Monday, October 17, 2011

Barefoot Newport Half Marathon Race Report

Newport Half Marathon 16Oct11

This was my first barefoot half marathon and my second half marathon all together.  The course views were spectacular with views of Rhode Island Sound from Brenton Point Park.
Looking out towards Jamestown from Ocean Drive

The course meandered through the Newport Mansion district as well if you wanted to do some house-hunting.

The weather was absolutely perfect and the half marathon course had a nice cool tailwind for much of the race.
This did not suck.

I was pacing for a friend who was running the full marathon so we had a good time chatting it up and having fun with the spectators and other runners.  I absolutely love getting hi-fives from kids.  It makes your day.

My friend Bethany on her first full marathon

 It was also pretty fun to thank the mansion bus-tour people as if they were spectators as they waited to cross the street.  Many of the folks were not really sure what to do when some sweaty guy wearing nothing but  shorts, a do rag, and funny leg warmers comes by and thanks them for coming out to cheer.

I have to admit that the road surface wasn't particularly pleasing for me.  The pavement was rough for about 75% of the course.  More seasoned barefooters would probably find this course fine.  It was a bit challenging for me and really made me focus on form.  Unfortunately, after about mile 8, my hip flexors got tired and my form went to crap.  The result was a few blisters but nothing terrible.  Just uncomfortable and no need to go to my bailout shoes

Despite the minor discomfort, I had a huge smile on my face for most of the race.
Shirtless, shoeless, smiling nut job on the course.  

During the race, several folks asked me about barefoot or minimal footwear and I ran for the last mile with another barefooter doing the full marathon.

I will definitely do this race again and maybe even try this as my first full marathon next year.  I will be probably wearing huaraches or other minimal shoes, though.

My own personal cheering section visiting me in the beer garden with my celebratory 'Gansett tall boy


ASIDE:  I'm definitely noticing more interest from "normal runners" in the whole barefoot and minimal thing.  It was probably a 70/30 split of people striking up a conversation and asking genuine questions about my experience vs. the usual under the breath comment about how "that guy is nuts."


  1. That's awesome! I saw your post as a retweet from Amica Marathon on Twitter.

    It was a great race, so beautiful. I'd definitely run it again.

  2. Absolutely! The weather was just perfect for this kind of event. :D