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Grit and bare it

Andrew Snope might not be contacted by Nike or Reebok to become a shoe spokesman after he ran barefoot for 24 hours. Then again, who needs shoes if you can run that long.

I, on the other hand, find it challenging to walk barefoot several hundred feet in the sand at the beach. Perhaps that's why Snope was in Alaska earlier this month and I was in Savannah.

Snope, 28, a Savannah bartender, set a world record by running barefoot for 136.98 miles around a track in the Six Days in the Dome race in Anchorage Alaska Aug. 8-9. He ran from 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 8 to11 a.m. the following day, taking only six bathroom breaks. He broke the previous record by more than five miles set by Peter Wayne of New Zealand in 2013.

Snope, interviewed by the Alaska Dispatch News, said he felt pretty ecstatic and his senses were heightened after finishing the race. He added that taking a shower was ecstasy and sitting down was mind-blowing.

Snope told the Alaska paper he has been a runner for less than three years and has never owned a pair of running shoes. He signed up for the 24-hour race at the behest of Joe Fejes, a running friend from Atlanta who helped organize the event. Fejes made some history of his own by running 580.6 miles in the Six Days in the Dome event, breaking the record for a six-day run by nearly five miles.

Going back to my exploits at the beach, I have run as far as six miles sans shoes and acquired several blisters. I'm thinking of adding some 130 miles on my next beach run and challenging Snope's record. Heck, that's only five and half marathons. Did I mention I spent 24 hours at The Public Restaurant where Snope tends bar?

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