The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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K-Swiss brings ‘free running’ to SMU campus

Sophomore Logan Westby tries out the new K-Swiss shoes designed for free running, an art in which participants move through their environment fluididly using different jumping techniques. Dallas was one of seven stops on the K-Swiss Free Running Tour.
Lindsey Perkins
Sophomore Logan Westby tries out the new K-Swiss shoes designed for free running, an art in which participants move through their environment fluididly using different jumping techniques. Dallas was one of seven stops on the K-Swiss Free Running Tour.

Sophomore Logan Westby tries out the new K-Swiss shoes designed for free running, an art in which participants move through their environment fluididly using different jumping techniques. Dallas was one of seven stops on the K-Swiss Free Running Tour. (Lindsey Perkins)

Scaffoldings, rails and ramps were scattered around the Flagpole in the center of the SMU campus Wednesday. Rock music from Dallas’ 102.1 The Edge blasted as students and professional “free runners” jumped through the obstacles.

Ryan Ford, 20, a member of The Tribe, the performing group, explained that free running is a form of parkour. Ford explained the difference between the two. Free running is “more about style,” while parkour is about “speed and efficiency.”

The Program Council brought the K-Swiss Free Running event to SMU. The event’s purpose was to promote the sport of free running – using creative movement and acrobatics to move through the space. K-Swiss also promoted its new shoe, the Ariake, the first shoe specifically designed for the sport.

Kristen Kimball, entertainment chair for Program Council, was contacted by K-Swiss and agreed it would be a unique demonstration to bring to campus. K-Swiss sponsored the event, and it did not cost the university any money.

Students passing by could watch the show or even participate. After signing a short waiver, students could learn flips and spins from the pros. The workshop was a key component of the event.

K-Swiss also had the Ariake shoe available for the audience to try on, in addition to a chance to win a three-day trip to Washington D.C. for personal training sessions with The Tribe.

Ford, a junior at University Colorado at Boulder, had not been involved in any other sports before free running and doesn’t consider it an extreme sport. “I’ve been a member of The Tribe for about three years… free running is more of a discipline,” Ford said.

Although free running is a lesser-known sport, Ford pointed out, “You know the chase scene in the movie ‘Casino Royale’? That is free running.” He then motioned to the picture of the athlete on the K-Swiss van – “That’s him,” Ford said.

After their performance, students were provided with an instructional DVD explaining more about free running. Many began to try on Ariakes, started filling out their chance to win a trip to Washington D.C. and were eager to learn more about the sport.

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