NEWRUN Half Marathon
Category: Road Events
I set myself a goal this year of running a barefoot half marathon by the end of the year. Since my training had gone so well I thought I should bring this goal forward by about 8 months and give it a go. I had the barefoot distance under my belt but as it was my first event I was a little anxious.
Walking around on the start line I noticed a huge amount of puzzled and some quite fearful looks. Seemed most of this crowd hadn't seen a barefoot runner before! I got chatting with one guy who was so stoked that I was in bare feet, which just got me super pumped to run.
Soon after the start the heckling began. It's amazing how many shod runners want to give you advice about how much damage you are doing to your body and equally so many others that just said "you're crazy, but that's damn awesome!".
About 5k in I started settling in to a 5:30 pace, which was really comfortable. I was mindful of overdoing it and burning out the soles of my feet, which I was not keen to do as they are still building up resistance. Shortly after, a shirtless, tattooed dude started pacing with me and we got chatting. We immediately got along like a house on fire and decided to keep pace with each other for the race.
Knowing I was slow downhill I powered up King Edward Park and again back up Memorial Drive. My new mate Duncan soon caught up heading back down King Edward Park and we kept up a good dose of chatting. I was stoked to have King Edward Park out of the way as the road was quite abrasive through there but my feet still felt in top shape so all was well.
Running and chatting, it turns out Duncan did a 300km ride yesterday as part of his training for an upcoming 3 day ultra man event. I couldn't believe how well he was running considering. Now heading back along Newcastle beach the wind was belting in our faces. All we could do was laugh and try to keep moving forward.
With a return trip of the breakwall out of the way it was only a short stretch out to Honeysuckle and back for the finish. We were both starting to feel pretty fatigued at this point but with another good dose of chatting the end was in sight.
Heading down the finish chute we picked up the pace for a big finish. Across the line we exchanged a well earned fist-bump and grabbed a drink. Shortly after I headed for home as it was a pretty miserable day.
A day or so later Duncan tracked me down on Facebook and as it turns out knows my mate Andy's wife, Elisha Smallcombe. Chatting with Elisha at church confirmed my suspicion that Duncan was a legend so I'm definitely going to keep in touch with this dude and do some more runs.
Race day stats: