Stiletto Race in Berlin: High Heels of Fire

One hundred German women braved broken heels and sprained ankles in Saturday's second annual "Stiletto Run" 100-meter race in Berlin.

The distance was 100 meters. The field was 100 women. The prize was €10,000. The setting was Berlin. And the shoes were stilettos.

With a time of 14.7 seconds, Berliner Denise Hanitzsch beat out 99 fellow heel-wearers Saturday to take the prize in the second annual "Stiletto Run," held in West Berlin near the upscale Kurfürstendamm shopping district.

The run, sponsored by the women's fashion magazine Glamour and held in connection with Berlin's "Global Fashions Festival," had only two rules for its reader-contestants: the stiletto heels had to be at least 7 centimeters (2.75 inches) high and no more than 1.5 centimeters (0.6 inches) wide at the tip.

The 24-year-old office worker claims to not have trained specifically for the event, but apparently she didn't have to. "I have to run around every day with high heels on, and I've always been a good runner," Hanitzsch told the German tabloid Bild.

Asked about her technique, Hanitzsch told Bild: "Make your strides as big as possible and never let your foot roll back onto the heel."

Victory will be particularly sweet for Hanitzsch, who was held to second place in last year's race after one of her heels broke.

Asked how she would spend her prize -- a €10,000 ($13,500) gift certificate for Berlin's upscale KaDeWe department store -- Hanitzsch told Bild: "On shoes! What else?"

jtw/ddp

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