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Barefoot Ted speaks

CATEGORIES: Beer Editor   Beer Runner  

“Barefoot Ted” McDonald became a cult hero after his depiction as a freewheeling, fun-loving, shoe-hating ultrarunner in Christopher McDougall’s “Born to Run.”

To the uninitiated, barefoot trail running may sound counter-intuitive. But Barefoot Ted’s colorful approach should sound familiar to beer runners.

Barefoot Ted embraces both barefoot running and beer, as when he literally ran on a beer can and finished a few Newcastles before a barefoot 100-mile race.

And now, I’m very excited to have Barefoot Ted share his philosophy on the Beer Runner.

Barefoot Ted at Copper's Canyon in Mexico

The Beer Runner: What are your beer runner credentials?

Barefoot Ted: I must admit my beer drinking and running days are not as numerous as when I ran with the Wild Mountain Runner Club in Los Angeles. My Mexican-American buddies taught me to enjoy a cold Corona after a hard trail run…and it was good in the dry heat of LA.  We called it our sports drink. The first one after a hot run was nourishing to mind and body.

BR: Do you think beer runners and barefoot runners have anything in common?

BT: They probably enjoy life a little more. Carpe diem folks.

BR: Are you a lot like you are described in “Born to Run,” or do you think it was a dramatization?

BT: I think McDougall did an amazing job of trying to capture my personality. He did not fail, albeit there are some flaws.

BR: How’s life after “Born to Run” came out?

BT: Freakishly busy and amazing. Feeling blessed and privileged to  be playing a small role in getting people to enjoy running and moving barefoot in the world.

BR: You once drank a beer at 6 a.m. before completing a 78 mile run barefoot. Do you think the beer helped?

BT: Nope, that was a mistake. Don’t recommend beer before a race; however, one of my Mexican running buddies in LA was known to drink quite a few before a marathon. I don’t recommend it though. There is a beer story on my blog on my second summit of Mt. Whitney…the beer and burger I had in the Whitney Portals coming down was one to remember forever…pure bliss.

BR: What’s on the horizon for Barefoot Ted?

BT: Building my sandal company, expanding my coaching business, public speaking, a book, a beer.

BR: Anything else you’d like to add?

BT: Be good to yourself. Drink in moderation, but enjoy each sip when you do….barefoot of course.


Tim Cigelske is DRAFT's Beer Runner. (Beer Run•ner [noun]: Someone equally devoted to fine beer appreciation and an active, healthy lifestyle. Ex. "John downed four microbrews at the triathlon finish line. He's a total beer runner.”) Follow Tim on Twitter @TheBeerRunner, and email him at beerrunner [at] draftmag.com.


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