Wednesday, October 13, 2010

1st Annual New York City Barefoot Run

While 120,000 runners last Sunday (October 10, 2010) was congregating at the Mall of Asia, there's another notable event taking place on the other side of world  -- the largest official barefoot and minimalist shoe run on Governor's Island!

NYC Barefoot Run Press Release --
The first-of-its-kind event is more than just a run – a weekend of educational, social, and athletic happenings to support the growing recognition that going barefoot, or as close to it as possible, is the healthiest way to be

Event founder John Durant said, “This grassroots movement is part of a larger trend that is seeing people edging toward a more natural way of life. Vivobarefoot supports education on the benefits of barefoot and believes in building community, which is why they saw the promise in this new event.”
This year, both the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Harvard University released studies to support that barefoot running encourages a forefoot or mid-foot strike that reduces impact with the ground and is more efficient. Increasing numbers of runners are trying for themselves by “freeing their feet” of traditional running shoes (and conventional wisdom).

Galahad Clark, owner of Terra Plana and creator of Vivobarefoot, states, “This is a growing community of people who are questioning conventions and are passionate about rediscovering the right way to run. We are proud to support a weekend of events based around education and building the movement.”

Lester Wasserman, co-owner of Tip Top Shoes, comments, “Tip Top Shoes was one of the first independent retailers to stock Vivobarefoot, and the first store in New York City to carry Vibram FiveFingers, which is why we want to be the first to support this distinctive event in its inaugural year.”
About The Run
The 1st Annual New York City Barefoot Run ... more than just a race.  It was a weekend of educational and social events for the growing barefoot and minimalist community – beginners as well as experts

What is Barefoot Running
Barefoot Running is a growing movement where runners use a minimalist shoe…or no shoe at all.   More runners are finding that modern running shoes can cause an unnatural stride, and that they can run better by freeing their feet

When and where?
Sunday, October 10th at 8:30am on historic Governors Island in New York Harbor
Saturday, October 9th there were clinics in Central Park, as well as party at the Terra Plana store

The Course
The run was held at historic Governors Island in New York Harbor.  Governors Island is just a five minute ferry ride from lower Manhattan, with stunning views of Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, Jersey City, and Brooklyn

Format of the run?
The format was “run your distance.”  Everyone starts at the same time, then run as many loops of the island as you can (2.1 miles each).  This forces runners to listen to their body to decide when they should stop, encouraging runners to avoid injury and have fun.  Beginners can run a short distance, and more experienced runners can crank out more miles
  • Everyone starts at the same time (8:30am)
  • Each loop of the island is 2.1 miles
  • Run as many loops as you can (stop at any time – though must be off the course by 10am)
  • We’ll time people against other people who ran the same number of loops (note: no timing chips)
Note: No one is going to tell you when to stop.  You are responsible for listening to your body and feet and making that decision yourself

Notable “barefooters” was present
Dan Lieberman, Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University and leading researcher of Biomechanics of Foot Strike and Applications to Running Barefoot or in Minimal Footwear
Barefoot Ted, Larger-than-life barefoot runner from best-seller Born To Run and Founder of the Luna Sandal Company
Erwan Le Corre, Founder of MovNat (education system to help you “explore your true nature” and live strong, happy, healthy, and free)
Jason Robillard, Author of The Barefoot Running Book, founder of Barefoot Running University, and co-founder of the Barefoot Runners Society
Daniel Howell, Author of The Barefoot Book and Professor of Anatomy at Liberty University
John Durant, Founder of Barefoot Runners NYC and

How I'd wish we can have our very own version here.  Now, that's a dream that hopefully gets fulfilled ... very soon.  Calling out all big-brand names!
As of now, Barefootwearinc has been organizing fun runs and they are already on their 3rd run, but it is exclusive only for VFF Fans Club members or VFF enthusiasts.  That means I'm off the list.  Boo!

For now, I'll drool over these pictures
Barefoot Ted, the guy on the right

That's John Durant.  Love his shirt

And, here's Jason Robillard

(event pictures taken from facebook)


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