One foot at a time | One sole at a time | One hell of a good time


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

San Diego Rock n' Roll Marathon

Howdy Folks

Ran the San Diego Rock n' Roll Marathon Sunday. It was a HUGE street party with live rock music all along the route.

I ran the entire race essentially as a pacer for the famous Barefoot Ken Bob. Believe it or not, he ran a marathon on Saturday in Indiana, got on a plane and flew to San Diego to run his second marathon in one weekend.

I knew that he was going to have difficulties. I thought it would be fun to run with him. He is what I would call a social runner. He loves to talk with other runners all through the race. His idea of a marathon is to have fun. Well, I had a great time running with him. Naturally, my FiveFingers with Injinji socks got a lot of attention, too.

For the last 10 miles I was doing my best to keep Barefoot Ken Bob going. Took nearly 5 hours (4:45). That was a long time to be running on pavement.

Photos and more reporting as time permits.


Pacing Barefoot KenBob to the Finish

PS. A big thank you to Vibram for sponsoring this race and thanks to my cousin Robert and his beautiful family for taking good care of me.

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Monday, April 17, 2006

Boston Marathon - 3:20:16 - re-qualify!!!

Howdy Folks

Photos by Greg M. Cooper. Copyright Vibram USA

Just got back to my hotel after running the Boston Marathon in 3:20:16 wearing FiveFingers shoes.

Firstly, let me say that Boston is a tough course. However, I set out to do 3:20, and I did it, so for that I am grateful. With this time, I re-qualify for Boston for my age group 40-45.

As photos become available, and I have more energy, I will write about my experience.

Until then...

Best Regards, Barefoot Ted

PS. A BIG! thank you to all the folks at Vibram USA for making this trip possible. You guys rock (are 41 year olds supposed to use that phrase?)!

Me with Peter Von Conta (left), VP Design and Tony Post (right), President Vibram USA

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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Press Release: Barefoot Ted to Run Boston in FiveFingers™



Long Distance Runner Will Compete Almost Barefoot in
Vibram® FiveFingers™

WHAT: Vibram®, the worldwide leader in high performance footwear soles based in Concord, Mass., will sponsor Ted McDonald, a.k.a. Barefoot Ted, a six-time barefoot marathoner to compete in Boston. Ted will wear Vibram® FiveFingers™, a unique glove-styled shoe that offer all the health benefits of going barefoot with the gecko-like grip and the protection of a Vibram® sole.

FiveFingers™ was originally developed by Marco Bramani grandson of Vibram Founder Vitale Bramani. Bramani loved the balance and control of sailing barefoot but wanted better slip resistance and toe protection from dangerous rigging.

Although this product is intended for sailing, sea kayaking, and related sports, the concept is gaining traction with barefoot runners, walkers and recreational sports enthusiasts. FiveFingers™ stretches and strengthens muscles in the feet and lower legs, improving balance, agility, strength and speed.

WHY: For Vibram®, this is an opportunity to showcase their innovative FiveFingers™ while illustrating the many health benefits of going almost barefoot. For Barefoot Ted, an avid proponent of barefoot running, FiveFingers™ gives him the freedom and sensation of running barefoot, with the protection of a Vibram sole.

WHEN: Monday, April 17, 12:00 p.m.

WHERE: Hopkinton, Mass. to Back Bay, Boston, Mass.

CONTACTS: For more information or interviews, contact Anne Tommasi, Tommasi PR 603.893.5878, atommasi@adelphia.net

Photo by Ona McDonald

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Los Angeles Marathon XXI wearing Vibram® FiveFingers™ Barefoot Shoes


Ran the LA Marathon as a training run in preparation for the upcoming Boston Marathon.

Ran it in 3:30:57 which puts me in the top 7% of the 40-44 age group.

It was the first road marathon that I ever wore shoes!

photos by MarathonFoto

I was sponsored by Vibram® to wear a pair of their soon to be released FiveFingers™ barefoot shoes.

I am still testing these shoes, but so far, I must say that I am impressed by their quality. The feel is as close to barefooting as you can get.

I am looking forward to wearing them in Boston.

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Sunday, November 06, 2005

Santa Clarita Marathon - Boston Qualifier

Very happy to report my 3:16:57 (chip-time) marathon, qualifying me for next year's Boston Marathon! I set out to do at least 3:20:00 and did it.

Embarassing Award Moment

After the race, I was originally reported as being third in my division. I found it hard to believe, but I wasn't going to turn down a plaque. When the announcer asked those who placed to come forward, I went up. When he checked my name, he said I was no longer third. Very awkward moment.

Offical Results Click Here

Reporter from the Los Angeles Daily News wrote a little about it here (see tail end of her article).

Best, Barefoot Ted

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Sunday, October 16, 2005

2005 Long Beach Marathon

Joe Seeley 33-M 1779 Marathon 3:45:42 click for photos
Ken Saxton 50-M 1753 Marathon 4:08:00 click for photos
Barefoot-Rick Roeber 49-M 1674 Marathon 4:14:30 click for photos
Barefoot Ted 41-M Unofficial Marathon 3:35

Crazy day. Looked like rain, but rain didn't come til late.

Got up at 5:30am. Typical for Sundays. Running time. Left house at 6:00am wearing my red, Los Angeles City Lifeguard Shorts. A run at the beach deserves no less.

I was late to the race. Not because of poor planning. Parking was awful. I was in traffic coming off the freeway for nearly 45 minutes! Found a possibly illegal parking space up on a pebble-filled embankment next to a full parking lot. No signs were posted, and I hoped that they would be understanding. No damage done. Got out of the car not knowing where or how far the starting line was, started running with a mini insulated backpack filled with nearly a 1/2 gallon of Gookinaid®, and a bunch of unnecessary food.

Ran into a few other panicky runners trying to find the starting line for a race that had already started! One guy was removing his warm up suit while running down the street. We ran down a steep street, through a parking garage, accross a parking lot, and through a little park overlooking a huge pond before we even saw the starting area. I was loosing it.

When I arrived at the starting area, the race was already five minutes old. Fencing prevented me from crossing over the road to drop my bag off at the Snails Pace tent. I finally got across, I found the tent, dropped off my stuff, and started running. No time to stretch, no time to use the restroom, no time to eat or drink. Adrenaline. The first barefooter I ran into was Barefoot Todd who was coaching a group of runners. He said that the rest of the group were ahead about 100 yards. I was so happy that I was going to be able to catch up with them.

Caught up with everybody. Decided that I was going to run with Barefoot Rick to help him get a Boston Qualifying 3:35 marathon. Off we went, swerving through 1000s on narrow, but very barefoot friendly, streets and paths.

At around mile 6, BR said that it was feeling too hot for him to do a fast race. For a inland living Southern Californian, I was not hot at all, at least as we ran along the beach, right next to the sand.

I was feeling good, comfortably maintaining a 3:35 finish pace and then some. I figured I would hold it as long as possible. Trying to learn more about how my body handles the marathon.

The marathon is a medium through which a man can express and test the depth of his soul and body, his very spirit.

I was now running with Ken and Joe. Ken was looking real good, but he kept insisting that we were going too fast. Joe was working very hard to keep up. His form was getting a little rough, but he made up for it with strength of will.

At around mile 16, Ken started to slow, mostly because he was having conversations with friends who were everywhere. For Ken, a marathon truly is a party, saying hello to old friends and meeting new ones for the entire 26 miles!

Since I was unofficial, I was doing my best to thank the volunteers for all they were doing. The last 10 miles were lonely for me. I decided to start walking and wait for a barefoot runner to cross the finish line with. I stopped running halfway to the 25 mile marker at 3:14. I was experiencing some cramping, but nothing serious.

At around 3:35 near mile 25, here comes Joe. He was working it, fully determined to do his best. He was very happy to see me. I was feeling fresh again from my walk and got up with him and paced him in. We came down the last hill together in lockstep. They announced two barefoot runners, and the crowd cheered.

As we crossed the line, I quickly made a left to avoid being handed a medal, and walked over to the Snails Pace Tent.

Had a post race talk with Joe. I am sure he will have better marathons in the future as he perfects his form. Both of us had family engagements that prevented us from attending Ken's party, but I am sure they are still having a good time now.

Really wish I could have spent more time with Rick. In the end, I ran the race he wanted to, and who knows, if he would have caught up, it would have been even better than a perfect day.

Read Barefoot Ken Bob's Race Report here.

Read Barefoot Rick's Race Report here.

Best to All, Barefoot Ted

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Saturday, May 14, 2005

Palos Verdes Marathon -- Finished in 3:31!

Howdy Folks

Very pleased to report the successful completion of my second marathon. My new PR is 3:31, just 11 minutes shy of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. I was 30th overall (actually 6 other runners all finished in 3:31, 24th place to 30th).

Yes, of course, I ran it barefoot. Read why here.

Am I trying to emulate Bassirima Soro's 5th Tucson Marathon win in a row? No, not even.

There were 7 barefoot runners this year. I was first place in the barefoot pseudo-division. This glory won't last for long, but I am going to soak it up while it is here.

A BIG! thanks to Barefoot Ken and RunningBarefoot.org. Without his dedication to barefoot running, I wouldn't even be running!

Luckily, my running group, The Wild Mountain Runners, got in the race for just $10 because we had a bunch of volunteers. Freddie Perez (64) and Patti ran the marathon with me.

Here's what a local had to say about the race:

I first ran Palos Verdes 35 years ago and it retains its small town aura. This is the 6th time I've run P.V. Most runners are locals who know about the course, want to run a marathon, and don't have their hearts set on a PR.

The rugged coastline scenery, the lovely neighborhoods and the hills -- you're climbing or descending most of the time -- define the course. I think it is southern California's response to Big Sur.

I treated the event as a long run where I was wearing a race number. The Palos Verdes trademark is that you must finish before you get your shirt. They also have been giving out finisher's medals for at least the last five years.

I sincerely hope I can remain healthy enough to run this again sometime in the future. It is very tough, but you get out of it what you put into it.

You may find official results here.

Best, Barefoot Ted

PS. Found some race day (running photos) at MyRaceDay.com.

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Sunday, March 06, 2005

LA Marathon XX 2005

Howdy Folks

Well, the weather was VERY cooperative. Sunny and warm and clear the whole race. No complaints there. I wish I had been in top condition. I have been fighting with a groin strain and a ankle problem for about 4 weeks, so I have really had to tone down my training in order to be able to compete today.

My time: 3:57 and the amazing thing is that another barefoot runner whom we did not see in the morning ran a 3:56! We were right next to eachother from the half-way point, but I never did see him. His name is Joe Seeley. Hi, Joe. Hope to meet you some day.

Since this was my first marathon, I was not totally prepared for how many people there were! Way too many. The barefoot group started at the back. Tat meant that we had to pass 1000s and 1000s of people (over 25,000 people!!!). I really didn't like that. I felt way to crowded most of the race. I had to spend way too much energy weaving in and out of people. Slowing down, speeding up...I really don't like that at all.

Those water lines were horrible. Some people would run up, grab a water and then STOP!!! Why? Don't do that!

Okay, I finally got into a nice pace around mile 5 or 6. If I could have held that pace, I think that I would have had a great marathon, but the training was lacking. My pace was real fine until mile 17 or 18. We hit some hills and then on a downhill, I got a sharp hamstring cramp. It stopped me cold. Normally, I don't get cramps cause I am drinking my Gookinaid religiously. Today, I was drinking plenty, but only water. I think that it didn't help. Started again more slowly, and then wham, another cramp. Walked for a little and then started up slow again. From about mile 19 on, I could not run much faster than a 10 minute pace. I had lost that beautiful light-footed feeling that I love to get while running.

From 20 on it was a struggle not to stop. I concentrated on form as much as it was possible. I attened Danny Dryers running clinic the day before at the Runners Expo at the LA Convention Center. He taught me one thing about holding the lower abs in a certain way that I had been doing wrong, and very well may have led to my strain 6 weeks ago.

Now Ken told me it is not a good idea to change form for the first time on marathon day, and I think he is right, but I decided that I might as well add this one thing to my style to prevent from causing further strain (the strain has healed a lot since I reduced my mileage and speed, but in turn lost my long-term endurance).

Okay, I did complain about all those people, the news said 25,000 people. That's a lot.

For example, we were so far back, I didn't get to the 10K mark until 1:12! I had a lot of time to make up.

The very COOL thing about LA is our culture. LA has EVERYTHING. As we ran through different neighborhoods, we were encouraged and supported with music and cheers. I mean people were cheering all the way through. LA fans are great. All that music was great, too. And folks were hosing us down. LA people are friendly when they are not on the Freeway (highway) or looking for a parking spot!!!

I am a bit sore now. I was too prideful to wear an ace bandage on my ankle, even though I should have. I hurt it on a trail run several weeks back. I really didn't want people pointing at my bandage and saying "See! You hurt yourself!". I won't make the mistake of letting pride get in the way of doing the right thing again. Got a painful ankle to prove the foolishness of that decision.

Oh my God, those last miles were hard. When I crossed the finishline, I started cramping and my head felt a little light. I hadn't had a thing to eat from start to finish other than a few hastily grabbed orange slices and a bit of banana. I started to eat one of those super sweet gooey things, but couldn't handle all that sweetness...yuk!

I also got a blister on one of my small toes. Not sure why. The bottoms of my feet are fine, i.e., normal. I was running through a lot of stuff, but most of the road was quite runnable. One section I do recall was 1927 concrete alignment which is some of the oldest auto roads in LA. I love that old concrete. It's smooth.

That's all for now.

Best, Barefoot Ted


8:25:40 AM start
10K: 1:01:27

Half: 1:59:16

30K: 2:45:09

Chip Time: 03:57:03

Pace: 9:28

Overall: 1827

Gender: 1560

Division: 299

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