"Barefoot Ted" McDonald recently ran the Leadville 100, an ultramarathon race held out in Leadville, Colorado (You might have read about this race in Born to Run).
And since Ted is effectively both the patron saint of barefooting and Vibram fivefingers, he ran the Leadville 100 in the new Vibram fivefinger KSO Treks (You can see them in the above photo from the race!).
I asked "BFT" if I could share with birthdayshoes.com a bit from his account of the race and he kindly obliged. So below, you'll find a snippet from his post for your reading pleasure. For the rest, you'll have to head over to barefootted.com:
What an amazing experience...running 100 miles in 25 hours and 54 minutes up in the Colorado Rockies in the town of Leadville, Colorado, 10,000 feet above sea level.
From my point of view, this year's race was blessed from the beginning...sporting my new Vibram FiveFinger KSO Treks...and some sponsorship money to pay for the race and some travel...thank you Vibram...I was also blessed with a fantastic crew and pacers...a luxury I did not have last year...made all the difference being part of a team! Thanks! ...
[Later, describing a section of the race ...]
Got into Twin Lakes inbound feeling ready to run 40 more miles. Picked up my pacer Scott who was sporting red VFF Sprints...and off we went. Just before we took off, I downed a Chili Chocolate Mocha from Proven Grounds in Leadville...it was delicious...but it didn't mix well with the other stuff I crammed down my throat, so Scott's first taste of ultra nastiness was me upchucking the coffee just after climbing out of Twin Peaks. Vomiting while walking-running is a ultramarathon skill. Scott was a bit taken aback, but we soon got in stride making our way to the finish.
Scott ended up staying with me all the way to Powerline...25 plus miles on his first pacing adventure. What an amazing job. Excellent company the whole way. ...
It must be quite a feeling to run for a solid 25+ hours — 100 miles. Congratulations on your finish, Ted!
Additionally, I wanted to pass on a post Ted made to his barefooting/minimalist footwear Google group about how to run barefoot:
So, you wanna start running barefoot or minimally? Before you do,
realize you are most likely in the process of rehabilitating
yourself...either from little or no movement or from a running style
that is significantly different from what you will experience starting
My basic points are to start slowly...avoid over-exuberance!
The 3 main things I emphasize in my coaching workshops are:
- Gentle ball-heel-ball landings - feet and arms moving in same
- Quick cadence - leg speed
- Stable upright posture and engaged core...no bending at waist.
You can use this same style to practice at a walking pace too.
Barefooting itself is all about mindfulness and presence. Running
like a Monkey, not like a Robot. Aware of your body and your
environment AT ALL TIMES. Listen to your body...learn to hear what it
is telling you. Adjust accordingly. Advance accordingly.
Thanks, Ted for passing on what you've learned!