Skip to comments.Fox Valley Marathon Update: Barefoot Runner From Virginia Wins Race
Posted on 09/19/2011 7:39:20 AM PDT by P8riot
Fox Valley Marathon winner Tim Cunningham crossed the finish line while barefoot in downtown St. Charles on Sunday morning. He didnt lose his shoes along the wayhe ran the entire 26.2 miles without them.
It was kind of a perfect day to run, said the Charlottesville, VA resident, whose race time was 2:56:24. The bridges were a little rough, a little slick at times, but it was good.
It was the 15th marathon for Cunningham, who spent the past year building up calluses on his feet. He started running barefoot when he could not afford five-toe running shoes; though he can afford the shoes now, he sometimes prefers to race without them, even in wet conditions.
The rain is great, said Cunningham, a trained clown who represented the Clowns Without Borders charity during the race. I usually have to ice my feet after a run, but its nice and cold.
Cunningham was among more than 2,000 runners who participated in the Advocate Dreyer Fox Valley Marathon, the Half Marathon and the Fall Final 20.
(Excerpt) Read more at batavia.patch.com ...
His girlfriend’s Dad was not far behind. He had the added weight of the shotgun.
Occasionally I see people running barefoot and wonder how they avoid glass shards, stones, and other little stuff.
I never jumped on the bandwagon. I’d rather work through the occasional IT Band injury than get a stress fracture that puts me out 6 months. Neutral cushion shoes seem to do me well so no need to try to reinvent the wheel.
Getting close to his time in any kind of shoes (or not) for any distance would be great. That he managed to run faster than a 7-sec mile over 26 miles is really something else!
“Five toe running shoes” ?
I just did the Rock n Roll half in Philly yesterday, perfect weather but I wouldn't run barefoot in Philly. Should probably burn my shoes
Five toe running shoes ?
I’ve never worn them, but I’ve tried very thin-soled Nike Frees. The premise is that these “near barefoot” shoes naturally encourage you to run in a healthier style, striking your forefoot first rather than pounding your heels. Net result is less knee/back injuries.
Try the New Balance Minimus shoes. They have a trail shoe which has almost nothing to it, and then the road shoe which has a bit more of a sole.
I wear the Vibram 5-toes, but I don’t run. I found them very helpful in rebuilding strength and flexibility after foot surgery. They provide protection from cuts while giving my feet a lot of freedom of movement.
Now that is a real feat running a marathon barefoot. I hate built up athletic shoes and sneakers. I get ones with as low heals as possible. Ye old Converse sneakers were flat with no built up heal. Flat shoes are the best for lots of walking or running
Many years ago in HS I used to do my cross country park workouts barefoot (grass).
One day decided to do speed work on the track barefoot.
1/4 mile, 56 sec. > no skin left on feet.
Might just as well have taken the belt sander with 40 grit to them.
I used to run in indoor track shoes that had barely any rubber on the sole.
6.00 at Shoppers Fair.
When you first start running barefoot or with barefoot style shoes, certain parts of your body will hate you. Your calves, in particular, and the stabilizer muscles around your ankle and knee. Modern shoes essentially do all of the work of those stabilizer muscles, and so you have to build them up. After my first couple runs, I thought my joints hurt, but then I realized that it wasn't the joint, it was the muscle around the joint.
I have an ankle spur on one foot that I develop landing heel strike but so far, that is not a problem.
I am wearing thickly padded Asics however and have have wondered if I should move ASAP to the Nike Free or something like it.
What advice could you give me?
DON’T do what I did, even though strongly warned in advance by barefoot runners: START SLOW.
While doing 5 mile regular runs at 65 years of age, I fell in love with barefoot after a friend switched.
I overdid it, stressed Achilles, then calf, which then took out the knee.
Still can’t run a mile without knee pain....
Start ASAP, because it takes a long time to transition to barefoot shoes. Start with 10% of your runs in the minimal shoes, and the rest with your Asics.
Your joints don’t hurt because your shoes are doing the work for them, keeping your ankle supported. When you switch shoes, that support will go away and you will get sore.
Personally, I love the New Balance shoes so much that I bought the entire line and pretty much threw out every other shoe that I owned. I will warn you, though, the trail shoe is -harsh- on pavement. If you spend most of your time on pavement, I would get the road shoe instead.
I overdid it. Luckily, I have the advantage of youth, which carried me through my stupidity with some soreness and a few skipped runs. I’m acclimated now, and when I put on regular shoes I feel like I have bricks strapped to my feet.
I will go to the store this PM. BTW, how long does it usually take one’s feet and legs to get use to landing on forefoot?
You can't just jump into barefoot running, you really need to condition your feet first, depending on how soft they are it can take months. The skin on the bottom of my feet is about 1/4" thick and the consistency of well oiled saddle leather, so small pebbles and even medium sized rocks are no problem.
My last marathon was 3:36:17 barefoot.
One of my O-5s was running in them right behind me during our last PT test - the clacking was annoying as hell, but he says he loves them. Of course, the clacking faded as he did...I love outrunning the younger kids!
I started slow, 1/4 mile at first and increased it by 10-15%/week over several months. I used to have really bad knee pain, and plantar fasciitis, but have had zero problems over the last 3 years that I have been running barefoot. I will be 55 this Friday. To celebrate I am doing a self regulated 10K barefoot on the Appalachian Trail on Saturday.
Ditto. Shoes suck.
Whatever works best for ya.
The bottoms of your feet build up calluses until they're like the soles of shoes. I was reading about two sisters who hiked the entire Appalachian Trail barefoot. They talked about being in a campsite for a couple of hours before noticing that the ground was littered with broken glass.
I tried the 5 fingers, and they were great as long as you didn’t run faster than 12 MPH. Bad blisters over that though. Now I run with Saucony Kinvaras, which are lighter than Vibrams and have a 4mm drop (almost like barefoot) and they will let me go arbitrarily fast. Plus I can run trail marathons with them. Be sure you kind of supersize them if you are going to do a lot of downhill - I ran a downhill half last week and ended up with a small toenail and blister problem. Got 1:11:17 though!
to run faster than a 7-sec mile “””
7 MINUTE mile?
Thought about those, but I want to check with my podiatrist before trying.
I have a bone spur in one heel ,plantar fasciatis and a history of shin splints.
I have done all of the Virginia portion barefoot (not all at once). I’d love to through hike the AT barefoot, but don’t know if I’ll ever have the time. I through hiked the PCT back in 1975 (I turned 19 on the trail) with my best friend from high school, always considered that my crowning achievement, through hiking the AT would be a close 2nd, but given my age would probably be a lot harder.
Damn! My punctuation sucks.
Are you sure you don’t need a wheelchair ?
Took me about two months I’d say. When I started I was running about 20 miles a week (4 runs @ 5 mi), and I alternated runs with normal shoes and the Minimus.
Let’s just say that is not recommended. Diving right into the barefoot shoes on a five miler... my calves expressed their displeasure.
Honestly, though, it’s hard to take it slow because the barefoot shoes are so much better. I was alternating between shoes weighing 6oz and 15oz. And my knees felt better with the 6oz! I took things way too fast.
I used to have terrible shin splints. Not anymore.
LOL. not yet.
I walk a few miles every day. A little less when it’s below zero.
I don’t run any more.
Thx much for your help!
This is one of the reasons that it is best to learn to run barefoot before you run in Five-Fingers or other minimalist footwear. Running barefoot causes you to take it slow. Running in Five-Fingers is deceptively comfortable, until you hit your limit, then you are grounded until you heal.
One of my co-workers, who is a reasonably good athlete, got a pair of Five-Fingers last week and went for a run, and had to call his wife to pick him up after two miles.
It's what's known as TMTS (Too Much Too Soon).
I suppose but I would have thought that the running on pavement and even tracks would wear off calluses. I just know that even one sand grain flips up in my gym shoe and I have to stop to take it out.
Not gonna happen. I have some serious tenderfeet, and my local area is notorious for finding foot-destroying things in grass.
With my occupation, I can’t afford any lower body downtime.
I just embraced the suck and ran through it. But, yes, it was painful.
Yes! That’s what I meant. My mistake.
In short, you don’t. The feet however develop some pretty thick skin and one never notices such things. Also, one tends to plant the foot a bit more even and there is not as much pressure on any one part.
Oh, my goodness! I applaud you!
THANK YOU! In spite of my ortho telling me my running days were over (rough cartilege under kneecap), this winter I just may get some Vibram’s and start REAL SLOW on a treadmill and see what happens.
I’m familiar with all the Harvard research showing how barefoot running avoids injuries.
I did a 10k after major open heart surgery a few weeks before I turned 65, but no real running for 7 months.
Thanks for the encouragement - I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.....
Precisely why I don’t run in grass. It is better to run on hard surfaces. You can usually see what’s coming up, and prepare for it. Sure it’s a little rougher on the feet in the beginning, but if you take it slow you get used to it.
Let me know how you're doing.