Yesterday, I was privileged to run a 9AM start time 5K! That means I set my alarm for 7:30, not 6AM, which is not a fun time to wake up to on your day off. Somebody was thinking of us 5K commuters.
I drove up to the SLC and quickly picked up my registration packet, threw the well-thought-out technical shirt that comes with the race into my truck (unspoken rule of running races- don’t wear the shirt until you’ve run the race…you gotta earn it) and pinned my bib # on my shirt.
I was surprised that most of the people lined up for the race donned running shoes. There was a small amount of people who wore minimalist shoes- and even less who truly ran “naked.” I was among them and I was nervous- I hadn’t run in a while and hadn’t run barefoot in a couple of months. For those of you who don’t know- I broke my hand, wore a cast and felt that somehow I had an excuse to not run. I was wrong, of course, but you know how that works (if you’re a runner.)
The race started and we all set in at a nice, slow pace. I tried to just run easy, but also keep up with the majority of the pack.
Disclaimer: The following paragraph could easily be misunderstood. I was passed by runners, much more often than I was able to pass runners, so this next paragraph should be read with an “excited” voice and not with a cocky tone.
Through the race, I found success passing other barefoot runners. I’m not the fastest guy, but over the last Winter and Spring I’ve gained a callous from running on pavement, rocks, snow and ice and dirt trails. So while many true barefooters (props, guys, by the way) winced and limped along, I comfortably passed on gravel and asphalt and then would look for the next barefooter in front of me.
Still with me, guys?
This was a fun race. I can’t find the race results, so I’m not sure how well I did…but for a 37 year old barefooter, I think I did pretty well.
Epilogue: My legs are killing me. If you think your legs hurt after a normal, shod run, try running a race barefoot, when you’re not exactly trained.
Double Epilogue: I’m sending the link of this post to the Naked Foot 5K website. This might be a good time to flatter the race by mentioning that they put on a heck of a show. Well done, guys. Thanks for the good time and even more so- thanks to all of the runners who showed up and made it known to me that Barefoot Running in Utah is not dead…by a long stretch.
Triple Epilogue: It’s Tuesday night and my legs are still killing me. Message received, body. Message received.