Barefoot Rick's St. Patrick's Day 4 Miler Race Report - March 11, 2006

This is one of those grand 'ol races that seem to have been going on forever. I have not ran this race in several years, and never in Westport which is where it originated 28 years ago. How appropriate, after all, to have it start at the corner of Westport Rd. and Pennsylvania -- right in front of Kelley's Bar, the most famous Irish institution in all of Kansas City! Not only does it have an old Irish tradition, but it is also the oldest building in Kansas City, having been built in 1837.

It was a glorious morning! The sun was shining and the temps were in the 60s. I got there about a half hour early and mingled with the crowd, talking to acquaintances and friends and meeting new acquaintances and making new friends. BJ the DJ is always good for a rousing "How you doing, Barefoot Rick?" from the speaker's podium. BJ asked for a show of hands of how many were running barefoot today. When no one raised their hand except for me he asked, "How many are running with shoes today?" which got a chuckle from some.

(Left) Barefoot Rick and Lou Joline (Right) BJ the DJ doing what he does so well!

Got to meet Ben Holmes today, ultra/trail runner extraordinaire. This guy knocks out 100 mile trail runs like some 50 staters knock out urban, concrete and asphalt marathons. In my opinion, he is a true example of someone not being overwhelmed by a mileage goal. You just go knock out a 100 miler one mile at a time.

(Left) Barefoot Rick and Ben Holmes, Ultra-runner Extraordinaire (Right) Getting fired up right before the start!

The run started at 10 a.m. Like I said earlier, the weather was great and I found a fairly fast pace, for me, and stuck with it. I was still able to talk to others as I passed them or they passed me. I love to encourage others near the finish line. "C'mon", I tell them, "Kick it! You're not going to let a 50 year old barefoot guy beat you, are you?" Some take the challenge, and we have a real foot race to the finish.

Photo Courtesy of Mid-America Running Association


Finish Time: 29:51:49
50 to 54 Age Group Place: 6th out of 69

With over 1700 participants, it was a great time of racing and camaraderie. I am definitely already planning to be back in 2007.

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