The SLC Naked Foot 5K, or “Please, Pain- may I have some more?”

Me, not admitting I'm in excruciating pain (Used by permission of The Naked Foot 5K- Thanks!)

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.

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