Race Report: Canton, OH marathon

Discussion in 'Races & Events' started by fredvp71, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. fredvp71

    fredvp71 Barefooters
    1. Ohio

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    Hello BRS! Just a quick race report on a barefoot marathon (my first) I completed on Sunday, June 17th in Canton, Ohio. I will keep it brief, but feel free to comment or message me for more details if wanted.

    Some people on this site are amazing runners, and complete barefoot marathons 6 months after first starting. I have had a much slower process - my first year I ran a 5K barefoot (and was badly injured from running in freezing temperatures). The second year I was happy to finish a 10K. Last year, wait for it, a half marathon, and this year a full marathon!

    This marathon was the first in Canton but was attended by 5000 runners overall, including 300 or so for the full 26.2. The course was all roads, with a variation of tars from mostly pebble to that lovely smooth pure blacktop that makes me think of skateboarding. I would recommend this marathon for a barefoot runner for many reasons - tons of crowd support, drink stations every half-mile, and the best thing was nice warm temperatures. I don't like running barefoot in anything under sixty degrees (I do it, I just don't like it), so for me 60 to 80 degrees is the sweet spot, and you're going to get that in June, but maybe not in March or October.

    The difficulties I had were being badly out of shape - as I said I start running sporadically in April, and regularly every other day in May; to be ready for a marathon after just five weeks of consistent running was pretty tough. So tough in fact, I was not ready, but counted on the magic of my feet to carry me through, which they did. (phew!) I was rocking about ten pounds of extra gut if you want the real image. Also, I came down with the dreaded awful cold 3 days before the race. That cleared up at the last minute enough to run, and allowed me to hack some righteous monster-phlegm balls during and after the race. It has since turned into bronchitis and I am still hacking as I type, 3 days later.

    Anyhoo, my training regimen consisted of no regimen at all. I did a 12 mile run two weeks before the race, and a 16 miler exactly 7 days before the race. The 16 made me feel pretty confident because my feet were fine afterwards, and I ran an 8 mile run two days later, just before I caught my cold. So, that was it for training. Diet is not something I worry about either. As far as I can tell there are great athletes who only eat proteins, and great athletes who only eat carbs, so who the hell knows, or cares, life is too short, I eat what I like and run it off in the summer.

    That being said, my nonchalance did NOT pay off, I repeat did NOT help the race. I almost gave up at mile 22, and sat in some dude's chair for ten minutes before deciding I didn't want to wait for the last place van, and stumbled through the last 4 miles. I ran the first 13 in 2 hours, which got me all excited for a sub-4 finish. I then proceeded to run the next 13 in 3 hours, including an amazing 84 minutes to do the last 5 miles. My final time was 4:54, which might be slow or fast depending on your perspective. For me it was just right, because I finished and had no injuries. I did get 2 small blood blisters on both feet, just below and between the big toe and second toe. They were dime-sized and not painful. It rained for the last 10 miles, and I think running in the rain on the super-smooth tar made me get a little careless and I got some friction, ironically, on the smoothest and most pleasant surface of the entire race.

    The finish was the worst part, as it ended in the Football Hall of Fame astro-turfed stadium. It was like running on razor-wire brillo pads, after 26 miles of pebbly wet asphalt. I kept a smile on my face though, and finished strong. The race was Sunday, today is Wednesday and I ran a little 4-mile BF jog this morning and feel fine. I guess now I can call myself Barefoot Fred! That's about it, huge thanks to the barefoot community who keep this site up and running. Thanks for reading!
     

    Bare Lee and NickW like this.
  2. Longboard

    Longboard Chapter Presidents
    1. Michigan

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    You sure can,
    Congrats on the BFrace!
     

  3. pitbullmamaliz

    pitbullmamaliz Barefooters
    1. Ohio

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    Outstanding! I had a friend who ran that marathan, but he did it fully shod. It blows my mind you can run a marathan with that little prep, LOL.
     
  4. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
    1. Nomad

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    Congrats, Barefoot Fred! :barefoot:
     
  5. DNEchris

    DNEchris Barefooters
    1. New York

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    Does that make him your BFF?

    Congratulations Fred. That is quite an achievement.
     
    Barefoot TJ likes this.
  6. dutchie53

    dutchie53 Barefooters
    1. Canada

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    Congrats on your marathon. Way to gut it out in the end Barefoot Fred :barefoot:
     
  7. rik

    rik Barefooters
    1. Utah

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    Fred,
    Congrats, I am hoping to complete a marathon bf (yes no shoes.. as we are often asked ). I don't understand the fear others have when they look at you like you are crazy because you run barefoot. I like the way you described sitting in the chair deciding if you wanted to continue.. good on you man. You have accomplished some thing most people will never accomplish and you did it barefoot.
    Cheers, BF rik Utah Chapter.
     

  8. fredvp71

    fredvp71 Barefooters
    1. Ohio

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    Thanks for the kind comments everyone! Don't rush the marathon, you'll kind of know when you are ready. For me, 10 and 12 mile runs started being no big deal, and I wasn't getting blisters at all anymore, even running in the rain or in mid-80's heat.

    I run in Luna's a little less than half my total mileage - I don't love them but anything else messes up my BF form. The sole is too thick on them but I've had mine for a couple years now, so they are okay.

    I've beaten every PR I ever set in shoes, but it happens organically, at its own time and pace. You can't rush the barefoot, man. It just kind of happens, and sometimes it doesn't for awhile. Now, I want to add speed back in to my BF running, but it's tough. Every time I try, it seems like it pushes my form off and I get a blister or a splinter. That's where I'm at - ready for the next marathon, and hoping for a modest time improvement.
     

  9. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
    1. Nomad

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    I have your race report on the home page now, Barefoot Fred. Check out the By line!

    Could you add some of this to the Course Reviews forum for us?
     
  10. Tristan

    Tristan Barefooters
    1. Ohio

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    Congrats on the finish... in less than ideal conditions too! Sounds pretty bf friendly I might have to put that on my list for next year! I'm up in canton pretty often anyhow (family is out in rural area outside of canton). I've never done a half yet, so thats the goal for this year, but hope a marathon will be within my grasp next year.
     
  11. scedastic

    scedastic Barefooters
    1. Michigan
    2. Minnesota

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    Wow, that was a lot of nonchalance. Glad you pushed through and that you were able to pull it off without injury.
    Congratulations!
     
  12. BFwillie_g

    BFwillie_g Barefooters
    1. New York
    2. Germany &...

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    wow, what an achievment! I was especially impressed with the "little" 4-miler (barefoot?) you did a couple days after the marathon. You can call yourself anything you want, now imo. How about Fred the Barefoot Badass? :cool:
     

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