On The Run
---- — When a product wears out, you replace it. Sometimes it’s easy to tell that a product needs replacing, but with running shoes, it’s not always obvious. And with some runners who put in serious mileage every week, running in worn-out shoes can lead to problems. A Hamilton resident who suffered an injury in this fashion set out to create a way to alert users when their shoes were wearing down.
The end result was the mino (www.runmino.com), a $15 device that runners can insert in their shoes to track their mileage.
“The mino was created a few years ago to meet my own need to track the wear on my shoes and keep me from getting injured from worn-out shoes,” said Aaron Burke. “Once I had set my mind to adopt a more active lifestyle, I decided to test my body and run the [Baystate] Half Marathon. Two months before the race, my left leg began to really throb during my longer runs and then I couldn’t run at all because my knee really pinched. My doctor and physical therapist both told me that my shoes were totally gone.”
Burke, an engineer, then developed the mino, which tracks the magnitude and frequency of impacts to the shoe. A series of colored lights are calibrated to light up red when you have stressed your shoe to the manufacturer’s recommended life, which has been calibrated at 400 miles.
“It took two years to develop the algorithm and circuitry but also to make it really thin so runners don’t notice it under their shoe liner,” Burke said. “Our customers lift their liner once a month and check the lights. We say, ‘If it’s red, it’s dead.’”
Since launching in January, more than 400 customers have purchased the mino, he said. New England Running Company in Beverly was the first retailer to carry the mino; now it’s available in stores in Maryland, Michigan and Florida.
Burke and business partner Russ Queen’s company, Paraware LLC, was launched in the Merrimack Valley Sandbox in UMass Lowell business accelerator and is about to graduate from the entrepreneurial program.
“After graduation, we will be on the hunt for more product ideas, investors, and a commercial space to call home so we can launch our next big thing,” said Burke.
Burke and Queen have begun sponsoring local road races, including the Lone Gull 10K in Gloucester on Sept. 15 and the monthly North Shore Road Race Guide (NSRRG) 5K runs. As part of the NSRRG arrangement, Paraware launched the minoRewards smartphone app, which gives users discounts at New England Running Company when they post on the store’s Facebook wall.
“Being at local races is a great way for us to hear from runners at all stages of the running life,” Burke said.
Starts and stops
The fourth annual Fall Frolic 5K & Fun Run is set for Sunday, Oct. 6. The 5K begins at 9:30 a.m. on the traditional Beverly Homecoming race route beginning and ending at Lynch Park, 55 Ober St., Beverly. The half-mile Kids Fun Run begins at 9 a.m. and is open to all kids grade 5 and younger. Entry fees for 5K are $20 before Sept. 22 and $25 after, and $2 for the Fun Run. The event benefits Beverly’s public elementary schools. Register online at www.fallfrolic5K.com.
The first annual 5K for C.A.D.: Conquering Aortic Disease takes place on Sunday, Sept. 15 at 9:30 a.m. at New England Executive Park in Burlington. The race is presented by the Charles A. Doherty Foundation; Doherty, 34, a father of two, died suddenly in April 2012 after an 8-mile run due to complications with a bicuspid aortic valve including aortic stenosis and insufficiency. Visit http://cadmf.org/ for more information.
On the Run is a biweekly column about the North Shore running scene. Send any questions, comments, or news to email@example.com.
Saturday, Aug. 31: HOOMPA Nickel 5-mile Road Race, Nahant Life Saving Station, 96 Nahant Rd., Nahant, 5 p.m. Contact: Jon Lazar (Nahant Veterans Association American Legion) at 1-781-599-1948 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, Sept. 2: Around Cape Ann 25K and Run the Goose 7K, O’Maley Middle School, 71 Middle St., Gloucester, 9 a.m. Contact: Barbara Berry (Cape Ann YMCA) at 1-978-283-0470 x103 or email@example.com.
Wednesday, Sept. 4: Danvers 5K Fun Run, Sweet William’s Garden Center, 141 Pine St., Danvers, 7 p.m. Free, timed run. All welcome. These events are part of a weekly 52-race series. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; 44th Annual Lynn Woods Summer Cross Country, Lynn Woods, Great Woods Road, Lynn, 6:30 p.m. Every Wednesday from May 29-Sept. 25. Free. Three races. Contact: Bill Mullen (Lynn Woods Summer XC) at 1-978-535-3905 or email email@example.com.
Thursday, Sept. 5: No Rest for the Wicked Weekly 5K-ish, Salem Common, Salem, 6:45 p.m. Free 3.2-mile run. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, Sept. 7: 12th Annual International Race for Research 5K, Peabody City Hall, 24 Lowell St., Peabody, 9 a.m. 5K race and 2-mile fun walk through downtown Peabody. Awards for top finishers. Contact: Michelle Fino (The Progeria Research Foundation) at 1-978-535-2594 or email@example.com; Piping Plover 5K at Crane Beach, 290 Argilla Road, Ipswich, 8 a.m. A scenic out-and-back 5K race on Crane Beach at low tide. Free parking until 8 a.m. Contact: Preston Curtis (New England Barefoot Runners) at 1-781-789-2332 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, Sept. 11: Danvers 5K Fun Run, Sweet William’s Garden Center, 141 Pine St., Danvers, 7 p.m. Free, timed run. All welcome. These events are part of a weekly 52-race series. E-mail email@example.com; 44th Annual Lynn Woods Summer Cross Country, Lynn Woods, Great Woods Road, Lynn, 6:30 p.m. Every Wednesday from May 29-Sept. 25. Free. Three races. Contact: Bill Mullen (Lynn Woods Summer XC) at 1-978-535-3905 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.