Thursday, October 13, 2011

Barefoot Running Loot

I didn't tell you in my writeup about my time at the 2nd Annual NYC Barefoot Run that we got a little goodie bag.  It feels a little weird to "get" something at a barefoot run because it makes it seem like any other run.  Everybody kind of expects to "get" something nowadays when they go to a run because that's the way it's done and is part of the fun.  I, for one, love having the T-shirt because wearing it in my regular life, at least at this point, is a bit distinctive.  All the other run T-shirts kind of blend all together until they all look like the same T-shirt.  But, in these early days, a Barefoot Run T-shirt is a little unique.

But the whole structure/format/setup of the barefoot run caused one friend of mine to raise a philosophical objection.  She wanted to come to the run only on Sunday, but could not attend all the events on the preceding Saturday.  The fee for the whole weekend was $75.  She wanted there to be a "race-only" fee.  She asked the organizers if this would be possible and they told her no, that the $75 fee applied to participate, whether you were only coming to run the race or not.  After that, my friend wrestled with whether she wanted to pay $75 to just come around the island two times and get a T-shirt.  She decided it was not a good use of her money, and besides that, she found some kind of discrepancy between the fee and the idea that running barefoot was "minimal" and can be looked at as a means to objecting to paying the high prices of the scientifically designed running shoes offered by the big running shoe companies.

My friend raised these objections to me.  Well, I faced the same fee dilemma, also not being able to attend the seminars, talks, workshops, partying and book-signings on the preceding Saturday, but reasoned that I was making a donation to promote a good cause.  I saw it as a contribution to making an event like this possible, a way of supporting the movement in general. My friend's minimalist argument is not lost on me, but there are SO many other aspects of barefoot running to enjoy and so many angles to come from that I don't feel that I'm compromising some kind of principle or anything by paying the fee.

I had intended to share my thoughts about the forward lean aspect of barefoot running.  But, as you can see, I played around with my photo today, and I think it's enough for today to just talk about how I was enjoying the loot from the NYC Barefoot Run.  I shall have to save my reflections on the forward lean for a future blog post.

No comments: