My First 2-Mile Barefoot Run, 6 August 2011

When I saw the latest blog post of Sir Jovie a.k.a. Bald Runner (BR) about a race on barefoot running, my interest was sparked.

It was a post about a two-mile run or equivalent to a three-kilometer run. In my mind this was something new considering that I’ve been running since 2003 wearing running shoes most of the time. Who wouldn’t? The possibilities of getting hurt while running unprotected are just too many. If I remember right, Jinoe owner of Takbo.ph once wrote an article about barefoot running.
Anyhow, it was a opportune time to have my Vibram Five Fingers Sprint (courtesy of Vibram Five Fingers-Barefootwearinc.com given for FREE almost a year ago) model to be tested, this time in a running mode or so I thought. But to my surprise, all participants are required to run bare. “Oh, no!” It was my inner mind protesting. I have never tried running barefoot in a race, except during my childhood days when I had the luxury of playing and running with friends donning no slippers at all. That was a long, long time ago. I wonder how it would feel this time.
Barefoot running is not really new to me.  I’ve seen a runner who ran 10Ks or longer when I started racing three or four years ago.  He got used to running barefoot that his feet even rejected the feel of shoes. Man, he was really fast for his age.  I think the last time I saw him was when I ran a 21K distance in a Milo Marathon race a couple of years ago.  He even whizzed past me. 

There were more than eighty runners in yesterday’s run and to me it was indeed a testament that barefoot running is gaining a following in the Philippines, particularly in the big metro. After a short speech from the organizer himself, a short talk and barefoot running demo followed.
It felt so different to walk and run in the outdoors with no running shoes. Of course, I was afraid or a little nervous at the starting line but the excitement, anticipation, and feeling of having fun erased all doubts.
The first 500 meters during the first loop went well. However, the second half was like penitence. Runners yelled, “Ouch!, Yeoh!, Aray!” It was a bit painful because the pavement was not even and when your feet landed on small stones consider it a painful massage. I survived the first round. The next and the last loops went well too. My feet to some extent adjusted. But I was not spared from being hurt. I had four mild blisters, three on my right foot and one on my left foot. I felt a little discomfort when walking but it was no big deal  Nevertheless, I still had fun time to be able to finish my first barefoot run and finished it in less than twenty-two minutes. Not bad at all.
Congratulations to the top three finishers in both the female and male divisions and to all finishers.  For official results, see baldrunner.com.  Watch out for the next BR’s barefoot race, a five-kilometer run … soon!