Winners! ‘SPOT Holiday’ contests

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HUGE response again this week to our SPOT the Holiday’ contest, where we gave away a pair of Vibram FiveFingers shoes and held a live Treasure Hunt in Minneapolis during a major snowstorm! The online contest for the Vibram shoes saw hundreds of entries — which were answers to the question Why do you NEED a pair of FiveFingers shoes this winter? — including lots of humor, seasonal plays, some outright begging, and several touching tales. After sorting through the answers, we came upon one, from Cameron Hamblin of Los Altos, Calif., that stood out more than the rest. (Jump below for details.)

SPOT the Holiday’ Treasure Hunt winner; map of course

Our second contest this week was a live Treasure Hunt for a SPOT device held in Minneapolis last Saturday during a blizzard the likes of which has not been seen in the area for years. Up to 20 inches fell on parts of the Twin Cities and the winds whipped, but that didn’t keep several hearty Gear Junkie readers from heading out. We fed clues to the contest via Gear Junkie Facebook and Twitter — examples: “NW corner of Minneapolis Lake”; “The lake is south of Lake Street”; “Bird Sanctuary close by” — to let hunters narrow in on a location. About two hours after the contest began, at least six people had found the red flag, which was poking out of the snow on the NW corner of Minneapolis’ Lake Harriet.

Congrats to all who went treasure hunting! The winners — all on bikes! — were husband and wife Phil and Jana Velo as well as Randall Dietel, all of Minneapolis. They each win a SPOT device, though Phil and Jana gotta share theirs! Of note, Thomas Puzak and Kelly Brinkman scored “third place,” showing up just behind the winners in a gallant effort to get across town and through the snow. Way to go, guys!

Treasure hunter Randall Dietel with the flag!

Back to the Vibram FiveFingers contest. . . Cameron Hamblin is the mother of a young daughter, Alison, with a vision impairment. Cameron wrote about how the Vibram FiveFingers shoes might help Alison transcend the unfortunate genetic defect. She wrote that her daughter “has a genetic defect called coloboma which causes her to have limited vision down towards the ground. As a result, she trips in shoes a lot but runs like a gazelle in bare feet.” Cameron explained that Alison borrowed a pair of VFFs from a friend for a day and loved them.

Alison Hamblin looking shocked (inset photo is mom and daughter) and her VFF prize

Cameron’s daughter — who fits in the smallest size FiveFingers that are made! — plans to run her first 5K in the spring and wants to train in the FiveFingers shoes. Congrats, Cameron! A new pair of FiveFingers TrekSport or Bikila shoes for Alison will shortly be on their way!

—Follow GearJunkie’s Facebook page and Twitter for more SPOT the Holiday’ promotions this month. Contests continue through New Year’s Day 2011.

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