Today was a landmark day of sorts as I completed my first ever barefoot 5k road race. First of all, here's some background on the event. The longest I've ever run barefoot on pavement is 2 miles, and I did that exactly 2 days ago. Therefore, I wasn't fully prepared for this race but I wanted to give it a go. Plus, the race started about a mile from where I live, so it was easy to get to.
Before the race, I was a bit nervous. The distance wasn't a problem, but I wasn't sure how my bare feet would hold up. The race director saw I was barefoot, and we talked for a minute before the race. The first thing he said was, "have you read "Born to Run"? It's amazing how much impact that book has had. He mentioned that he does some barefoot running on grass but not hard surfaces yet.
Here's a picture from the start of the race. I'm in the green shirt (posture looks pretty good).
Notice the lady in black with shoes. She is doing a straight-leg heel strike - ouch!
The race went pretty well except for a stretch of rough pavement in the middle. I just trotted along at a real easy pace and had fun with it.
I talked to a number of people during the race. One lady said her husband runs in Vibrams and loves them. Another lady said, "I can't believe you're running in your feet!" At one point, I passed an older man but he saw I was barefoot. He perked right up and started running with me, talking about barefoot running. He said he's been reading about it and finds it very interesting.
Here's a picture of me coming up the final hill.
I implemented a number of things from the running guide during the race. I did nasal breathing the whole time. I ran in a fasted state. And I mostly managed to run at 180 steps per minute.
Overall, I finished in the non-amazing time of 32 minutes and change. This feels pretty good being as I couldn't run more than 100 feet barefoot a couple months ago. I was very happy with how everything went. I feel like I have a solid base now, and I can start focusing on improving technique, speed, etc.
During the awards ceremony, the race director decided to give me an award for being the only barefoot runner. He joked that I now have the barefoot course record. Here's a picture of me accepting the award with a smile.