The Northern Ireland Chapter!!!

Discussion in 'Chapters' started by Darkand, Jul 15, 2013.

  1. Darkand

    Darkand Chapter Presidents
    1. Northern...
    2. United Kingdom
    3. Presidents

    Feb 17, 2013
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    Hey hey, Welcome to the Northern Ireland Chapter of the BRS!
    I'm Andy!! (Hi :)).
    Here's the plan! I want to get together all the barefoot and minimalist runners in Northern Ireland. There are only a few of us at present that I know of, but many more who I know who probably also have read "Born To Run" and heard of barefoot running but who don't have the nerve to actually lose the shoes for a run or two. If that's it!!! It's great!!
    Barefoot is still a bit of a taboo here in NI. We still live in a community where the "sensible shoe" gets wayyy too much respect. Where people of a certain generation here, recoil in horror at the sight of someone running barefoot and would give just about anything to run you down, tackle you to the ground and wadge a pair of inch thick soled support shoes on you and tell you "Now there's a good pair of solid shoes".
    You'll get plenty of funny looks and even more funny comments, but hey, you also get a hell of a lot of great support and respect from the awesome running community here!
    Once we get a few of us together and start organising a few regular runs, I'd love to get out there in the running community in NI, enter a load of events and show the shod runners it can be done. That there's nothing to fear from losing the shoes and that they are welcome to join us any time for one of our runs.
    Northern Ireland is such a fantastic place to run, with so many great events, amazing places of natural beauty and a great climate for barefooting!! (Honestly!), so let's get out there barefoot and explore it! I'm open to travelling the great places of NI for runs. The Causeway, the Mournes, the beaches, the lakes! Get your shoes off and run them all!!!
    Ideally I'd like to bring barefoot running to the forefront of the Northern Ireland running community, raise it's profile and make it not quite so shocking for people here to see someone running barefoot. I want people here to see us and be inspired. To want to kick off their shoes and run with us because, hey, you know that looks like fun!!
    I've already started this crusade for acceptance. I ran a leg of the Belfast marathon in May, the entire Ards Half Marathon in June. The response and support from everyone was overwhelming. The Ards half had a load of club runners and many of them showed loads of interest in barefoot running and wanting to give it a go. Getting out there really helps!
    I plan to run the Belfast Half Marathon in September, with few of the 26 Extreme half and 25k events in between.
    So hey, sign up, get the shoes off and lets run.
    If I can quote a Nike ad (ironically) "Yesterday, you said tomorrow!"
    The distance doesn't matter, just getting the shoes off and running is what counts!! Let's go!

    Introduce yourself below!!
    paulbeales likes this.
  2. hopwitch

    hopwitch Barefooters
    1. Northern...

    May 31, 2014
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    Hi all - I'm here on false pretences .... sort of. I've always been a barefoot (or minimalist) everything, as far as possible, mostly because I have been blessed with what my mother called "hobbit" feet - horrendously wide, if not quite so furry. The running bit's where I'm fudging it a bit - back in the day I used to do a bit of cross country and fell running - more because I was trying to catch up with runaway dogs than for the love of it .... what would start off as a 5 mile walk would turn into a 10 mile chase when one or other of them would decide that the rabbit holes on that hill look much more interesting than the ones on this hill. However, that was 30 years ago and now I find it hard to remember what it felt like not to be a stressed 55 year old, overweight smoker with a sedentary job.

    Then came the lecture from the doctor, and the nurse, and another doctor. So I'm still a stressed 55 year old with a sedentary job, but my diet has changed radically, I'm losing weight (slowly), I've bought an e-cigarette (ok, so I gave it to my son cos he's in even worse shape than me) and I've reduced the smoking by 50%. I'm taking a lot more exercise (the dog looks amazing!) - but running? Does staggering to the top of a hill and staggering really quickly down the other side count? There seems to be a break in the circuit somewhere between my brain and my feet - I can't go faster than a genteel jog.

    I have made myself the ultimate in motivational posters however - a photo of my ex on his mobility scooter - after a serious stroke a few years ago he now goes between the local cafe for his fry, and the pub, on said scooter, only dragging himself outside for a smoke. I nagged him for years, but it wasn't until the nurse said the immortal words "do you want to end up like your ex?" that it really hit home. So you'll all forgive me, I hope, if I leave you now having introduced myself ...... I'm away for a stagger in my Vibram Fivefingers!
  3. paulbeales

    paulbeales Barefooters
    1. United Kingdom

    Jun 7, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Well done Hopwitch, you're doing all the right things. No need to rush headlong into doing too much too soon. I too was an overweight 50-something smoker. I am now 2 stone lighter and doing 33 minute 5Ks in barefeet. I'm still aiming for that magic 30 minute mark!
    Darkand likes this.
  4. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
    1. Nomad

    Mar 5, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Welcome, Hopwitch!
    Darkand and paulbeales like this.

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