You heard of it? Info for the event, billed by Christopher McDougall as “The Woodstock of Wild Human Animal Mayhem” is still here. I was invited to the event as one of the certified VIVOBAREFOOT coaches. Among other things, I was going to be doing the clinics on Satuday. Basically, this was what was gonna happen:
Saturday, September 24th, 2011 (all day): Lower Manhattan: Attend clinics on barefoot running, walking, posture, and natural movement / Hear lectures and talks / Try out the latest minimalist shoes and products at the Minimalist Running Expo.
Sunday, September 25th, 2011 (morning): The Run – Governors Island, NYC
Friday Night – Pre-weekend madness bar meet up.
I got there a bit late (as usual) as I had been touring a friend (also another coach) from out of town all day and caught up with a few osom people: my vivobarefoot friends, Lee Saxby, Dan Lieberman, Mark Cuccuzella, and lots of people I know from the NYC running community.
Then I had a stalker moment!!!! These two guys come up to greet Lee, and one of them says “and this is Pete Larson” and before he continued to say he has a great blog or something, I was already screaming at the guy. It had been a LONG time since I was so surprised to meet someone and it caught me SO off guard that I looked like a total crazy groupie. If you haven’t read his blog, you probably need to take a few days off work and catch up!!!
I left two seconds later, literally (I really suck as a groupie!) because Saturday was going to be a loooong day and I was already tired! But basically, every one from Born to Run was in town and ready to go!
I had to wake up early for a Daily News interview for the Five Boro Challenge, then headed to the Fifth Avenue Mile, which was a complete waste of time but fun nonetheless. By 11 am I was downtown to help with the clinics, which was a riot!
Man, were people excited to get their form analyzed! And people had come from all over the world for this event! I was coaching these two guys from Spain (Viva Espana!) so all of a sudden I had to revert to Spanish, with all this technical terminology I had never really used before in Spanish! They wanted to be able to coach more people in their country, so it seems like I will be heading over there soon to train people!!! 😉 At some point it got really crowded so we were not doing 1x1s anymore and started doing group sessions… making lemonade!
Peopled seemed really excited and thankful for the feedback, and drills, and tips on how to adjust their form. I had this girl who was crying; she told me how every coach had told her she would end up every race limping but no one told her how to fix things. In a few minutes, I showed her some drills, and she understood exactly what muscles she need to work on, I showed her super slow-mo video a few minutes later of how she had adjusted and we were hugging like we were long lost friends. It’s so exciting to help people and see them so happy!
By 2 pm I was dead, I hadn’t eaten anything and I was TIRED. At 3 we headed to lunch to poshie hotel Andaz nearby with my crew, and Dan Lieberman, Chris McDougall, Barefoot Ted, Lee and other really cool people. It was super small, like 10 of us, so you would really sit and relax and chat. Can you even believe I didn’t even take 1 picture all weekend?? And I had 3 cameras with me! No worries, I am sure I’ll get some eventually. There was a little crew filming me and taking pics for an upcoming Gotta Run episode, which will be the anniversary episode!
After that we attended the expo, the talks, lectures and a party by Merrell. I particularly enjoyed Dan’s lecture. It’s a big deal to make so much data so engaging and it aligned completely with what we learned in our course. Basically, his hypothesis is that it’s not about what is in your shoes but about your form.
Sunday. The Run
As much as I wanted to go, I needed some rest first, so I got there 2 hours late! Governor’s Island is just 5 minutes away on the ferry and we (the start) were positioned right in front of the Statue of Liberty, fabulous view! It was a 2.2 mile loop and you’d get to run as many laps as you please, but by 10 some people were already leaving. Oooops. People were running in all sorts of things: barefeet, vffs, vivobarefoot shoes, luna sandals, pulling Barefoot Ted’s rickshaw… it was a crazy place for sure!
Chris McDougall pulling Barefoot Ted in Ted’s rickshaw’s -not my picture!
Definitely a fun event, everyone was super chill, eating, chatting, planning marathons… At some point, I was sitting with Dan and he had a Boston baseball hat (he lives in MA, works for Harvard, etc.) and asked him what was his favorite marathon, ready to start a fight. He said NYC. Yeah, I kinda like that race too.