Rick Roeber, alias "Barefoot Rick" has been running barefoot since October 2003. Previous to this date, Rick ran 18 marathons (marathon=26.2 miles) and thousands of miles with shoes. Rick describes himself as a challenged "shod" runner, because he would over stride thereby heel striking. Since heel striking is a major cause of knee stress, Rick continually injured his knees to the point where he would either need surgery to repair his rotator cup ligaments or stop running altogether. After reading about how barefoot running forces proper technique, Rick began his experiment with barefoot running. He subsidized his shod running with barefoot running for the next six months, until April 2004 when he ran the Boston Marathon barefoot. Since April 2004, Rick has ran exclusively barefoot, logging thousands of miles annually. In addition, he has completed dozens of barefoot marathons and three barefoot ultra marathons (two of them over 40 miles, and one over 60 miles).
Dedicated as an infant in the First Methodist Church of Moody Texas in early 1956, Rick grew up in and out of church, lacking a firm foundation that ultimately led to his waywardness. Rick accepted the Lord Jesus in 1971 at Grace Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Arlington Texas at 15 years old. After several more years of searching, he rededicated his life to the Lord Jesus in May 1976. During 1976-77, he attended Capernwray Bible School in Estes Park Colorado, receiving a certificate of completion. In 1978, he allowed himself to be wooed once again by the world. It would be another 14 years of trying to reestablish his faith while dealing with homelessness, alcohol and drug addiction before surrendering to the Lord. Rick recommitted his life to Christ in March 1992 when he put the "plug in the jug". During the next several years, Rick rebuilt his life, graduating with honors from the University of Missouri-Kansas City with a Bachelor's of Arts in Journalism. During this time, he developed a love for running and eventually started running barefoot. As a recovering alcoholic and a lover of Jesus, Rick believed the Lord desired him to use his barefoot running as a ministry to others. In 2006, he began to write about his experiences and to publish miscellaneous writings to a growing email distribution. In 2007, Rick went public regarding his testimony and how the Lord set him free in the Kansas City Star article, Barefoot in the Park. Since then, Rick has shared his story with the national and local media, running groups, churches, schools, and homeless shelters (see Media). Published weekly since April 2007, The Bare Soul is a weekly devotional written and distributed by Rick to hundreds of runners and non-runners alike. (Sign up is available at http://barefootrunner.org).
Rick continues to put his feet to work for the less fortunate by running for various charities. He understands that the Lord Jesus has given him a special talent as well as a platform to reach and help others, so he continues to raise awareness and funds for these various organizations. Two such examples are the Kansas City Rescue Mission and the Free Wheelchair Mission.
Rick is an ordained minister and an associate pastor at Abundant Life Church in Lee's Summit Missouri. In addition, he is a chaplain with the Kansas City Rescue Mission.
For more information, please contact Rick directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
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