It is a beautiful hot summer evening, the longest day of the year.
I am taking my son Lukas and his buddy Jessie and we head to Oregon City for the annual Summer Solstice Sundowner 5k run.
It has been almost exactly one year since I first put my shoes away and started my barefoot journey.
I remember myself and Lukas being here at the same spot one year ago just to see the race because as much as wanted to run I simply could not. I was just in my early transition time to barefoot running and my calves were really sore after almost every run at that time.
A year has passed and it is a different story now. Today I feel strong and confident. I have run 700 miles in the past 12 months, all barefoot on all kinds of surfaces and right now I am really looking forward to run a road race since it has been a while I ran one.
Lukas and Jessie run first their ¼ mile Kids run. It is just one loop on the track and they both enjoy it with the kids spontaneity.
For the 5k there are about 220 runners. The course is mostly flat, two loops around the Clackamas Community College campus on pavement with some sections of a crushed gravel paths.
7:15 PM and the gun shoots. I am starting with no rush somewhere in the middle of the pack. I am the only barefoot runner here today and I only see one older lady in Vibram 5 Fingers.
I feel strong but relaxed. I start adding speed right after the start and start passing people in front of me. Then we hit the pointy crushed gravel part. I am really curious how fast I can handle it and happily realize right away this is going to be an easy one.
I am well trained running barefoot on gravel and rocks from all my trail running in the past 6 months so I do not slow down much and even keep passing people. For the whole race nobody passes me and that feels really good.
Two loops done and I am sprinting to the finish line. I glance on the numbers on the board – 24 minutes. I am really happy and smiling.
My new 5k personal record, my fastest run up to date and my feet and legs feel great.
“Daddy, I want to run with you next time” Lukas asks. What a lucky dad am I :-)
Overall place: 39/212