Olathe Marathon Report – May 29, 2004




Ran all 26.2 miles barefoot

Finishing time – 4:27:58

12th place out of 22 in the 45-49 AG

88th out of 224 overall



After finishing the Olathe Marathon, I have a greater respect for what I attempted at Boston six weeks earlier. At Olathe, there is opportunity to run several miles on mowed grass along the course. In Boston, there is no chance to do this because of the crowds of spectators. Actually, Olathe is more my sort of marathon. I don’t feed off the crowds like some. I prefer getting in to my groove and just plug along and finish the job at hand.


The temps at 7 a.m. were already in the low 70s with a bunch of humidity. Finally saw Apca a few minutes before the start and we chatted how it might get a bit warm for him in his long sleeve shirt. We started a few minutes late and once we were running, I dropped a GU pack that I knew I would need later. I turned around to get it and never saw Ade again as a result of the diversion. I knew I needed to just keep a steady 9 min. pace, which is what I had trained for barefoot.


Mile 2, we entered a small park with parts of the road turning to gravel. Fortunately, there was some grass to run along the sides of the road. Got back out of the park and it was miles and miles of fairly flat asphalt and concrete. After 3 miles, my left calf began tightening up. It took several miles to work out the tightness. At mile 6, I thought I might have to DNF. I stopped at the next water stop and took in 3 cups of water, ate a GU, and then started back slowly.


By mile 8 or 9, we had entered the Streamways Trail system which was some nice running by a creek and through shaded areas along the trail. The asphalt was sealed with sealant so it made for a smooth surface in most places. By this time, I would occasionally hop onto the grass to trade off running surfaces. My feet, overall, were feeling quite fine.


The course left the trail system at about mile 20 and we started our way back. A couple of times I had to stop and stretch out my calf and massage my toes. I was getting a bit of numbness in the toes that I could work out with a brief massage. When stopped, my inspection of the balls of my feet showed no unusual wear (I ended up with no blistering whatsoever).


We ended the race at the Mall of the Great Plains. The last couple of miles before the mall I would be passing a few runners, saying, “You’re not going to let the barefoot guy beat you, are you?” They would laugh and some would push harder, but others would concede.


As I stated, I have a much greater appreciation for what Ken Saxton and I did at Boston. There was no grass to run on which gave the occasion to cool one’s feet. At Olathe, I probably ran 5 or 6 miles of the 26.2 on grass, which was a great relief. I am pleased with my first total distance barefoot marathon. Now, to begin working on getting my speed back up to when I wore shoes to race.




1 – 9:54

2 – 8:51

3 – 9:04

4 – 9:22

5 – 9:14

6 – 9:30

7 – 10:08

8 – 9:54

9 – 10:37

10 – 10:42

11 – 9:48

12 – 10:22

13 – 10:15

14 & 15 – 19:51

16 – 11:54

17 – 9:28

18 – 9:41

19 – 10:01

20 – 9:57

21 – 9:56

22 – 12:45

23 – 10:11

24 – 13:48

25 & 26 – 20:34

.2 – 1:56


Finish Time – 4:27:58

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