Inaugural Scottish Barefoot Run Summary

A collection of photos showing future Merrell Product, Inov-8 Trailroc 235s, and the route of the Scottish Barefoot Run & Conference, mostly in and around Salisbury Crag.

New post at The Running Bug, ‘Inaugural Scottish Barefoot Run Summary‘.

An excellent, highly informative day was had by all at the inaugural Scottish Barefoot Run and we even got a glimpse of what summer should have looked like, albeit a slightly windy version from our viewpoint over Edinburgh from the crags underneath Arthur’s Seat.

The event got underway at 11am with registration and the opportunity to view current and future product from the likes of Merrell, Vibram Five Fingers, Vivobarefoot, Inov8 and Pearl Izumi.

Vibram Five Fingers and inov8 offered participants the opportunity to try out some product while out on the run and I opted for a pair of the new Inov8 Trailroc 235 with a 0mm drop.

The run was from Bruntsfield Links down to Holyrood Park entering by the Commonwealth Pool, up on to Salisbury Crag and along the top, providing excellent views of the Castle and the rest of Edinburgh, then down to the Palace and on to the Royal Mile at The Scottish Parliament. The route then headed up to the Castle and dropped into the Grassmarket. From there, it was up some old town steps to Lauriston Place past the spectacular Heriots School, into Middle Meadow Walkway and back to Bruntsfield Links.

With a perfect mix of terrain, taking in the sights and sounds of Edinburgh (pipers on the royal mile for that traditional Scottish sound) and a distance of just over 5 miles (not including the slight ‘detour’ my wayward group took!) the run had something for all tastes and served to promote Edinburgh as a potential running destination. I think there were more than a few of us left wishing that we had somewhere as cool as the Crags to run on a daily basis, especially given the close proximity to the city.

I ended up running for a while with top Vibram Barefoot Coach Helen Hall and her partner, and benefited greatly from advice offered both directly to myself and to others. I immediately felt the benefit of some of the tips, including:

  • Adopt a similar zig-zag approach on descents as you would while skiing as this saves the legs and lets you better control your descent
  • Stand tall and push from the rear – avoid slouching forward
  • Rotate the upper body
  • Aim for a high cadence with lots of little steps. Your feet should land underneath your body rather than far in front of it which helps to avoid heel striking

After a leisurely lunch out on the Links, the group decanted to the Eric Liddell Centre for the afternoon’s events, the conference element of the day. The conference was excellent, with 2 great presentations, each with a slightly different focus. Both Ben le Vacant from Vivobarefoot and Matt Walden from Primal Lifestyle, official distributor of Vibram Five Fingers in the UK, delivered informative, engaging presentations that kept the audience interested and, more often than not, amused. I particularly liked the point that 3.6 million years worth of evolution can’t be wrong!

All participants received a pair of TEKO Socks and there were various other freebies on offer from buffs to keyrings.

The event finished with a Q&A session which, I am sure, could have run on a lot longer had time permitted.

This looks likely to be an annual event and a Facebook group has been set up to promote minimalist running in Scotland.

Thanks to event organisers Colin McPhail and Donnie Campbell for an excellent day, and also to all of the helpers on the day. Thanks also to all the companies who came along to instruct and to let participants see and use both current and future products.

The Scottish Barefoot Run High Speed

The following video, prepared by Colin McPhail, shows the route that was taken on the day.

Inaugural Scottish Barefoot Run Update

Further details have been made available regarding this Saturdays inaugural Scottish Barefoot Run & Conference:

11.00 am Registration opens, everything is free but we need the disclaimer signed
11.15 am Coaching with Helen Hall from Vibram Five Fingers
11.30 am Fitting of barefoot shoes from Inov8 and Brooks
11.40 am Run and safety briefing, Donnie Campbell
12.00 pm Run starts in waves depending on numbers
13.00 pm Lunch, homemade sandwiches and bananas, water is on tap all day
13.30 pm Head to The Eric Liddell Centre

Free socks will be handed out on entry to the conference

14.00 pm Barefoot Conference Opens with a welcome from Colin McPhail and an introduction to Matt Wallden from Vibram 5 Fingers and Ben Le Vesconte of Vivobarefoot
15.30 pm Toilet Break
15.40 pm Open Forum with Vivobarefoot, Vibram Five Fingers, Inov8, Merrell, and Pearl Izumi
16.20 pm Close of Conference and off to Pub (Golf Tavern is always worth a visit)

From the event organisers:

We are excited about the attendance of the barefoot trade, especially that of Ben Le Vesconte and Matt Wallden who are both highly respected in the world of natural running. Guy Russell from Inov8 is another of the barefoot worlds well ken’t faces and has a wealth of knowledge to share with us.

Try on a Barefoot Shoe: May sound like a contradiction of terms but there are many types of shoes which work in a variety of ways to assist us with our quest in more efficient forms of running and are delighted to welcome Guy from Inov8 with a small representation of natural running footwear. Don’t forget to take a look at some of the transition shoes that Pearl Izumi and Merrell are also showing.

Coaching: We are delighted to welcome Helen Hall who works closely with Vibram Five Fingers and is one of the country’s top natural running coaches. We hope you will all get a chance to meet Helen and discuss your form; hopefully some very useful tips will be exchanged. Donnie Campbell is arguably Scotland’s top coach and is also on hand to help you with your form.

Socks are very important and we are extremely lucky to have discovered TEKO a Scottish based company who’s environmentally produced garments cannot be beaten. They are kind enough to hand out a pair of these to everyone attending the conference at 2.00pm in the Eric Liddell Centre at Holy Corner

Thanks to all helpers too many to mention individually and especially to:

Hope to see you all there – be sure to introduce yourself and say hello. A report on the day will follow in due course.

Inaugural Scottish Barefoot Run Update

Helen Hall, top Vibram Barefoot coach who has worked with many of the top barefooters will be on hand to introduce newcomers to the art of efficient running. Sign up to the attendance list and let them know if you are interested in getting some coaching.

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