Yesterday I ran a little less than half the USATF-NJ 8K Cross-Country Championships barefoot at Deerpath Park. Here is an exerpt from an IM conversation I had about it. (Thinnmann is me.)
[09:41] Sherrie: Ran barefoot 25 mins after the race yesterday, on the grass and mud parts of the course, even through the extended mud puddle, it was fun to run barefoot after the race, such a nice day!
[09:42] Thinnmann: Yup~! It was fun on the second lap of the race to go straight through the mud area!
[09:42] Sherrie: Easier barefoot than running with shoes, the toes get a grip in the muck.
[09:44] Thinnmann: I actually felt push-off slippage afer removing my spikes, but overall I probably ran the last 2 miles faster than with the shoes. Probably lost 10 seconds removing them, but gained the same being barefoot...
[09:46] Sherrie: So what do you think might have been the result if you ran the entire course barefoot? Did you plan to take off your shoes halfway through or was it spontaneous? I wore spikeless and took the chance of slipping over wearing the hardware.
[09:46] Thinnmann: I wanted to be able to, at some point, do a race barefoot. I warmed up on the "front loop" barefoot, and it was perfect! But the "back loop" over the bridge and up the hill was too gravelly and rock-strewn. It would have forced me to slow down too much. When I came around the first lap, through those trees to the right turn to start lap 2, Pam yelled, "Gene, take your shoes off now!' I smiled, and thought about calling her bluff, but decided that would be too showboatish. But after running another 50 yards my head was thinking, "Ya know, that isn't a bad idea; I can do that really fast..." So I moved right by the first Parcourse station, whipped them off and went on!