Would You Run a Marathon Barefoot For Charity?
This year it seems people of all ages are pushing themselves to the limit to raise money for charity, raise consciousness on issues like climate change and the environment, and possibly raise the bar on wild and outlandish stunts. Just this year Edward Norton trained with Maasai and ran the New York City Marathon to raise money for their African grasslands. Well, add the barefoot marathon to the list, as this past weekend Casey Cochran of the Green Guide Network not only claimed he would run a barefoot marathon, he actually did it and finished!Who Was the Barefoot Marathon For?
Cochran, who runs the Green Guide Network, wanted to do a charity event for the GGN. Then he decided that instead he'd rather push himself to do something for a humanitarian cause. It was while he was running barefoot on the beach that he decided to do a barefoot marathon and see if he could find a shoe company/charity to donate the money to. It was here that he found TOMS.
TOMS shoes, as you may know, donates shoes to children in developing countries every time someone purchases a pair of TOMS shoes. Cochran worked with the Friends of TOMS charity to get them publicity thru his run and also he personally raised almost $5K USD which will be given to TOMS. (They are still collecting donations at this time if you'd like to support a man crazy enough to run a marathon barefoot and help provide footwear for less fortunate children in the process.
What Does it Take to Train for a Barefoot Marathon?
Well, running 26.2 miles takes training and is hard enough for someone to run, even if they have good footwear. Cochran says,
"As race day, Dec 6th, got closer and closer I was getting more anxious than anything - I just wanted it to be that morning and get moving and see how my body reacted. My training had been pretty mellow by training standards. 1 long run every two weeks and a couple shorter 6-7 mile runs 2x a week. I managed to fit in one ~20 mile 'run' but barely made it home and walked about 5 miles of it. That was the worst. The Wednesday before the race I ran 3 miles...didn't feel well, stepped on a rock, secretly wanted to break my foot as an out...no luck."
December 6, the day of the Santa Barbara International Marathon, the race Cochran chose to try this crazy idea out, it was freezing cold, but Cochran got all ten toes to the starting line by race time. He completed the marathon, barefoot, with a respectable time of 3 hours 56 minutes. After a few days of recovery where Cochran was unable to walk, he now says that he would even do it again, just not any time soon. Green Guide Network does plan to host an Earth Day Charity event in the Los Angeles area, complete with prizes, so keep your eyes and ears open for that - shoes are optional.