I think the starting gun went off at some point. But we were so far back, and it took a good 5 minutes before we started moving, so I don’t really remember hearing it. Another 5 or so minutes later the Barefoot Seven crossed the start line, and Cathy, Bill, and I watched the other 5 barefooters take off fast.
The Barefoot Runners
- 9387 – Joe Seeley, Ventura CA, M, 32
- 6189 – Ted McDonald, Sun Valley CA, M, 40
- 16050 – Larry Miquelon, Moreno Valley CA, M, 43
- 2447 – Michae LeGault, Pleasant Hill, CA, M, 48
- 9642 – Todd Byers, Long Beach CA, M,41
- 9002 – Marc Mclellan, Fullerton CA, M, 33
- 21416 – Bill Parkyn, Lomita, CA, M, 60
- 5049 – Ken Saxton, Huntington Beach CA, M, 49
But there was another barefoot runner, Joe, who we didn’t get to meet before the start, but someone did find him shortly after starting, and Joe ran much of the course within about a minute of Ted.
The Barefoot Coach
As some of you know Todd has been coaching the “Team in Training” and ran/walked much of the marathon with various people in the team (“Go Team Go!”). Bill and I ran/walked the entire marathon with my wife Cathy, who was feeling a bit sore, and decided to take it easy again. At least it wasn’t as hot as last year’s marathon at 98 degrees!
A couple miles in, Cathy, Bill and I caught up with Todd, walking with Anne, one of his Team in Training minions. A bit later we caught up with Tawni Gnomes. At about mile 7, Todd passed us again, and told me that he had probably run about 13 miles already, going back and forth, connecting with his team members.
It was a lot of fun spending 7 hours on the streets of Los Angeles with Barefoot Bill, and, of course, my wife, Cathy. We chatted, we encouraged many of the Students Run L.A. crowds, as well as a few people from Students Run Oakland, who came way down here to run in the Los Angeles Marathon. I also was able to contact Michae by mobile phone to get updates on the rest of the Running Barefoot 7, and found out that Barefoot Joe Seeley was spotted shortly after the start.
The Fast(er) Barefoot Runners
Then Joe, Ted, Marc, and Larry left Michae behind, and I lost touch with the 4 lead barefooters, probably because they actually were trying to finish relatively fast. Looking at the splits, it looks like Marc may have gone out a little over his head, and at some point after the 30K split Michae as well as Barefoot Todd passed Marc, though Michae did not see him. That’s OK Marc. Finding out how long 26.2 miles is what first marathons are all about. Congratulations. After this, everything else will seem easy.
The Slow(er) Barefoot Runners
I know you guys who pushed during this marathon, did work hard. Just want to point out that Bill, Michae, Marc, and I spent a lot of time barefoot on blacktop on a very clear and sunny day. Bill and I soon discovered while walking with Cathy, that it was actually a lot cooler for our soles on the hot pavement, to run, than to walk, even if we ran at the same pace as someone walking. Sort of like running in place, but still moving slightly forward. It also felt better on the legs, at least for us, to maintain a faster cadence than walking.
The final mile, Barefoot Bill took off and ran about an 8 minute mile to finish a couple minutes ahead of Cathy and myself, who crossed the finish line holding hands.
20th Anniversary Crowds
All in all, it was a great day, the crowds of course were bigger than usual, this being the big XX (20th) running of the Los Angeles Marathon. And, I think all of us enjoyed the crowds in one way or another, especially since it means we got to pass a lot of people, all through the 7 hours that some of us were out there. Michae even took one of my patented sit down breaks at mile 20, and many of us purchased the frozen fruit bars from the push cart vendors that were wisely working the course.
Bill improved his time for his second barefoot marathon. Ted, and Marc, who were both marathon virgins, now have personal records to improve on next time. Michae and I both recorded personal worse times, but we both had more time to enjoy the crowds and the party.
Ken Bob was a featured speaker at the Nike booth in the Los Angeles Marathon Expo as part of a presentation by Nike about barefoot running and the Nike Free shoes (which are designed to emulate Running Barefoot).
Read Ken Bob’s evaluation of the Nike Free 5.0 shoes, if you dare!
listen to Barefoot Ken Bob and Barefoot Ted on the Conway and Steckler Show: