Barefoot Gobbler Grind Marathon - November 20, 2005

Overall Time: 3:46:58
31st out of 155 marathon finishers
5th place AG (45-49)
31st lifetime marathon
13th lifetime BAREFOOT marathon
7th BAREFOOT marathon in 2005
2nd fastest BAREFOOT marathon to date


No matter how many marathons I run, I still get a bit nervous the night before. What's the weather going to like? How will I run? All those questions we ask ourselves if there is any self-doubt whatsoever. Even after 31 marathons, the marathon distance is still a mystery to me with lots of variables that will determine how the run goes.

The weather was perfect Sunday morning -- 40 degrees with overcast skies! I had brought along a pair of running tights and a long sleeve CoolMax shirt which I chose not to wear. My Race Ready shorts and a singlet were my choice, turning out to be perfect for the conditions. I never really perspired heavily which tells me I was clad appropriately.

At the Start Line (or is it the Finish?)

Chatted with a few folks before the race. Being a hometown race, there were plenty of runners I know. The race director went on a bit long with his instructions, but we were finally off at a little after 8 a.m.

The first few miles I fell in with some folks and chatted. There was a large throng of folks at that time since we also had the 5K and half-marathoners on the same course. The first 5 miles were on city streets. After that we entered the Indian Creek Bike Trail which we stayed on for the rest of the race. The asphalt path, in my opinion, is a 7 on a scale of 1-10 for barefoot-friendliness.

We lost a large group of the throng after the 5K and an even larger number once the half marathoners finished. After that, we marathoners were pretty much on our own. The last 13 miles looped the same area 3 times which gave me the opportunity to get lots of shouts as the barefoot guy from the aid station workers. They were great!

I was able to maintain an 8:15 pace for the first 16 miles. After that, things started to go in slower motion. My legs were not wanting to turn over as quick, and rather than settle for bad form I decided to go with some slower miles.

Of course, I got the normal remarks from many. "Hey, there's Barefoot Rick!" or "Hey, barefoot guy, you forgot your shoes!" Or, my favorite "Did you lose your shoes?" which I replied "Yeah, a couple of years ago and about 4500 miles ago. Don't think I will be needing them again!" Some were incredulous when they saw me in the first few miles running barefoot, that I could hang with it for 26.2 miles. Some of those I passed on the final loop going the opposite way. One guy said "Man, I don't see how you do that! I am impressed!" It's like I explained to a guy I was running with today that I am amazed how some runners can run so well in shoes! If it was me, I said, I would be running goofy and hurt myself! He seemed to understand!

The sun was peeking through the clouds when I crossed the finish line. I gave my camera to a runner who was clearly going to cross the finish line before me and asked if they would snap a couple of pics.

Barefoot Rick Crosses The Finish Line!


Top Two Photos Courtesy of Phil Ratterman. (Crossing the finish line. Didn't notice until after the race the slight nick on the side of the left big toe. Must have grazed it on one of the many turns on the course. No problems with the soles whatsoever!)




I had a lot of fun at the 9th Annual Gobbler Grind Marathon. Barefoot marathon number 13 was not unlucky for me. Overall, it was a great day of celebrating the marathon distance, one bare foot at a time!

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