In an era where shoes have become the basic necessity for a marathon runner, Navi Mumbai will have the distinction of hosting the world’s first ever ‘Barefoot’ half-marathon on December 12 at Kharghar.
An initiative by the Barefoot Runners of India Foundation (BRIF), this 21km run will witness around 300 participants.
Anand Anantharaman, the managing trustee of BRIF, said that the aim of their foundation was to promote the native art of running. “Barefoot runners are in demand these days. In the US, they are looked at with immense respect. Indians can easily attain world acclaim in this as we have it in our blood,” said Anand, who participates in marathons.
In the first edition, only Thane residents and students of Mumbai University will be allowed to run. No fees will be charged from the runners. The run also has a sponsorship model attached to it where a person can sponsor a runner by donating Rs2000 to the BRIF.
“There is a misconception among people one can get injured by running barefoot. But the fact is that barefoot running protects the feet and lower limbs from some of the impact-related injuries now experience by a high percentage of shod runners. This time we have restricted ourselves to Thane mainly for logistics purpose. We are planning to expand it state-wide and nation-wide in the future. It is high time that we nurtured Indian barefoot runners to take on the world stage,” concluded Anand.