Barefoot Rick's Heart of America Marathon Report - September 3, 2007


*I am a marathon runner and do not prescribe to a run/walk method for MY marathons. Likewise, I do not judge anyone else for "finishing" a marathon in whatever way they can propel themselves across the finish line, whether it be walking, crawling, etc. All marathon finishes are notable in their own regard.

Columbia Missourian Article - September 3, 2007
Heart of America Marathon draws small but dedicated crowd

Watch Barefoot Rick's Heart of America Marathon
Interview Featuring the Soles For Souls Donation Drive

Columbia Missourian Article
Rick Roeber runs another barefoot marathon
By KENNETH JAMISON Missourian - September 4, 2007

(To the tune of "The Beverly Hillbillies")

Come and listen to my story of my barefoot 'thon,
A Labor Day tradition that's sure been lots of fun,
See, I'se headed to Columbia to run in them thar hills,
And it was like in past years, quite a bit of thrills.

Missouri that is ... Columbia MO, Tiger Country!

Well, my runner friends said, "that course is mighty hilly,
Don't want ya to overheat -- you'd look a mighty silly",
I told dem folks, don't you even never mind,
I've run it barefoot and with shoes several times.

Marathon distance ... over the hollers', under the dales.

So, Rebecca and me, we loaded up the truck,
And drove to Columbia, it sure twern't no luck,
Cause we knew the way we'se goin' and the drive was mighty fast,
Fore we done knowed any different, the time had already past.

Smooth sailing that is ... Interstate 70, negotiable speeds.

I picked up my packet and had a fine time,
Talking to the runners and others in the line,
Line was short, cause it's never many runners,
Cause the heat and the hills makes em' say "Oh brother!"

Ozarkian altitude ... hot and humid, no crowd support.

So, I turned in early while Rebecca read her book,
I knew the alarm would say 5 a.m. when I had another look,
Next thing I knew, the alarm went clang-a-Lang!
So, I jumped out of bed fore I heard another rang!

Up with the chickens ... early mornin', where's my coffee?

Strolled to the lobby to chat with ABC,
Local affiliate that was filmin' for TV,
Asked me "Why" as others asked before,
Told him barefootin' for me was no chore.

Easier that is ... no sweaty feet, love the feelin'!

So, we headed on down to where we'd start the run,
Out by Tiger Stadium, runners gathered for the fun,
The Race Director said, "Ready Set Go!"
And at 6 a.m. most started pretty slow.

Not speedy that is ... saving strength, hills ahead!

The first few miles we was headed out of town,
The early mornin' sun was peekin' oe'r green, hilly crowns,
Knew that soon we would be runnin' by the river,
The wide ol' Missouri, that big life giver!

Green river bottoms ... soybeans, good pasture land!

But 'fore we reached the river, I knew there'd be a trick,
Of running on some gravel, in places mighty thick.
Just three miles of road, then some Katy Trail,
I made it by off the gravel and was still feeling swell.

Back on asphalt ... Up Easley Hill, WHAT A CLIMB!

Well, I ran up 'ol Easley, I didn't want to walk,*
All the times I've done it, from runnin' I never balk,
I knew that Easley was the first of many hills,
Setting my pace, not fast without no frills.

Cruise control ... up and down, gettin' warm!

The next several miles were more up and down,
The sun comin' on dem hills made some runners frown,
But we kept on runnin', til we we'se gettin' mighty close,
Knowing not much further on this tough and hilly course.

Columbia in sight ... Providence Road, Civilization ahead!

Well, I kept on runnin' dem Providence Road hills,
Knowin' I'se gonna make it under 4 hours without no frills,
Cause the sun was beatin' down, but I was passin' folks a heap,
Those hills didn't seem bad nor mighty steep.

Runnin' through Columbia ... Downtown in sight, Finish Line!

I turned on to Broadway and seein' folks a clappin',
I just kept a smilin' cause I knew the race was wrappin',
I sailed to the finish, and caught Rebecca's smile,
And then headed to the "cold tub" to soak for a while.

Plastic swimming hole ... lots of ice, frigid dippin'!

Well now its time to say good and rope this story in.
And I would like to thank you folks fer kindly droppin in.
You're all invited back a gain to this locality
To have a heapin helpin of BR's hospitality

Barefoot runnin' that is. Set a spell, Take your shoes off.

Y'all come back now, y'hear?

Just the Facts, Ma'am:
Finish Time - 3:58:12 (9:05 Pace)
7th Place AG (50-59 M), 53rd Place out of 137 Finishers

48th Marathon (26.2 Miles or Ultra Distance)
30th Consecutive Barefoot Marathon Since April 2004


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