I had to share my experience... So I just completed my first marathon. Not only was it my first marathon, it was my first trail marathon with no pain from my IT band and feet. And not only was it my first trail marathon with no pain, I did it in minimal shoes (Merrell Pace Gloves). Part of the trail was pretty technical (steep fireroads and deeply rutted out single-track with lots of sharp rocks in some parts). I finished strong and with enough fuel left in my tank I was able to kick it up a notch during the last 4.5 miles. I also used an alternative type of training (high intensity interval training similar to crossfit) in which my longest distance was a half-marathon trail race I did back in late August/early September. So 14 miles was the longest distance I ever ran before this race. I did this because of all my feet, knee and hip issues. Words can't even begin to describe what an accomplishment this is for me since I wrote off running long distances when I was about 25 years old. Almost 15 years later and after a year-long transition to barefoot/minimal running I finally completed this marathon (well actually, nearly 29 miles of trail when all was said and done.) My hips are a bit sore after this race (I still have more work to do there), but my feet, knees and calves faired the best during this race. My feet were more stable than I expected on such uneven and difficult terrain. The only blisters I got from my shoes were on the top of one foot and on a couple toes from flexing my toes in my shoes like I do when running barefoot. Since none of my training involved long slow distance I wasn't able to condition my feet for the longer distance barefoot, but was so happy to be able to do it in minimal shoes! My feet felt good most of the way. They got a bit tired around mile 26, but I think that's to be expected since I hadn't been putting any miles on them. I wanted to share my experience because there were so many times that I had doubts. Doubts about my body, doubts about barefoot running, doubts about my alternative training, doubts about whether I was too old to be trying this again... but at some point I decided to embrace the unknown and just give it 100%. It was risky, but if it paid off it would be a major accomplishment. And it was. It truly was. These are the forums that started it all for me. Thank you guys and all your knowledge and support. I truly appreciate every one of you.