This past weekend I was out at Pineland Farms for my “long” run (which, given a sore hamstring the past few days, wasn’t that long.) After the run, I ran a little bit of the upcoming Barefoot 5k race course without my shoes to get a good feel for what the terrain will be like and to give some actual barefoot video footage to the race director, who can be seen in the video below in the Vibram Five Fingers.

I’m really looking forward to this race; there aren’t very many barefoot races in the country and definitely none in this area. The course is pretty good for barefoot running; while there are a few areas that are a little gravely, the majority of the course is on grass or dirt and as long as it doesn’t downpour before the race the footing should be pretty good. If the course is flooded, though, it’s going to be a little slick on the hills, of which there are plenty.

If you want to see what the terrain will look like for yourself, check out this short video:

The Barefoot 5k is a part of the Pineland Farms Festival of Running, formerly the Pineland Farms Trail Challenge. On the first day of races, there will be a 10k at 10:00, followed 10 minutes later by a Canicross 5k. Then there will be a 5k race at 11:00, followed 10 minutes later by the Barefoot 5k.

In the Barefoot 5k there will be 2 categories, barefoot and shod. If you want to run in the barefoot category, you need to be completely barefoot. If you prefer to wear minimalist shoes, then you can wear footwear such as Vibram Five Fingers, Huaraches, or water/aqua shoes. I imagine you could probably wear socks in the shod category, but it isn’t specifically listed on the website so you’d want to check with the race director first.

My plan as of right now is to race in the barefoot category and see how many shod people I can beat, as well as how many of the normal 5k runners I can catch.

On the second day of racing, there is the normal 25k, 50k and 50 mile races. Right now I’m leaning towards racing in the 25k, although I haven’t definitively decided on that and am leaving all of my options open for whichever of the 3 races I finally decide to register for.

Both days have a BBQ after the racing, and there will be a pasta dinner on the evening of the first day after speakers panels where you can learn more about trail running, ultrarunning, minimalistic running, or how to pair cheese and beer.

All in all, it’s going to be a great time and I hope to see you this Memorial Day Weekend in New Gloucester, Maine!

For more information, you can check out the Pineland Farms Festival of Running website: