Mississauga Barefoot Runners set Canadian Record!


The setting was the 4th annual Team Unbreakable CameronHelps road race in support of teen suicide prevention. The location was the Port Credit, Ontario, Canada lighthouse on the Credit River & Lake Ontario. The goal (beyond raising funds & awareness for this most important cause) was to set the new Canadian record for the most bare-foot runners completing a road race. The date was Father’s Day, Sunday, June 17 at 9:00 a.m.

The morning broke clear & warm with little wind – perfect for bare-foot running! My TOTTers ‘toed’ the line & ran wonderfully throughout. First in was James who finished in the top 10 of 300+ runners. Mark followed James 2 minutes later & Jack came in 2 minutes after Mark! Shawn came in next followed by Aneta & Tina. Yours truly (coach Jeff) rounded out the 7 bare-footers by running in with young Aneta. To put this into perspective, the previous high for bare-foot runners finishing a Canadian road race was FOUR!! We blew that out of the water – everyone finished strong, injury-free & bare-foot committed. A new Canadian record was in the books!!

Most impressive was 9 yr. old Aneta who had NEVER run 5 kms before & had NEVER run barefoot. She happens to be my neighbour & had been bugging me to show her how to run bare-foot. With her mom’s permission, I said, “ok, join me on Father’s Day”. Well, lo & behold, she showed up, ran the whole way with me in tow & finished in 31:12!! She thought the medal & race T-shirt had to be returned! Ah, the innocence of youth! Also, young Jack (age 15) completed his 1st bare-foot race in fine form. Jack had done some bare-foot hill training with me…but not much! The rest of the team were part of my Transition Running clinic & performed wonderfully. NONE had completed a road race bare-foot &, as a matter of fact, none had run bare-foot prior to my clinic.

Next race, we’ll break 10 in the bare-foot category & continue to grow from there!



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