Olathe Marathon - A New Barefoot PR!
May 21, 2005

First of all, my hat's off (and shoes, obviously) to Race Director Stephen Koranda and his host of volunteers. The 3rd running of the Olathe marathon was truly the best so far! It was a well laid-out course and very barefoot friendly (I would give it an 8 on a scale of 1-10 regarding "barefoot-friendliness!).

It was a warm start of 62 degrees at Gardner-Edgerton High School. Stephen thanked everyone for showing up with shoes and those who didn't (pointing to me!). We were off at 7:01 a.m. and wound through the streets of Gardner, KS for about half the course. The crowds were sparse, but very energetic and encouraging. I got to talk to many folks about barefoot running along the way, mostly during the first half.

I hit the halfway mark at about a 1:34. I didn't think I had enough to finish with a 3:35, needing that for a Boston qualifier next year (although I'm probably not going in '06). I settled in to running about an 8.5 minute pace. Most of the course was either smooth asphalt or concrete with a short jaunt through a park on an asphalt trail.


To make a long story short, I crossed the finish line in 3:43:46. I never did meet up with Byron Reiper who was going to run the course with sandals and finish the last 6 miles barefoot. However, at about 3:49, I see a friend of mine from work, John, crossing the finish line holding his shoes! I went up to him, congratulating him and asked how far he had ran without shoes. He said the last 6 miles, and that I had inspired him to try it. He said it felt pretty good! Actually, the MC announced me as I came across the finish line as the barefoot runner. When he saw John a few minutes later, he said "Maybe this barefooting thing is catching on!" I just laughed!


A good day of marathoning. With my 3:43:46, I established a new barefoot PR, finished 8th in my age group, and shaved close to 45 minutes off last year's Olathe Marathon! A good day, indeed!

Place     No.     Name                 Ag     S     City                 St         Chiptime     Guntime        Pace
===== ===== =================== == = =============== == ======= ======= ===== ======= ===== ======= =====
47         400     Rick Roeber     49     M     Lee's Summit     MO     3:43:46    3:43:50         8:33

More Pics of the Olathe Marathon Courtesy of Kansas City.com

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