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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Naked Foot 5K Race Report: Part 1 and Merrell Contest Winner!

Well citizens, my first attempt at race directing can be chalked up to a rousing success!  Actually, "race director" is a loose title.  My friends Scott and Lauren Jones, who organize the Naked Foot events nationally, did pretty much all the work.  I mostly phoned it in, plugged the race a few times on facebook, and got a bunch of free Merrell swag for doing it.  My contributions probably represented 10% of the total success of the event.  But they gave me the title of "race director", so I'm running with that for as much credit as it will grab me.

This event was actually more than just the race itself though.  What started out as a simple 5K actually turned into almost a full weeks' worth of barefoot good times!  It all happened when a couple of barefoot heavyweights descended on Minnesota as if it were somehow interesting or exciting.  First, everyone's favorite barefoot traveling-circus of a family...the Robillards...showed up in Rochester for a series of events sponsored by Tradehome Shoes.  On Wednesday the 17th, they threw a very well attended group run down in Rochester.  I didn't attend, but it sounds like a ton of people ran further barefoot than ever. 

Barefoot Running Clinic featuring Jason Robillard

I drove down after work on Thursday for a barefoot running presentation by Jason Robillard   I was curious to see what I could steal/learn from him for my own presentations. 

I love that he started the clinic while wearing the biggest shoes ever invented.  I wonder if they come with a free lunar rover.

Overall, I was impressed with his methods.  Jason has been working to cut the fat out of his clinics to make barefoot running more simple and easy to understand.  I appreciate his efforts, and I think he's on the right track.  I've been a big critic of the way that barefoot running is traditionally taught to newbies (see posts here and here for my rants on the subject).  I think that back in the golden age of barefooting (i.e. 2009) we tried to shove entirely too much information down peoples' throats.  All that does is confuse and distract them from what's really important.  I was impressed to see that Jason took his share of the blame for that, and presented a better way.

Will I tell you what he talked about in his clinic?  Nope.  If I did that then I couldn't pass the information off as my own.  Actually, it's not a big secret or anything.  He talks about on his blog here.  His method is called the ABC's (it's an acronym).  I will likely modify his method so that the acronym spells out "BOOBIES" or something.  It would probably be more engaging that way.

Jason asked me to speak a bit after he was done presenting, which was fun.  I gave folks some information about how they can join the Barefoot Runners Society-Minnesota Chapter...which is only the coolest chapter in the entire world!  Then, since he forced me into unexpected public speaking, I swiped a pair of the top secret Merrell Road Gloves from his personal belongings.  Since we are the same shoe size (twins...remember), I got to test them out for a bit as well.  I won't say much, except that as far as I can tell they fix all the problems that I had with the Trail Glove for road running.

Sorry for all the link bomb dropping.  I'm feeling more saucy about it than usual.

Come on let me tell you about my beeeeeest friend!  We'll laugh and play, and have fun all day!  Can you see the resemblence?  We're long lost twins!  Except Jason doesn't actually have a Jay Leno chin.  My iPhone camera has a tendancy to make you look like you're in a fun house mirror. 

After the clinic we hung around Tradehome and chatted with clinic-goers for a while.  I always enjoy meeting the friends that I make over the web because of barefoot running.  They are all such great people.  Jason and Shelly are no exception.  They are very warm and friendly.  And they put up with my antics well.

Here's Shelly and me.  I insisted on those kinds of pictures where I hold the camera in front of us, even though there were plenty of people around to take pictures.  How very high school freshman girl of me. 

Jamey Koenck is the owner of Tradehome and another facebook friend of mine (he's the one next to the guy in the jean jacket).  He was nice enough to hook us all up with some sweet Merrell swag (although what I really wanted was that Merrell yo-yo....make it happen Jamey!).  I was very impressed with the store and its workers.  Everyone wears Trail Gloves in there, and has a lot of knowledge about minimal shoes.  It's great to see shoe stores coming around and really getting educated about these shoes.  Maybe there will be a Tradehome barefoot clinic featuring yours truly in the near future!

Anyway, later this week I will post about the race itself.  I'm at a criminal law conference all week, so I'm blogging when I get bored and stop listening.  I will also announce the winner of the Branca Barefoot Sandal contest at that time.

Continued in Part 2: The Race

Merrell Barefoot Contest Winner!

I want to thank everyone who whored themselves out for a chance to win a pair of Merrell Barefoot line minimal shoes.  We plastered this great planet of ours with links to the Naked Foot 5K website, and as a result we got a great turnout! 

The winner of the Merrell contest is: Jeff!

Jeff, you have until August 31, 2011 to claim your prize, at which time it will return to the magic Merrell vault.  Contact me via saypay45@gmail.com, Twitter, or Facebook and let me know your model, size, and color preference.  Note that if you want one of the 2012 line, you'll have to wait a while for them to be released. 

Go Barefoot with Merrell Free Shipping and Return

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  1. Oh congrats Jeff! I'm drooling with envy!!!!!! Shelly and Jason were in Colorado and just not close enough for me to meet them. :(

  2. Congrats Jeff! I am drooling with envy too!!

  3. I'd like to thank my parents, the Academy, my agent, . . .

  4. Victory is mine! Thanks everyone!

    - Jeff Hall

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