On Wedneday August 11th, I joined about 70 other people and ran from Harlem to Brooklyn with Chris McDougall, author of Born to Run. It was an awesome afternoon.
I wasn’t able to stay for Chris’s book reading at Word in Greenpoint, but the few minutes I got to talk with him confirmed what I’d suspected: When Chris said he was “infected with a spirit of camaraderie and fun” I’m certain he was talking about himself. He’s a genuine, kind and patient person who gave freely of his time and knowledge and who runs for the pure human joy of it. He’s also whip-smart. (and almost as tall as me)
I was really nervous beforehand, not even committing to my Vibram FiveFingers until I was walking out the door. My nerves were misplaced however, this was definitely not a race, and the people running were interesting, supportive and just generally wonderful. The pace was relaxed and comfortable enough that I spent a good deal of time talking to other runners. The group also stopped several times along the way to rest and gather everyone back up. Even though the distance was 3+ miles longer than I’d ever done near-barefoot, my muscles, bones and joints were fine. I did pick up a blister on the ball of my left foot, but nothing that will hamper me in the Bronx Half-Marathon on Sunday.
At the end, A handful of us were sitting with our bare feet in the playground sprinkler on Franklin and Noble. The sun was behind the buildings, and as we talked there was a wonderful, peaceful feeling of accomplishment and community.
Organizer John Durant posted a bunch of photos.
NY Post reporter Susannah Calahan did the run with us and the Post posted this video:
NBC Universal Sports reporter Matt Stroup also ran with us: Barefoot run NYC: The Christopher McDougall experience. Apparently no one warned him about how long it takes to strengthen the calves, I bet he isn’t able to walk down stairs for a week.
CBS News was there too: