Reviewed By: talonraid Date Reviewed: 07/04/2011 Review Type: Race Barefoot Friendliness: 4 Below Average Location: National Shooting Complex 5931 Roft Road San Antonio, TX See map: Google Maps Picture: I'll approach this one from two different aspects again. The overall race experience and then from a barefooter's point of view. First, this was yet another great race pulled off by the San Antonio Road Runners (SARR). The race was well organized, chip timed, and had great race support as is usual for the SARR. There was plenty of parking when we arrived and the National Shooting Complex had most of the pre-race boothes set up inside a building. So, there was some shade while picking up timing chips or last minute registration. The race started on time and they had asked walkers and strollers to please stay to the rear, which I always appreciate. The course meandered around and through the shooting complex with a combination of some open areas around skeet shooting fields and some other lanes back in a slightly wooded area. My Garmin tells me the first half of the run was downhill and then the second half was uphill. There is a pretty tough hill right before the finish line which claimed a number of runners. There were three water stops along the trail with water and gatorade and plenty of nice volunteers working their butts off for us. Thank you to all who have ever volunteered to help at a race. Now, I'll talk about the stuff that matters to me as a barefoot runner. First, there was a lady who ran the whole race barefoot...she's either a total barefoot badass or I'm a panzy. More on that later. I had every intent of running the race barefoot and had it not been for my wife's psychic ability I probably would not have even been able to compete. She had one of those feelings that I should bring a pair of "bail out" shoes. I never do this anymore, since I think I'm a barefoot god. However, I know she's way smarter than me, so I threw a pair of VFFs in the truck before we left the house. When I stepped out of the truck at the race, I realized I might be in for a problem. The paved surface was some of the roughest stuff I have ever seen. I was able to take a few pictures but I can only upload one picture for the review, so I picked one that I thought was the best representation of the majority of the course. Very rough chip and seal I suppose but it was also cracked and crumbling in many places with the limestone bed showing through. I did a quick walk from the starting line down to the first turn. There was about 50 or so yards of nice smooth asphalt, then it turned into rough terrain and I don't recall it ever changing during the remainder of the run. So, needless to say I made the decision to swallow my barefoot pride and put the VFFs on. I saw another barefoot runner at one of the water stops that I know, and I paused to talk to her for about a minute. She had made the decision to work the water stop instead of running the race because she scouted the trail and decided the course is too tough...so that made me feel a little bit better about my tender feet...well, until I saw the other barefoot lady at the end of the race who had done the whole thing barefoot. She did tell me that she spent most of the time on the side of the track and said it was tough, but not impossible, but she has run a few ultras barefoot. So, again it made me feel like I shouldn't feel too bad about being a panzy.