James and his buddies have been gradually increasing their miles and competing in longer races in preparation for a half marathon. James sent us this story about their last run in the 2011 Pensacola Double Bridge 15K Run:

Fellow barefoot runners and friends, Al and Spud agreed to join me in the 2011 Pensacola Double Bridge 15K Run. The race gets its name from the course which takes runners over two bridges across Pensacola Bay and Santa Rosa Sound. I did a 5K barefoot fun run last year, but this would have to be my first real race since going barefoot seven months ago.

I wore my homemade huaraches while Al and Spud went with Vibram Five Fingers Bikilas and KSOs respectively. There were around 3500 entrants for the 5K and 15K combined, but we counted only a handful of other runners in minimalist shoes — quite a surprise. We did see another runner going completely barefoot. We got to talk to quite a few runners about the benefits of barefoot running, and I certainly drew quite a few looks at my huaraches. I spent a few miles reviewing the key points of “Born to Run” with a curious runner.

All in all it was a great event despite the cold morning start with temperatures around 40 and howling winds. My huaraches did a great job as usual — no pains to slow me down and only a little tenderness in my feet after the run. Spud and I are now setting our sights on the Gulf Coast Half Marathon in April. Not bad for a couple of guys who would struggle with only a few miles before going barefoot seven short months ago.

Thanks for sending us your story James! Good luck to you and Spud in the half, and let us know how it goes.