Want to RUN NAKED? Win a FREE Race Entry!

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Ever had that dream where you show up to a race completely naked?

Oh wait. That wasn’t a dream.

At the end of winter semester every year, there was this crazy University of Michigan tradition called the Naked Mile.

{Not Pictured, but present: MFDre}

Anyway, today running naked has an entirely different meaning to me.

Among many things, I’m “born again runner”. Remember this? When I was told running was not likely in my future and that I should probably learn to enjoy walking?

{wait….what???}

I was a dedicated athlete, a soccer player, and a marathonee-in-{heel strike}-training. I was in the best shape of my life.

This was fiercely interrupted by a snowboarding trip gone waaaaay bad. You know the story.

I felt lucky to be finally able to walk virtually pain-free and my new bionic wrist was a pretty good rain/bad hair day indicator, but I was discontent with the idea of possibly not running again. As you might suspect, after that kind of injury NO ONE backed me up when I said I wanted to run again – they all said I was crazy, off my rocker and worse. Looking back, it’s probably safe to say that not many of these “supporters” were athletes or even casual gym goers. Of course they didn’t get it.

So I read and I read and I read and read some more. I wanted to make a running comeback and I wanted to learn how other runners and athletes had become born again runners after injury and more specifically back surgeries. In everything I read, the key to preventing injury and protecting my body was proper form.

I learned it was time to

RUN NAKED.

Time to get uncomfortable with running. Time to strip my running down to its barest form. Time to start over and teach myself how to run all over again using these tips.

  • Head Position: No one who is bold enough to Run Naked would ever cower down. Look ahead at the horizon, not down at your feet. This will cause the back and neck to come into alignment.
  • Stride: Run like your feet are Naked! Don’t over-stride and land on your heel, as it causes a braking action – and thus FAR MORE impact on your ankles, knees, hips, back etc. Like when you’re barefoot, your feet should land directly under your body, and you should land on your mid-foot.
  • Posture: Show off the goods! Your body should be at a slight forward tilt from your ankles, not your waist. Keep your hips forward as well to maintain a balanced posture. Keep your back straight.
  • Shoulders: Keep your shoulders low and relaxed – don’t hide your face! Unless you are hauling it in a sprint to the finish {like I am here}, keep them down. If they are too high, the tension will take energy away from your running.

Training my body to run a different way than it felt programmed to do was not easy. Try doing your hair or brushing your teeth with your left {or right} hand? Learning to mid-foot strike was not a natural feeling for this heel striker. The other changes seemed less difficult once I had the strike down, but it took time. The good news was that I hadn’t run in more than a year so I was able to start from scratch – sort of.

And with time, focus and determination, I made a STRONG comeback!

I’ve continued my comeback with two Marathons and another two Half Mary’s.

So what’s next? Actually an opportunity for YOU to get your NAKED form on! The Naked Foot race series is passionate about getting people of all ages outside & moving, while having fun.


More importantly, their events provide pre-race clinics and training on how to run “like you are barefoot” (whether in shoes or without). Even better – their courses are barefoot friendly – think beaches and parks – if you wish to run sans shoes.

It is a GREAT race for all – experienced runners, new runners, families and those looking to learn/improve their form.

They also partner with Soles4Soles – a charity that collects and delivers shoes to people in need all over the world – and encourage runners to bring gently used shoes to the event to donate to this great cause.

So where do YOU win?

I’m giving away 8 FREE Race Registrations – that can be applied to any of the cities left in the series for 2012!

  • Washington DC – June 23
  • Denver, CO – July 21
  • Minneapolis, MN – July 26
  • Grand Rapids, MI – July 29
  • Nashville, TN – September 15
  • Seattle, WA – September 29
  • Austin, TX – October 6
  • Santa Barbara, CA – October 27

Here’s how you enter:

  1. Leave a comment below letting me know what you’d most like to improve about your running form – if anything and which city and/or cities you’d like to run in.
  2. Additional entry for Liking theMFDre on Facebook and letting me know in the comments below.
  3. Additional entry for Liking TheNakedFoot on Facebook and letting me know in the comments below.
  4. Additional entries for following @MFDre and @NakedFoot5k on Twitter
  5. Additional entry for tweeting the following message out: I want to RUN NAKED with @MFDre and @nakedfoot5K in the Naked Foot 5k Series. You can WIN a Free Race Entry here: http://wp.me/p1XUSi-uS

Winners will be announced on June 1, 2012 via facebook, twitter and right here. Note: I will pick 8 Winners total, not one per city. There may be multiple winners per location vs. 1 per location.

Additionally, you can sign up and get $5 off your registration from ME using the code: RUNNAKED12

I’ll be at the Santa Barbara event in October – join me there!

Or join any of the other races – bring your friends, bring your family and Kids Under 12 run free!

Time to start RUNNING NAKED!

{MF Dre}

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39 thoughts on “Want to RUN NAKED? Win a FREE Race Entry!

  1. Hey Dre,

    I’m all over this! Was already planning to make the barefoot trek from Atlanta to Nashville for the Naked Foot, but a free registration makes it all the more tempting. I’ve been following you and Naked Foot on Twitter for a while now, and liked Naked Foot on FB when I first heard about it. Liked you on FB this AM, so I welcome any and all upgrades on the # of entries.

    As for your question about what I would like to improve about my running form: I’ve been running (alternately) in Vibrams and bare feet for a little over two years. It’s totally changed the way I run. My goal now is to adapt to a point where running barefoot is more predominant than in Vibrams. I’m slowly transitioning further by breaking in a pair of Invisible Shoes running sandals and then – hopefully by the 5k in Nashville – I’ll be a full time barefooter. This means becoming a more aware runner, mostly. Aware of what’s in front of me, beneath me, and how I land and carry myself. I’ve really taken my time with the transitions and I think it’s served me well.

    We communicated recently via Twitter and I think you said you were planning to run the Naked Foot in VFFs. Is that correct? Any plans to streamline all the way to barefoot eventually or are you happy with the minimalist approach?

    Rock on, running lady – and thanks for doing this. Grateful for an opportunity to save a little $, especially with the gas $ I’ll spend driving to/fro Nashville, and for the opportunity to connect w/ more barefoot-minded runners.

    Gratefully,
    Tommy

  2. nattie1218

    I have learned to “run naked” by switching to a minimalist shoe. It’s amazing how I can now run pain-free. I would love to run the D.C. race.

  3. Widdi

    My friend Tommy (see the first comment!) made me a barefoot convert, but I still have a ways to go! Hard to practice when I’m so tentative about the turf around here. But I used to live in Nashville and would love to run my first barefoot race there!!

  4. New to barefoot running and would LOVE to win the entry for the race in Denver. I am actually new to running in general just started in January with my Vibrams. There is a lot I am working on but i think the biggest thing I probably need to change is I push off my big toes really hard and create a lot of blood blisters etc on them. I also don’t think I lean forward like they say you should. I am definately a work in progress!
    I also liked themfdre & The Naked Foot on Facebook and followed them both on Twitter. 🙂
    Thanks for doing this and if anyone has words of wisdom let me know!

  5. misszippy1

    First, thrilled to find another FF ambassador who is into minimalism like me! I too made the change in the past year–best thing I ever did, even after 15 years of running. I was already planning to run the DC event, so I’d love to win free entry!

  6. SkinnyRunner

    i want to run naked naked. no just kidding.

    i dont really want to run a 5k so im just commenting to say hi. basically this comment is worthless. my apologies.

  7. Joel

    I’d like to improve my barefoot running form to help improve my knee and back issues. I am still working my way up in my minimalist shoes (VFF sprints and Merrell True Gloves) and for the first time in my life have actually enjoyed running. I need to keep working on my midfoot striking rather than my old shoe heel striking form. I would love to get an entry into the DC race and meet lots of other minimalist and barefoot runners in the DC area.

    Also, I liked TheNF5K on facebook, theMFDre, and am now following @MFDre and @NakedFoot5k on twitter. I also tweeted your message 🙂 Thanks so much!

  8. Oh, I needed this post. It gives me hope. I am a recovering heel striker and after 2 years off started coming back as a mid/forefoot striker (2010). I was running great but am now rebounding from another injury. Bah! I think it’s still part of re-tooling and getting all the right muscles built up for the style while learning to be patient with my changing/aging body. I’m not 19 anymore?!
    For improvement, I need to keep working on my foot strike and keeping my back straight. And just as much, I need to work on my HEAD to remember to be patient and not try to do too much too soon because that’s when I end up where I am now…on the DL. I would love to be able to kick ass at this race in SEATTLE wearing my new Altras (just walking in them now, to get my feet used to them).

  9. DRE! I’ve RUN naked 3 times in Ann Arbor and once in Amsterdam. I think my streaking days are over. BUT i love you and love your blog and think everyone should try the Grand Rapids race I’ll spread the word to my hometown pals.

  10. Run4Fun

    Planning to run the Seattle event in September. Pretty new to running; only been hitting the pavement for about 9 months now. I have been running in at least one 5K or 10K per month since last November and really enjoy the fun locations, charities I’ve supported and people I’ve met. Thing I’d like to improve most is my stride.

  11. Christina

    I’ve been wondering about whether or not I’m running in good form. I guess if I’m wondering, I’m probably not. Thanks for the tips…I’ll have to try and be more conscious of them on my runs. I’d love to run the Santa Barbara Race! It’s a few days before my birthday, so it would make for a fun way to celebrate!

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