Team Running-Down brought this to my attention. It’s another one of those “Barefoot running: is it safe?” discussions with people who are all educated and stuff. “I’m sure you’re probably tired of these things by now,” said ac, “but I’m kind of curious what kind of freaks go to these things. No offense.” None taken, as the word “freak” is not a pejorative in my vocabulary.
It’s at the Morehead Planetarium Cafe in Chapel Hill. There will be free appetizers. So free food, space stuff, and barefoot bloviation? I’m in. Who wants to bet against the probability of me monopolizing the conversation with my mouth full of food? I will gladly take your dinero.
Last Saturday evening I had the pleasure of helping out with the Fire On The Track 5k organized by Jen from Off’n Running. I was a lap counter. Let’s just say that’s a hard job, especially trying to keep track of who lapped who. Let’s also say I did my best. While we’re just saying, let’s also just say that only a few local runners are mad at me for miscounting.
The last event of the evening was a 5k relay, three runners per team. One team was missing a runner, so I volunteered. I was wearing cargo shorts, and had no running gear with me. I ate a Polish sausage for lunch, with ice cream and greasy butterfly fries (basically potato chips – there was a local street fair). Our team’s goal was to get under 18 minutes.
I took the first mile and threw caution to the wind and sped off with the really fast guys. I hung with them (barely) for the first lap, but had to let them pull away. “You’re going down, barefoot!” I hear a voice behind me say. It was John Dewey, the owner of Off’n Running. Yup, I was, sasusage doing somersaults in the tum tum. He speed around the outside of me going around the corner. I tried to keep up, but had to let him go. On the last straightaway, I hear footsteps behind me. A young guy sprints past. I had to let him go too. At the baton hand-off, I panicked because I didn’t see my teammate. He was there, I just get panicky at race finishes. He takes the baton and runs.
It took my 5:36 to finish that mile. Not bad! Our team finished in 17:56. “Barefoot shmarefoot,” said my fellow runners. “You ran in cargo shorts?” What can I say, I’m fashionably versatile.
Of course, don’t forget to vote for me to be your Chocolate Milk Representative. I’ve been swapping the lead with runners who want to use the grant money to buy shoes.