Man's Running Shoes Expire in Middle of 5K

A man is in serious but stable condition at a local hospital after his running shoes expired during a race over the weekend.

Lon Chaney, 54, was just past the two-mile mark in the Parkway 5K when the incident occurred, sources said. 

"I was running right behind him," said Boris Karloff, 33. "He looked fine to me—and then, all of a sudden, he screamed. Next thing I know, he's on the ground, clutching his feet."

"The man was clearly in a lot of pain."

The man was clearly in a lot of pain.
— Boris Karloff, witness

Karloff and another participant paused to offer assistance until EMTs arrived and took Chaney to the hospital. After an examination, a podiatrist blamed Chaney's collapse on Sudden Catastrophic Shoe Failure Syndrome (SCSFS)—a constellation of painful symptoms brought on when a runner's shoes "go bad" during a run.

Industry experts were saddened to learn of Chaney's experience, but not surprised.

"If we've said it once, we've said it a thousand times," said Jon Swift, president of the National Association of Running Shoe Manufacturers. "Replace your running shoes every 350 miles."

"If your shoes have 348 miles on them and you decide to go ahead and run a 5K in them," Swift said, "well... do the math."

Doctors said Chaney should be fine, eventually, and the longtime runner was in good spirits when Dumb Runner reached him by phone. 

"It was a short race," Chaney quipped. "Just two hits—my shoes hit their expiration date, and I hit the ground."

Chaney also said he's learned his lesson.

"I'll be replacing my shoes every 350 miles from now on, for sure," he said. "Maybe every 300 miles, just to be safe.

"And I'll never again question the wisdom of the running shoe industry."