Gary putting bare feet forward for Bristol 10K
GARY Sidders may get some funny looks when he competes in the Bristol 10k this Sunday as he is planning to run the race barefoot.
Carpenter Mr Sidders, 30, from Whitchurch, believes that running barefoot is the way nature intended.
He recently successfully completed the Frenchay 10k race – the first person to attempt it with no footwear.
Many people might worry that this style of running could increase the danger of injuries to their feet but Mr Sidders, who lives in Wharnecliffe Gardens, believes running barefoot actually means less injuries.
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"I used to run with trainers but struggled with back pain," he said.
"My knees were also really sore.
"I had heard of other people running barefoot and decided to give it a go. At first I wore sandals with a 8mm sole to transition, but then started going completely barefoot.
"I did short distances of around six miles and then built up gradually."
"My back and knee pain disappeared and now fully believe in running the way nature intended and promoting a healthy lifestyle. I am looking forward to participating in the Bristol 10k and feel that going barefoot will benefit me greatly."
Thousands of elite athletes and fun runners are preparing to take part in the race this Sunday, starting and finishing in Bristol's Harbourside.
While many are pleased just to finish the course in a respectable time, the records are held by two Kenyans – Gordon Mugi (28mins 29secs) in 2010 and Edinah Kwambai (32mins 29secs), who raced last year.