Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Barefoot Running takes root in Singapore

SINGAPORE, 06 December 2010: Minimalist footwear running and barefoot running increased its profile and prominence here in Singapore and the Philippines over the past week in the run-up to the Singapore Marathon 2010 (Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore). A group of about 50 minimalist footwear runners gathered together to form Team Barefoot (below) with the intention to run the 42km race tied together and wearing Vivobarefoot shoes.

Supported by Terra Plana which produces Vivobarefoot, the initiative was accompanied by 4 barefoot running clinics held in Manila, Cebu and Singapore conducted by barefoot running experts Michael Sandler and Jessica Lee, who are the founders of the RunBare Company which spreads awareness on barefoot running and consults across the United States on the intricacies of practising the art properly.

Specially flown in by Terra Plana, the barefoot running professionals who have co-authored the fast-selling book 'Barefoot Running: How to Run Light and Free by Getting in Touch with the Earth' were received in Asia for the first time by oversubscribed clinics and awestruck enthusiasts and practitioners of barefoot running. The clinics engaged participants through an interactive 30-45 minute session, which then transitioned into some actual barefoot running drills.

In Singapore, the clinic held at the Botanical Gardens on 4th December saw participants being treated to some humourous moments as Jessica and Michael exchanged banter and ribbed each other. There were also plenty of key points to learn that were based on science and research. Both experts related their own experiences in discovering barefoot running - with Michael's being the inspirational back-from-the-brink-of-death type - and clearly swear by the sport, even to the extent of largely practising a barefoot lifestyle outside of running as well.

Michael also took the opportunity to participate in the national marathon the following day, running half the distance completely barefoot before joining Team Barefoot and cheering them on through the second leg of the race.

In all, Team Barefoot took less than 8 hours to complete the race with 35 runners covering the entire distance tied together, which could qualify as a World Record and VegVibe understands that the Guinness World Records is currently assessing the application. In any case, the purpose of the attempt was to raise funds (specifically, S$15,000) for ACRES, the wildlife rescue group based in Singapore and corporate sponsors are expected to commit various amounts based on the distance covered by the runners.

Those interested to recognise the incredible effort put in by Team Barefoot at the Singapore Marathon and contribute to the ACRES cause can still do so by donating any amount via http://www.give.sg/TeamGIVE/sustainablepr/teambarefoot/-4416.