This Actually Happened at the Finish Line

On May 21st, I ran a half marathon. The week before gathering at the starting line with thousands of other runners, my knee gave out. For three days leading up to the race I hobbled around, iced, and hoped I’d be able to run. 

Coincidentally, the day before the race we developed a new Kippo prototype featuring four pockets. There are two Kippo pockets, one on the left and one on the right, and two standard pockets, one on each side. Normally, I like to test new prototypes by running a 5K or less. But, with a tentative knee, I wanted to carry a brace in case it gave out. Even though I’d never tested this new model, I decided to wear them on my 13.1 mile race because there was plenty of room for all my goods. I stored my iPhone in the right Kippo pocket and squirreled away gummy bears in the left Kippo pocket, along with my car key. In the standard pockets I put my handkerchief on the left and knee brace on the right. 

The gun fired. 

The energy of the environment distracted me from thinking about how much I was carrying in the prototype Kippo shorts. After the initial burst, around mile two, I reached down and felt my pockets to make sure everything was in its place. It was all there and wasn’t bothering me or interrupting my stride. 

Fast forward past the water stops and hills and we’re at mile 10. That’s when the pacer leading the group said, “You’re on your own at the next turn because this pace group is continuing on the full marathon. If you can break away, feel free to go for it.” We hit a downhill and I pulled away. The next three miles felt good and as I turned onto Joplin Street, I could hear the finish line. That’s when I decided to go for it. 

The announcer saw my number and called my name and said, “It’s going to be a race to the finish line.” There was a guy 20 yards ahead of me. I could either finish strong, or try to beat him. Digging deep to find another gear, I took off. Like a sprinter sticking out his scalp to grab the gold, I plunged my head across the finish line. 

The next day, I wasn’t entirely sure I’d beat the other runner. Then I came across this picture and checked our bib numbers. I beat him by one second. As I scanned the photo, I started laughing. While I was packing all kinds of gear in the prototype Kippos, the guy I’d beat was holding his phone (and a water bottle). Did I win because my arms were pumping and I wasn’t worried about my phone? Perhaps. All I know is having that freedom to kick on the afterburners, unencumbered by holding something in my hand, certainly didn’t hurt. 

The prototype I was wearing fit and functioned really well, but the fabric was junk. Once again, a fabric supplier gave me a shoddy recommendation. After one wash, the fabric started pilling and stretching like an old pair of panty hose. As you probably know, I have a hawk’s for high standards and want to make sure each product is better than the last. Since the fabric didn’t work, we are developing new samples and continuing testing. Each time we try a new fabric, it requires pattern adjustments, testing, and quality examinations. Once this new version is ready to go, I’ll let you know. 

By the way, thanks for all the great reviews on our website. Your feedback means the world to me. If you’d like to share your real-world experience, which I think is helpful to people considering a pair of Kippos, please go to our website or Amazon. If you click that link to our product page, scroll under the video and click “Write a review.”  

Once we finalize the new men's version and our women's I'll send an update. We're getting close. Until then, be well and thanks for your continued support.


Mark Kinsley

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