitors all had to wear heels of seven centi

21 August 2006

BERLIN - Rapidly clicking her high-heeled shoes, Nadine Sonnabend, 24, ran along 80 metres of a Berlin street Saturday to claim a 10,000-euro shopping voucher offered by a fashion magazine.

Sonnabend crossed Germany from her home in the western city of Mainz to join the field of 100 selected magazine readers in Germany's first Stiletto Run, a high-heels race along the Kurfuerstendamm shopping street.

Race organizers timed her at 12.0 seconds. Competitors all had to wear heels of seven centimetres or higher.

The race course had initially been 100 metres long, but the crowd that came to watch was so big that there was not enough room, a Stiletto Run spokeswoman said. The magazine, Glamour, rejected criticism from feminists and said the race was a show of elegance.

The event on the Kurfuerstendamm boulevard in the trendy shopping district that used to be the heart of former West Berlin was part of Berlin's Global Fashion Festival on Saturday and Sunday.

The feminists say the race promotes stereotypes of women "shackled" to awkward footwear that prohibits them from being on an equal footing with men - literally.

Athletes added that the race promotes the wrong attitude toward healthy running. They also warn that sprained ankles or even worse injuries may result, especially among "copycats" who try to run in stilettos at home.

But the organizers say the Stiletto Run was mostly aimed at just being a fun event for a summer Saturday.

"This isn't a sporting event per se," says Monika Fendt, an editor with the German edition of Glamour.

"We want 100 young women who are proud and confident enough in their style consciousness to take part in a footrace down the Ku-Damm," Fendt says. "We're not looking to break any world 100-metre records.

"Similar races in Russia and Holland have been lots of fun and have resulted in no injuries whatsoever," says Fendt.

Judges also handed out smaller gift certificates to entrants with the smartest outfits or the most elegant heels.

"A lot of people are willing to give an arm or a leg to get into the modelling business," Fendt says. "All we're asking is for them to run 100 metres in high heels."

DPA

Subject: German news

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