In 2014 I returned to racing after a 2.5 year hiatus due to an incessant string of injuries. During this (too-)long period of rehab I ditched the shoes and retrained myself to run, discovering the joys and benefits of running barefoot. My first barefoot half marathon was an exhilarating personal victory and I of course was stricken with the race bug. I was eager to find my next race, but immediately became frustrated by the lack of race information geared towards barefoot runners. Beyond the usual considerations of race support, aid stations and number of porta-potties, barefoot running poses unique challenges, such as gravel, chipseal or extreme heat to name a few. To my dismay, as I researched the ideal course on which to attempt my first barefoot marathon, I found no reliable sources for such specific race details. My efforts to research barefoot-friendly races amounted to fruitless chats on social media and emails to race directors. With great frustration, most of my “How barefoot-friendly is Race X?” inquiries were met with resounding silence.
Out of this frustration was born the motivation to develop a race review resource targeted specifically at barefoot runners: a community for barefooters to share their race experiences–from heavenly smooth pavement to long stretches of challenging gravel to amusing commentary from the peanut gallery. A year after discovering this gaping hole in the barefoot running community, I’m thrilled to announce that RaceBarefoot.com is finally live!
I invite you to visit the site, share your personal tales of barefoot race victories or disasters, and peruse your fellow runners’ reviews to help select your next barefoot race. We hope that, with the birth of RaceBarefoot.com, no barefoot runner will again have to face the “information abyss” as they research their next 5k, half marathon or ultra!
As the site is newly launched, it is still in beta form, so please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you notice any errors or oddities!
Infinite thanks to Lance Troxel for his impeccable design skills and to Russell Reas–master developer–for devoting innumerable weekends to transform my vision into reality.