2006 Ft. Worth Cowtown Marathon -
Barefoot Marathoning At Its Best!

It always amazes me the marked difference of current weather conditions in the U.S. just a few hundred miles away. It is even more noticeable to me when I fly. When I left Kansas City Friday morning the skies were clear. Arriving in Dallas/Ft. Worth an hour and a half later the skies were threatening and rallying for what would be a huge soaker for the north Texas area.

I picked up my rental about 10:30 a.m. and drove to downtown Ft. Worth to packet pick-up. It was already starting to spit rain when I arrived. The Cowtown expo is nothing fancy, but they do have several booths set up for vendors and local organizations. After getting my packet, I happened by the Ft. Worth Running Club's booth and lo and behold, there I was in newsprint from last year's Cowtown Marathon!! Had a nice little chat with local runners and then headed off to the car to change and do an easy 3 miler. I like running in downtown areas! It just seems that barefoot runners are so much out of place with suits and ties. I hope it reminds people that in our busy, serious lives that we all need to take time to play!

After my run, I drove to my mom's house in Arlington. By now, the rain had really picked up. Later that afternoon, we took a drive out to the cemetery to see my dad's gravesite. I have often wished that he would have lived long enough to see me as a barefoot marathoner. Although he was not a runner, dad had a favorite saying, "If it's too cold to go barefoot, it's too cold". Friday evening, I visited with my mom, brother Don and his wife, Grace. They left fairly early and I was snoozing at 9:30 p.m.

Saturday morning, I awoke around 5 a.m. because of strong thunderstorms. I laid in bed until about 6 a.m. and got up, said good-bye to my mom and headed to Ft. Worth. There was already 4 inches of rain in my mom's rain gauge so I knew that parts of Ft. Worth streets would be small lakes. How fun, I thought! I was not to be disappointed. It was still raining when I parked and headed up to the start area. I didn't hang out long enough, I guess, at the porta-potty area to meet up with a few shoddies from the Runner's World Forum. I figured I might see one or two of them on the course.

At the 7:30 a.m. start, the rain had stopped but a lot of the rain had yet to drain from the streets. While shoddies were carefully avoiding puddles and small lakes to avoid getting their shoes and socks even wetter, I had a blast running through the deepest ones I could find. (I think the deepest one on the course was half way between my ankle and shin :-)! The course kind of meanders through areas north and west of downtown Ft. Worth -- nice areas like the TCU area and Forest Park, the Ft. Worth Botanical Gardens, and the Colonial Country Club. In many of the residential areas, the curbs provided nice rivulets of water that were continually seeking the drainage system. It was the closest thing to beach running that I have done in a marathon. It seemed like there was always some water to run in! Even in areas where the asphalt was torn up, the layer of rain water made the run all that much more soothing to the footsies!

I think my favorite area to run on the course (other than the finish!) is the Texas Christian University (TCU) area. The college kids are just that ... raucous college kids who really get into cheering on the runners. They loved seeing a barefoot runner! They went nuts yelling at the top of their lungs!!!!!

The finish is really nice at Cowtown. I love running on the red brick streets at Cowtown. I figured I would finish somewhere in the neighborhood of 4 hours. I came in at 4:12:21 which was fine since I was just out to have fun and enjoy the run. After I crossed the finish line, I saw Ray Buck, Ft. Worth Star-Telegram reporter extraordinaire' (he's the guy who did the article on me last year). I talked with Ray for a couple of minutes and then a Dallas Morning News reporter interviewed me for a couple of minutes. I collected my medal, finisher shirt, and headed to the airport.

Waiting at D/FW airport, I watched the rain coming down on the tarmac. Touching down in KC, the weather was sunny without a cloud in the sky! What a difference 600 miles can make!

Click Here For Barefoot Rick's Photo Album -
2006 Ft. Worth Cowtown Marathon in Pictures!


Along with just having fun, I am also goal-oriented. Here are some of the day's accomplishments for me:

Ran my 33rd marathon -- my 15th consecutive barefoot marathon
Didn't walk a bit of the course (I'm kind of a purist about marathoning in that regard)
No injuries ... not even a blister!
Had a blast (oh yeah, I already said that!)

Here's a small blurb from the Dallas Morning News about this crazy barefoot marathoner!

Barefoot runner has fun in the rain: Rick Roeber of Lee's Summit, Mo., ran his 33rd marathon Saturday the 15th in a row he has run barefoot. The marathon started in a light drizzle, and runners rarely got a break from the rain. But that was fine with Roeber, 50. "I look for as many puddles as I can," he said. "It's soothing to the feet, and it's fun to splash the people around me."

Or, here is the pdf version from the Dallas Morning News (highlighted on page 3 of 6)

Barefoot Runner Has Fun in the Rain


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