A Spartan Race, the Spartan way!

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Running' started by Visions Of Asia, Jun 3, 2019.

  1. Visions Of Asia

    Visions Of Asia Barefooters

    Jun 13, 2018
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    I mentioned that in a previous post, on the mud run... But eventually, I managed to do a full Spartan sprint race barefoot. I had some apprehensions as the organizers did not recommend running barefoot, but ultimately, they couldn't care less.

    However, the terrain was not really barefoot-friendly, and I might even qualify it as dangerous to some degree: it seemed to be an abandonned landfill of some sorts, with metal parts left in the middle of the track, construction debris and even broken glass! Of course, no injury, as generally I look where I run or walk, but that was not a welcome sight.

    Beyond that, running (or rather slugging through) barefoot in thick mud was perfect barefoot: where some runners were sucked deep into the mud with their shoes, I had no issues moving ahead and did not slip once. Instead, had to dunk in the awful "dunk wall" obstacle.

    Overall, a fun experience, and I think I want to redo it! Attitude of other runners: some wondering if my shoes got sucked by the mud, others admirative, and just two who tried to be snarky about it (wondering how my feet would take a 50 kg boulder on the toes).

    Random, swoggis and Barefoot TJ like this.
  2. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
    1. Nomad

    Mar 5, 2010
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    Well, I'm proud of you. A landfill could be a worrisome place for a barefoot runner. I would think shod feet are not much better off than bare feet with a 50kg boulder on the toes...unless they're running in steel-toed shoes.


    Fun History:
    Back in 2011, I was told that barefoot runners were not allowed to run in the Merrell Down & Dirty Mud Run, although they were sponsoring a Barefoot Runner Division. Actually, that would be a "barefoot shoe division," truthfully a minshoe division, but they refused to change its name to its true intention. I couldn't stand to allow this nonsense to go on, so I contacted my buddy Jason Robillard, co-founder of the BRS.

    After a lot of back and forth and Jason working with Merrell (He was a spokesman of theirs for a time.) and Tony Post at Vibram, we got Merrell to change their minds and allow barefoot runners in their Merrell Down & Dirty Mud Run "Barefoot Specific Division." Yeah us!


    A lot of these mud runs/extreme runs allow barefoot runners and have for several years now. Some (not many) are even fostering barefoot runner divisions. I don't have the time to look it all up again, but back in 2011, this was the status:
    • USMC Mud Run - Does not say they won't allow barefoot, but does say that you have to wear army boots to run in their special division. ;-)
    • The Original Mud Run - Allowed
    • Gladiator Mud Run
    • Tough Mudder - Allowed - I think
    • Spartan Race - Allowed
    • Blackfoot Mud Run
    • Warrior Dash - Allowed
    • Columbia Muddy Buddy

    BTW, years ago, the BRS worked with Spartan to advertise that barefoot runners are welcome. Here's an ad we collaborated on. Notice the Barefoot Runners Welcome!...Promo Code BRS:

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