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Jocelyn BQs in her First Marathon in Five Fingers Bikilas

A little over a year ago, Jocelyn made the switch to Vibram Five Fingers after knee pain kept her from running long distances. Back then, she shared with us her story about setting a personal record in the 5K in her Vibram Five Fingers KSOs. When…

A little over a year ago, Jocelyn made the switch to Vibram Five Fingers after knee pain kept her from running long distances. Back then, she shared with us her story about setting a personal record in the 5K in her Vibram Five Fingers KSOs. When I mentioned that post to her, Jocelyn said, “That was a great day. I didn’t think I’d be doing a marathon anytime soon when I ran that 5K. And to think someone once told me I shouldn’t run anymore. Pshaw!”

That’s right folks, Jocelyn ran her first marathon in Bikilas this last weekend! Just finishing a marathon is a major feat. Not only did she finish the Detroit Marathon, she ran a BQ! If you are not familiar with the acronym BQ, it stands for Boston Qualifier, which means she has qualified for the Boston Marathon. To do it in Vibrams and to do it the first time out is truly extraordinary.

Jocelyn finished in a time of 3:35:33! That is a pace of 8:13 per mile for 26.2 miles and may be the fastest marathon run by a woman in Vibram Five Fingers. Jocelyn was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about her amazing experience that you can read after the jump.

How long have been running in Five Fingers?

I picked up some KSOs in July of 2009 and been running in them ever since. I do switch over to a $15 shoe that has near zero drop when it gets cold and snowy, but I stick to the VFF whenever I can. They keep my knee injuries to a minimum and I’m faster in them as well.

How many miles a week do you usually run in total and in Five Fingers?

Between 60-70, although I did a 120 mile week once, just to see if I could. Always fun to see what the body can do.

How does running in VFFs compare to traditional running shoes?

My bio-mechanics lend themselves to heel striking with any kind of heel, so running in traditional running shoes causes a lot of problems with my knees. I was in my old running shoes just the other day walking to the gym; the disconnect from the ground was surprisingly unsettling.

Did you have any injuries, blister problems or problems adjusting to Five Fingers?

I did get some rubs from the edges of the KSOs and the seams of the Bikilas. Other than that, just the usual transitioning calf soreness from moving over from a traditional running shoe to a minimalist one.

How many marathons have you run and was this the first in Five Fingers?

This was my very first marathon, so it was all very exciting! I saw some other VFF runners on the course and spoke with a few of them. VFF people are always so friendly! With a half mile to go, a guy pushing a stroller saw my Bikilas and yelled “Yeah VIIIIIIIBRAM!” I was exhausted but had to smile and wave. Kids handing out water got a kick out of the VFF, too.

How does it feel to BQ?

Feels so great to have it! A couple of years ago I was happy if I could run five miles pain-free. Now I feel like I can set any running goal and achieve it.

How did the Bikilas perform in training and in the race?

The Bikilas worked out really well. I don’t know how many hundreds of miles are on them, but they’re getting up there.

How do you like the Bikilas compared to your KSOs?

I’m a fan of the KSOs, but the buttery softness and fit of the Bikilas make them my favorite.

What are your goals moving forward?

A faster marathon and 50 miler are on the horizon. But for now, this next month is all play. Thinking of running some Halloween 5Ks in a costume; a costume that’ll match my bright blue Bikilas, ‘course!

Congratulations Jocelyn and thanks for getting us up to date on your amazing progress as a runner!

Read Jocelyn’s detailed account of her Detroit Marathon experience at

Also, for those of you who want to BQ, here is a table of the times required:

Boston Marathon
Qualifying Standards
Age Men Women
18–34 3hrs 10min 3 hrs 40min
35–39 3hrs 15min 3 hrs 45min
40–44 3hrs 20min 3 hrs 50min
45–49 3hrs 30min 4 hrs 00min
50–54 3hrs 35min 4 hrs 05min
55–59 3hrs 45min 4 hrs 15min
60–64 4hrs 00min 4 hrs 30min
65–69 4hrs 15min 4 hrs 45min
70–74 4hrs 30min 5 hrs 00min
75–79 4hrs 45min 5 hrs 15min
80+ 5hrs 00min 5 hrs 30min

By Britt

Hailing from College Station, Texas (Home to Texas A&M!), I grew up running cross country. Believe it or not, I gave Justin the name for this site back in early 2009 but I didn't jump on the toe shoes bandwagon until a year later. I am also really into quadcopters and drones and have a blog called

9 replies on “Jocelyn BQs in her First Marathon in Five Fingers Bikilas”

amazing job jocelyn! i ran my first marathon in detroit last year in ordinary running shoes, and thought i’d never want to run another one. this year i switched to VFF bikilas, ran the detroit half marathon, and felt great! it has rejuvenated my spirit and i plan to run the detroit marathon in 2011! =D

Congratulations Jocelyn! Your story is truly inspirational to those coming after you. Well done and keep up the great work. 🙂

Thanks so much Todd, Lindsey, and Susanne! 😀

Todd, fantastic job on finishing the half and feeling great! You’ll rock out the 2011 Detroit marathon no problem. 🙂 Hope to see you there next year!

Bikilas or racing flats, I’m not surprised you’d run a faster marathon in light-weight footwear compared to a much heavier trainer. Congrats on your BQ! I just don’t understand the hype that folks are running faster races in VFFs now than ever before. Have they never run races in racing flats? IMHO, the VFFs are not much different. They’re light and efficient and you’ll carry less weight on your feet over long distance so yes you should be faster!

I dont usually leave comments on the site but congratulations to you. From where you started to where you are now is an amazing accomplishment. Keep running hard and all the best at Boston, I will be checking the final results for you.

Thanks Sean and Greg! 😀

Sean – I’m actually not headed to Boston in 2011, I’d like to get a few more marathons down before heading to the big one. There’s rumors of Boston lowering the pace requirements, so there’s an incentive to get faster right there. 🙂

Congrats Jocelyn!

Coming weekend I’ll be running the Berenloop-marathon on Terschelling (Netherlands) and I hope to beat your best-women-on-vff-in-a-marathon-time!

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