Over 30 men were man enough to participate Tuesday in the inaugural “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event in Hannibal’s Central Park. The event featured men wearing women’s footwear for just over four laps around the park.
Both the number of participants and onlookers had a smile on the face of Cory Combs, president of AVENUES’ Board.
“I’m super happy with the turnout. The amount of walkers was more than we expected and the turnout of spectators is fabulous. I don’t have a head count because there’s so many,” he said, saluting the event’s sponsors and participants.
The goal of the event was twofold - raise awareness and raise funds for AVENUES.
“Abuse, whether it’s spousal abuse, child abuse, sexual abuse, even verbal abuse is something that happens in the community and it’s something we can’t turn a blind eye to,” said Combs. “This is a fun way to deal with a really tough subject. I think we really succeeded in that today.”
The event went off without any serious pileups.
“I think everybody did pretty good,” said Combs, who also was one of the walkers. “There were a couple of close calls. I think there might be a couple of sore ankles tomorrow, but everybody did pretty good.”
Among those coming out of the event with a deeper appreciation for females was Mayor Roy Hark.
“I feel sorry for these ladies after walking in these shoes. They pinch your toes, rub on your heels and hurt. I’m just not hardly man enough for this,” he said.
After logging 2.5 laps, Hark had to stop briefly.
“My tires were smoking so I did a pit stop … They had to re-tread me,” he laughed. “I was wearing (women’s) flats and they were sliding up and down on my feet.”
During his pit stop, Hark slipped on his regular walking shoes before the diabetic rubbed his heels raw.
“I think it’s a good cause, so I’ll hang in until the bitter end for them,” he said.
Having a footwear malfunction was Blane Mundle.
“I lost a shoe on the second lap and had to have two of my students help me get them back on,” he said. “These high heels are kind of tough. My toes hurt a little bit, but it’s for such a good cause I’m going to push through.”
Also toughing it out were Mike Hall and Pastor Tim Goodman.
Page 2 of 2 - “I feel invigorated and energized, and I think my legs are going to fall off. It’s an interesting perspective, one I’ve never experienced before, at least not that I’ll admit to,” said Hall with a smile.
“I’m huffin’ and puffin’,” said Goodman. “It hurts. I’m torturing my feet, but it’s for a good cause.”