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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

NYC Barefoot Run and Merrell Barefoot Jam Report, Part Three

NYC Barefoot Run and Merrell Barefoot Jam Report Part One

NYC Barefoot Run and Merrell Barefoot Jam Report Part Two

The NYC Barefoot Run

Had we been smart about this whole 6:45 a.m. start thing, we would have stayed up all night, left for the run at 5:45 a.m., and walked to the Governor's Island ferry in an attempt to sober up.  Well at 4:00 a.m. the night before there were no geniuses in the group.  So we all went to bed and woke up in rough shape. 

I met Kate and Krista in the lobby at the required time to leave with the Merrell folks.  We tried our best to avoid conversation with the sober folks, so they won't know we were still half-blitzed.  Then we started our death march to catch the subway to the ferry.

The scenery from the ferry was super cool, and it was great to get a bit of fresh air.  But a few things were conspicuously absent.  As in most of our crew from the last night.  Jason, Shelly, Jesse, and Pablo Paster (Treehugger) were nowhere to be found.  We figured they just wanted to sleep a bit longer, and would come on a later ferry.

A short while later we arrived at Governor's Island and started the walk toward the start line of the race.  The NYC Barefoot Run is a bit of a unique concept in that there is no pre-set distance or end to the race.  The course consists of a 2.2 mile loop around the island, which racers can do as many times as they wanted.  At the start line of the race were a ton of cool vendors and activities. 

We arrived at the start line and all got into our race gear.  How else were people supposed to recognize me?  We also met up with a few more of our online friends, including Chris Van Dyke, Larry Gibbons, Trisha Reeves, Caity McCardell, and Bookis from Luna Sandals.

I wasn't the only one in costume.  Krista wore a shirt that I feel is both fitting and true.  Kate and Chris both wore tutus.  Tutus seem to be the new, hot barefoot racing accessory.  So much for kilts huh?

I was pretty impressed by the turnout at the race.  There were over 200 people in attendance, most of which ran barefoot. 

As the race started, I took off at an easy clip with Patrick Sweeney, Bookis, and Harry Bellew who I know from tthe Runners World chat rooms.  At the end of each lap, I went over to browse the exhibits, collect a different group of people, and go out for another lap.  I did a second lap with Chris Van Dyke, and finished up with Kate and Josh Sutcliffe for a total of 6.5 miles.

While we were finishing our last lap, we noticed the first public ferry arriving at the island.  We stopped to see if the rest of our group was on it.  Low and behold!  Jason, Shelly, and Jesse came strolling up to join us.  They had slept past their alarms until after 7:00 a.m., and had missed all of the race ferries. 

I had to leave early to check out of my hotel, but I really didn't want the whole thing to end.  This weekend was one of the most incredible experiences of my life.  I can't thank Emily Snayd from Merrell or John Durant enough for setting all of this up.  I also don't have enough great things to say about all of the people I had the good fortune to meet.  You are all incredible! 

I can't wait to do this all over again next year!  Make it happen Merrell!

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  1. hey I was there too, you forgot to mention me! Boo.

  2. I sure wouldn't mind doing that again. Especially the eating. Man, they fed us well.

  3. As with any new shoe, there is a “get to know you period” especially when it comes to running, but, for everything from jumping rope to box jumping to hiking outside with the kids, I can honestly tell you these shoes feel fantastic.

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