User Stories

Tim Runs the Marine Corps Marathon in his Sprint Vibram Five Fingers

Tim Kelley, who we’ve seen previously hiking mountains and finishing triathlons, now adds a marathon

Tim Kelley, who we’ve seen previously hiking mountains and finishing triathlons, now adds a marathon to his list of VFF-shod accomplishments. Tim ran the Marine Corps Marathon this past Sunday, and sent in the above photos as well as the account of the race below:

Hey Justin,

I just wanted to check in and let you know that I successfully finished the Marine Corps Marathon in my red VFF Sprints and Injinji socks with a time of just under 6 hours. This was my first marathon ever and my longest run more than 18 miles. As usual, pictures are attached!

I got lots of looks, and just for the fun of it, I kept track of the number of comments or conversations I personally had with people along the way about the shoes: 31 total! One major difference I noticed with this marathon compared to past races is that so many more people’s comments were less “What ARE those things?” to “Oooh yeah, I’ve heard about those barefoot running shoes thing—it’s suppose to be good, right?” People are starting to come around!!

I didn’t see Bob with St. Judes from one of your earlier posts, or anyone else out on the course wearing VFFs, but I did share a Metro car with a guy in a pair of Classics.

And one last piece of news, Injinji was at the race expo and I stopped by their booth during packet pickup. I bought a pair of gray micro Injinji’s, but I also got a pair of knee high Injinji compression socks! I was told they aren’t going to be out in stores for another couple of weeks, but that the sales rep grabbed them at the last moment to bring along to see what the reaction would be. I’ve gotta say, they feel great! I’ve tried a couple different brands before and these are definitely the tightest and most “compressive” I’ve ever used.

Now that the marathon is over, what’s next? I’ve got my eye on a VFF Ironman in 2010 …

Hope all is well, keep up the great site!


An Ironman, huh? We’ll look forward to hearing about it, Tim! And I’m sure I’ll hear from Bob about his MCM race in VFFs soon.

Sounds like more scuttlebutt from the field that the tide has turned on fivefingers awareness. Thirty-one comments or conversations! That really is incredible — I’ve got a new slogan for Vibram, “Make Friends, Wear FiveFingers!”

And one update from Tim about the race:

Runner in regular running shoes, “Don’t your feet hurt?!?”

Me, “Probably not any more than your feet do!”


I saw mention of the compression Injinji’s on their website (just leave the screen up for a few seconds and the splash will change) — looks like more useful complimentary products for FiveFingers!

By Justin

Justin Owings is a deadlifting dad of three, working from Atlanta. When he's not chasing his three kids around, you'll find him trying to understand systems, risk, and human behavior.

5 replies on “Tim Runs the Marine Corps Marathon in his Sprint Vibram Five Fingers”

Good stuff! I was out on the course taking pictures and I noticed another guy racing in grey VFF Sprints. Here is a link to the picture in case the runner happens to read this:

As for the new Injinji compression socks, I think that’s great that there is now a compression toe sock on the market, I’d just be curious to learn if they are graduated compression, if the compression is constant over the calf (which is ideal), and exactly what their compression measurements are.

I understand they are called sprints but most of the pictures I have seen are people wearing them on long distance running. Do they have enough grip and sustainability for me when I run my sprints (4×1, 400, 800, & 4×4) during track?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *