There has been a great deal written and spoken about barefoot running in the last couple of years. Most running shoe manufacturers have re-introduced minimal shoe offerings back into their range ;some trying to go as near as possible to a barefoot shoe.
Writers very often start with reference to ABEBE BIKILA and how he ran and won the 1960 Olympic marathon without the use of footwear in 2:15.16.2 in Rome. As an 11 years old the grey, grainy
images of him on our small TV crossing the line, appearing as if he'd just run one lap of the track were amazing and inspiring.
Surely one of the hardest gold medals ever to have been won?
Yes, he wore shoes next time around when he repeated his victory in Tokyo, winning in 2:12.11 but by the mid/late 1960s many senior UK stars , Bruce Tulloh, Ron Hill, Hogan etc were all racing barefoot and , of course, we juniors did likewise.
I only trained on grass in barefeet and only raced once with shoes on plush parkland in the Inter County cross country. Tulloh etc raced barefoot on cinder tracks without spikes but 26.2 is another matter altogether at the speed Bikila was going. Good times, good memories.