30 Oct 2017

A month to recover after running half of marathon barefoot

From Checkpoint, 5:55 pm on 30 October 2017

A runner who ditched his shoes to run barefoot during yesterday's Auckland marathon says he'll need at least a month to recover before contemplating his next race.

Harry Burnard still managed a personal best of 2 hours 53 minutes despite running the best part of 24 kilometres in barefeet after feeling the return of a niggling knee injury.

Checkpoint with John Campbell spoke with the runner while he and his father were driving back to Wellington.

When asked what he was thinking when he took his shoes off, Mr Burnard responded, "Well, "I'm not really thinking straight during a marathon am I?".

He gave his shoes to a spectator, who dropped the shoes of at the race's information desk for him to collect later.

Mr Burnard said taking his shoes off worked "for a little while", but he started to regret the decision around the 27-32km mark.

"I just came out here to finish it anyway. I gave myself a goal of finishing the race, to see how far I could get through it."

Mr Burnard said he probably would not run in the marathon again next year, but hoped to return in 2019 to reach his goal of finishing in 2 hours 30 minutes. For now, he plans to stay off his feet for the next little while.