I am not a fan and practitioner of Barefoot Running. And I am not a member of any group or asssociation that promotes barefoot running in the country.
I read the book “Born To Run” by Christopher McDougall upon its release to the public when I was in the United States almost 3 years ago but it was just a part of my reading activities. I was amused by the dedication and passion of Caballo Blanco to live with the Tarahumara tribe in North Central Mexico’s Copper Canyon Mountains by coming up with a yearly ultra trail race within the community and at the same time being able to help on the welfare of the said tribe.
However, I was surprised that because of this book, it created a “niche” of minimalist shoes production from popular brands and influenced a lot of runners to shift to “minimalist” running or barefoot running. I am not yet into this but I was already using road racing shoes which technically considered as “minimalist” running shoes.
After experiencing injuries which most often occur on my calf muscles/lower leg, I slowly included barefoot running as part of my recovery process with the hope to strengthen my lower legs’ muscles and ligaments, most especially for those ones which are not reached by “cross-friction” manipulations through massage/therapy. After a 25-lap run on an oval track, I usually run/jog/walk on barefoot for four laps as my cool-down workout. In some instances, I would simply walk on the ground for about 15 minutes every day. These simple “after workout/cool-down” barefoot “stuff” could be the reason why my recovery from my lower leg injury was faster than what I’ve expected. But I never tried running barefoot on asphalt or cemented road.
So, what made me think of coming up with this running event called, “1st BR’s Barefoot 3.2K (2-Mile) Run” to the running community of the Philippines? The answer is very simple…Because NOBODY is doing anything about it.
I thought of this event while I was starting to adopt to my new training workout based on my heart rate during the last days of my stay in the US. While waiting for my connecting flight in San Francisco International Airport back to the Manila on July 9, I created an Event Page on my Facebook Wall and turned off my laptop computer. As soon as I arrived in Manila, I was surprised to see a very positive response from the runners as soon as I saw the update on my Event Page and the rest is history!
However, for the past weeks and days, I don’t see any positive response from the so-called “minimalist” shoe brand “corporates” who are promoting this kind of running. I simply asked them for me to meet their “Big Boss” in person! “Big Boss” would mean their CEO, President, or Regional Brand Manager. I don’t need to meet their mid-level/department heads due to unfavorable experiences in the past. (I don’t want to recall and post in this blog how these people would transact some arrangements with me on matters about running)
With or without corporate sponsorship, the event will go on. Fortunately, a group called “Barefoot Running Philippines” came forward to support and help in the conduct of this event. Lt Col Mike Logico of the Philippine Army, one of the Administrators of the Barefoot Running Philippines and a “hardcore” barefoot runner, volunteered to assist me in the administrative and logistics needs as the event will be conducted at the Philippine Army’s Grandstand and Parade Ground on August 6 at 4:00 PM.
The registration is on site until 30 minutes before the start of the 3.2K run. The registration fee is Fifty Pesos Only (P 50.00). Runners will run 3 times along the 1-K loop on the said facility/area which has a mixture of asphalted and cemented road. Top 3 in the Overall (Open) Category and Top 3 in the Ladies Category will receive the BR’s Medallion.
This event will be done on a monthly basis with the next event to be conducted inside Camp Aguinaldo. We hope to come up with a 5K Barefoot Run/Walk.
In making this event as part in the history of running in the Philippines, I would like to thank and express my gratitude to Lt Col Mike Logico; the Philippine Army’s Headquarters & Headquarters Service Group and ASCOM’s Special Service Unit; and to the Barefoot Running Philippines.
See you this coming Saturday afternoon. Have fun! Kick off your running shoes and let us “tickle and burn” our feet on the paved ground! Walking barefoot is allowed, too!
BR's Barefoot 3.2K (2-Mile) Run Route (Courtesy of Lt Col Mike Logico)