The race was an out and back on a nice smooth stretch of the Assabet Rail Trail. Because it was in Marlboro and on a Wednesday night, I was able to convince a few friends to enter it with me.
I also recently joined the New England Barefoot Runners meetup group to meet some new folks. On a lark, I posted this race as a meet up. To my pleasant surprise, a few folks actually RSVPd.
So on Jun 15, I drove to Marlboro and met up with my friends Amy, Checca, and Birdie from college
as well as some new barefoot friends, Jim, Preston, Matt, and Barefoot Todd.
As you have hopefully read already, I have recently completed my first 5K barefoot and was toying with the idea of doing the 10K barefoot. I was a little intimidated by 6.2 miles because of my earlier experiences with 5miles (Read Five Mile Fail.)
Preston and Jim were very encouraging and helped bolster my confidence. Jim offered to run with me and coach me through the 6.2 miles.
Another great surprise was that Amy decided to hang back with me in the slow lane. After the gun went off, Amy and Jim and I started out at a very conservative 10min pace. Amy and I got to catch up on old times and get to know Jim a little.
We kept a nice easy conversational pace until the turn around when Amy decided she was going to speed it up a bit and left Jim and I. I was still opting for the slow barefoot pace at this point but I felt absolutely great.
Sometime around mile 4 or so, I was feeling very comfortable and Jim and I decided to pick up the pace. We just kept going faster until we reeled Amy back in at around mile 5. At that point, Jim and I were working hard at about a 7:30 pace. I was astonished that I could sustain that barefoot and even more astonished when I pushed to just over a 7min pace. As you might imagine, Jim and I weren't talking much at this point. I finished the race at an all out sprint on the Kelleher field and I can honestly say this was as close to a puking finish as I've ever been. On the plus side, my feet felt great.
I wound up with a 58:18 time and not a single blister or hot spot on my feet which was much better than I had hoped for considering how slowly we had started.
I also got to participate in my first barefoot kickline with all my new barefoot friends.