1st Annual NYC Barefoot Run By Nathan "Macmhagan" Matthews

Discussion in 'Front Page News' started by DNEchris, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. DNEchris

    DNEchris Barefooters
    1. Washington

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,689
    Likes Received:
    2,795
    [​IMG]
    1st Annual NYC Barefoot Run
    10/10/10
    By Nathan "Macmhagan" Matthews
    I had a great experience at the 1st annual New York City Barefoot Run. This was actually my first official run since running cross country races in high school. That's more than twenty years. The weather was perfect for a run: clear skies and cool, but not as cool as was predicted. I drove to New York from Virginia and made it in time for the second ferry to Governor's Island (I actually found free street parking close to the ferry!). The dock workers and the NYC Barefoot Run volunteers were all very organized. Volunteer Jim caught me before I got on the ferry without my official t-shirt. On the ferry ride there were tons of VFFs and a few other minimalist shoes on display. It was a cold morning so there were not too many people barefoot yet except for one boy who looked to be about six or seven years old.
    There was a 15 minute walk from the ferry landing to the event area/starting line. I started jogging about half way to warm up. I was feeling good. I haveAchillestendinitis that is slowly getting better the more I run and go barefoot. On the day the Achilles were not hurting. I do not claim to be a barefoot runner. I have only progressed to doing my warm up around the block barefoot before I put on my VFFs and run my 3, 4, or 5 miles. I did not train as much as I wanted to before this event, but I felt good and the main purpose of the event was to learn - not to compete. I play soccer every week so I am in okay shape, but I need to work on my form and on running efficiently. I've only started running again this year after only playing soccer for the past twenty years or so. I like so many others gave up running because I did not enjoy it and never found comfortable shoes. Now I love running in my VFFs with a forefoot striking form.
    There was about an hour of milling around, checking bags, meeting people, snacking, hydrating, and warming up before John Durant took the megaphone and started things off. As that hour progressed and as the sun warmed us up, more and more people kicked of their shoes, VFFs, or whatever they were wearing. During this time and before, Jason Robillard was already on his fourth lap attempting to run a full marathon. By the time Barefoot Ted yelled "three, two, one!" in the megaphone to start the race, I would say 90% of the runners were fully barefoot. Most of us, including me, were carrying our VFFs. The paved street around Governor's Island was very smooth for about 1/2 mile from the start. Once the pavement became very rough, I continued barefoot for a while, but then put on my Sprints. I had to decide if I wanted to slow down and continue to run barefoot or put on my Vibrams and run fast. I am still a sprinter and soccer player at heart so I chose to run fast as a minimalist runner. Fast is a relative term. Jason R. passed me with his quick marathon cadence.
    Once I was out of the pack I concentrated on my form and running efficiently. Half way through my second lap (the road around the island is between 2.1 and 2.2 miles), I caught up to Hans. I had seen him at the start pull away from the pack and knew he was running at a good pace. We started talking and discovered we were at about the same level with training and distance so we ran another loop and a half together. During our run together we got to see lots of crazy barefoot running stuff going on. Barefoot Ted was leading a pack of hunters around the island the opposite direction chasing down game (other barefoot runners), and foraging for food (I never did taste thosecrab apples).John Durant was also running clockwise with his own pack. I never did catch up to Jason R., but perhapsHans and I lapped him while he was on a beer break. Hans and I pushed our last 1/4 mile very hard and finished our 6.5 miles in about 50 minutes: a new personal best for me in distance and time since my return to running. By the end I felt much better about my form. I was leaning into the run/falling forward more, and my cadence was quicker.
    Since I had only run three laps, the majority of runners were still out there. As they trickled in, a few of us hung out in the bier garten while other relaxed in the hammocks. Some started climbing trees with Erwan Le Corre. Later there were loads of prizes given by the sponsors, Terra Plana and Tip Top Shoes. I won a pair of Vibrams! Since I already have some I got them in a size that I hoped would fit my 9 year old daughter. They do and she loves them! As I reflect on the day I wish I had reserved some running energy to run some laps with Dan Lieberman and/or Daniel Howell. So I have come away from the event feeling I have improved my form a bit, but that I could have learned more from the experienced barefoot runners.
    As I left to walk to the ferry at noon, one guy, runner 242, was still running - and still barefoot. I hope to learn someday who he is and how far he actually ran. On the walk and on the ferry I had a good talk with that same Volunteer Jim about running/natural living and a bunch of other stuff. The run was a great place to be with more than a hundred barefoot/minimalist runners and not have the stares for awhile. Hopefully the running shoe fad will be over soon. Until then, I have already started planning my trip to next year's NYC Barefoot Run and next year I will bring the whole family.
    Nathan Matthews
    Runner 140
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. DNEchris

    DNEchris Barefooters
    1. Washington

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,689
    Likes Received:
    2,795
    Mike just e-mailed me to say he actually did 27.3 miles last Sunday. He recovered well and now plans to do all his races barefoot. This is not your typical introduction to barefoot running!
     
  3. macmhagan

    macmhagan Barefooters
    1. Virginia
    2. District of...

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2010
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Way to go Michael Kim! I could use some of that determination - I need to build up my feet yin a yang.

    It is quite amazing to me how universal the feelings are of freedom, excitement, and joy among barefoot runners - that such a simple thing as taking off your shoes and running with a different form can be so transformative.
     

Share This Page