Running with nowt but heart and sole

Friday 17th January 2014 12:00 am
Share

Subscribe newsletter

Subscribe to our email and get updates right in your inbox.

THE Chronicle's gardening columnist Lynne Allbutt will be getting footloose and fancy free in the width of Wales this June when she attempts to run the length of 7,623 double deckers barefoot.

In case you didn't know, that's 45 miles. Which is also the equivalent of running from Dover to Calais and back, or climbing the Empire State building 164 times.

In Lynne's case her barefoot odyssey will begin at Anchor near Clun and finish at Clarach Bay, just above Aberystwyth.

No matter which way you dress it up, 45 miles involves an awful lot of running, but when you're doing it without the luxury of a comfortable pair of trainers, it's gotta hurt! So has Lynne gone loopy?

"Not at at," explained the barefoot convert, "A few years ago I trained for a Barefoot 10K in Battersea Park to raise money for Trees for Cities. I loved the experiences and results of being barefoot so much it led to some totally unexpected life style changes which involved me wanting live a healthier more congruent lifestyle. 

"I became a vegetarian, gave up dairy products and sugar. I meditated more, discovered Qi Gong and just became more 'grounded' and happier in my skin. I also enjoyed running and more importantly, the benefits that running regularly provided.

"For several reasons I largely gave up both barefooting and running, but recently decided to start again and wanted a project that would keep me engaged and motivated. I initially thought about running around Wales but it was too big a time commitment – across Wales seemed manageable."

There are said to be numerous benefits for going barefoot. Studies show that it can increase the release of endorphins and since ancient times, walking on grass is said to cure insomnia.

It's a fact however that your feet contain one-quarter of your body's bones and each foot has 26 bones and 19 muscles. The sole of your foot also has over 200,000 nerve endings in it.

So obviously, you need to take care when running across open country barefoot and that's why since December 1 of last year, Lynne has been busy training, not only to improve her fitness levels but also to harden her feet.

"The cold, gravelly and stony ground is really daunting at the moment, so I am currently using Vibram Fivefingers to train in on those really harsh days, but rest assured I will do the run across Wales completely barefoot," revealed Lynne, who is trying to go baerfooted as much as possible in her everyday life, but obviously her day job as a landscape gardner means those steel toe-caps or beloved cowboy boots won't be seeing the inside of a bin any time soon.

Lynne's trek across Wales will involve her climbing Plynlimon, the highest peak in the Cambrian Mountain range and numerous other hills. She'll be running on all sorts of surfaces including dirt tracks, tarmac, grass, moorland, through streams, along gravel pathways and through forestry. 

Yet she is not undertaking the run for charity but for an altogether different reason.

Lynne revealed, "I have raised over £40K for National Charities in the last 20 years. I now want to work more with Community Interest projects and also to have more involvement in how the funds are used. I am passionate about passing on the many benefits of being barefoot, so after the run I will be hosting Barefoot Workshops to encourage and guide people to making their own discoveries and confidence. I believe that the skills obtained from our Barefoot Workshops will help to alleviate all sorts of personal issues and challenges from mental health, obesity, bullying, anxiety, general wellbeing and many illnesses. I am a believer in prevention being better than a cure and I also believe that by addressing these issues and encouraging people to take personal responsibility for their health and wellbeing, we can lighten the load on the National Charities. There is not a National Charity in existence that purports to be able to do this."

To raise money to provide these workshops Lynne will be running several fund raisers, the first of which will be a Celebrity Shoe Auction.

Lynne told the Chronicle, "The Celebrity Shoe Auction will offer numerous pairs of signed Famous Footwear from a host of generous celebrities (and interesting people) and already includes much coveted cowboy boots from Robert Plant, loafers from Howard Marks and a pair of sparkly sling backs from Strictly Come Dancing's Natalie Lowe, to name just a few.

"I am hugely appreciative of all support. In this instance we are asking people to get involved by simply joining in on the social media sites – follow me and my training on Facebook and Twitter and please share with your family, friends and colleagues. You can also Tweet Your Feet (#tweetmyfeet) – either barefoot or with your shoes on – and post. If you do know anyone that would be able to donate celebrity Shoes or even 'Shoes with a Story' for the Auction that would be great. They need to be signed and you can get details of where to send them by contacting me on the website (http://www.allbuttshoes.com">www.allbuttshoes.com). If you are able to offer any advice or share any experiences that will also be helpful."

PICTURED above is Lynne with former Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant who has got a "Whole Lotta Love" for Allbut's barefoot mission to "Ramble On," "Over The Hills And Far Away."

More About:

Share

Comments

To leave a comment you need to create an account. |

All comments 0