From the monthly archives:

June 2010

The Petraeus bodyshop, in perspective

by Christopher on June 27, 2010

If one thing unites the great commanders from Attila to Washington, it has been their raw ability to sleep less, eat less, and drive harder than anyone else on the battlefield. The Duke of Wellington caught some nice breaks at Waterloo, but he also made his luck by spending 10 hours a day in the saddle on a single cup of tea, sleeping two hours a night, and limbering up each morning by walking briskly for 30 minutes while swinging a riding crop.

Judging by thousands of years of military history, the general isn’t doing too much. The rest of us have gotten used to too little.

BFT was in Europe recently for a series of barefoot running workshops. Oddly, a guy named Olly signed up for a multi-day, overnight- camping clinic out in the freezing English countryside, even though the last thing he wanted to do that weekend, or any other, was run:

I’ve always been something of a running skeptic and have run very infrequently and inconsistently, perhaps because I’ve never considered myself to be a runner, or any good at running.  Running is just not something I’ve ever really enjoyed…

But Olly began perking up as soon as Ted opened his mouth and let fly in the way that only The Monkey can:

Barefoot Ted is highly inspirational, highly entertaining and very humble, all at the same time.  When he talks, it is difficult not to drop what you are doing and listen along, whether the topic is running or just about anything else.  The lasting impression I got was of a truly genuine man who is deeply passionate about who and what he is and does.  People like this don’t come around all that often.

By the end of the weekend, Olly wasn’t just beguiled by Ted’s oratory; he was a changed man:

Since I’ve been using the techniques I learned in Barefoot Ted’s Introduction To Barefoot Running Clinic, I find myself wanting to run everyday, every time I stand up in fact and keep on having to reign myself in.

Hammer of Glory Tour, 2010

by Christopher on June 2, 2010

In all its hammerous glory.

America’s coolest running club, the Fishtown Beer Runners, has been chosen as honor guard for the glorious Hammer of Glory in the final stage of its journey across Philadelphia for the opening day of Beer Week. The HOG is Philly’s official keg mallet, and by time-honored tradition, it will be passed Olympic style across the city from hand-t0-hand, except instead of being attached to broken-down ex-athletes, those hands will belong to strippers, booze hounds, mad inventors, tricyclists, sculptors, Rocky look-a-likes, something called the “Growler Prowler,” and this guy:

It's okay, he's wearing a helmet.

I’ve run and beered with the Beer Runners, and apart from the Tarahumara and high-school kids fleeing arrest at a kegger, I’ve never met anyone who’s crafted a finer marriage of legs and lager. If you can get your Growler Prowler to Philly on Friday, June 4, you’re in for a blast.

Yijoo Tracker: Heads up, Ohio

by Christopher on June 2, 2010

Catch him while you can

Just check out his numbers: May 26, 34.01 miles; May 27, 34.01 miles; May 28, 34.04 miles…


Yijoo Kwon, the 64-year-old diabetic who began beating his disease the day he began running, is still blazing across the U.S. on his solo transcontinental run. He expected to be back home in Queens by July 9, but he’s moving so fast, he’ll almost certainly be early. He’s in Ohio right now, but at an average pace of 34 miles a day, he won’t be for long. Scroll to the bottom of his website to locate him. And if you can get out to cheer him on, hand him a popsicle, or join him for a few miles, you’ll be part of something extraordinary.

June 4: Barefoot Lesson from the Master

by Christopher on June 2, 2010

No Shoes + Big Smile = No Coincidence

Barefoot Ken Bob Saxton, the shoeless sensei and a truly exceptional teacher, is barnstorming the U.S. this summer to give free barefoot-running workshops. i’ll be hosting him in Lancaster,PA before he moves on to the Univ of Delaware, New York, Harvard, and points beyond. It’s totally and truly free, although donations to cover Ken Bob’s travel are appreciated if you feel so inclined (Ken Bob insists that people donate only AFTER each workshop, and in whatever amounts they feel like).

I’ve been reading Ken Bob’s website for years, and I can now state two
things as facts:

1/ No one is better at explaining a tricky concept in the fewest
possible words, and;

2/ Every time i’ve disagreed with him, i’ve been wrong.

After picking his brain for years, I had the chance to run with Ken Bob last winter at his home in California, and discovered that besides being exceptionally bright and encyclopediacally knowledgeable, he’s also flat-out funny, fun-loving, and super-friendly. His summer tour is the chance to learn directly from the source of all knowledge when it comes to barefoot running.

Lancaster workshop:
Friday, June 4, 6-8pm
Long’s Park,Lancaster PA, Pavilion 2.
No reservations are required, although it would be a help if you RSVP on Ken
Bob’s website so we know how many people to expect.