How to run a marathon in flip-flops

One day Sam Hensen-Thompson was about to go to run but could not find his shoes. Anyone would have let it go, putting it off until the next run, and especially when his shoes were found. Not him.

An ex-ironman, 24 years old and weighing 110 pounds spread over 193 cm in height, Sam does not have the slender physique of a marathon runner: he is muscular, colossal, imposing. Certainly not one you would expect capable of running a marathon with fluency. But he is still an ironman, so what can he be afraid of? Staring at his flip-flops on the front porch, Sam thought that day that it was still something like a pair of shoes: he slipped them on and went in for 10k.

And he didn’t stop at 10 km: after that he ran a half in an hour and 50 minutes, not bad since he did it in flip-flops all the time.

I don’t have a decent pair of shoes

Sam is after all used to being barefoot: he lives and works in Perth as a sea rescue instructor and surfing coach. “I’m always barefoot, for me putting on shoes means putting on flip-flops. I don’t even have a decent pair of shoes to be honest.” Not that he didn’t try, but his size, Sam says, always prevented him from finding shoes capable of containing his explosive strength.

Evidently flip-flops succeed, inspiring him enough to put his natural inclination to help others and give back to the community what he feels he has received in the service of a good cause. In fact, his next challenge will be an entire marathon in flip-flops during which he will raise funds for Perth Children’s Hospital. How did you call this challenge? Obviously “Marathong” :) Such an opportunity could not be resisted.

He will run it with a small caveat: wearing socks. Not to protect the skin between his toes,” he specified in an interview with Australian TV, “but because the foot sweat makes him slip. “However it will start without socks, then if I have to wear them it’s no big deal, I will always have run a marathon in flip-flops.”

The medical opinion

They also asked him what running like this entails, whether it is painful or dangerous. You just have to pay attention to your movements and use, precisely, socks but otherwise it is not as bad as it may seem. You also have to try to always run in a straight line because any change of direction is complicated but other than that it is possible to do it.

To remove the doubt, Sam still asked a doctor friend if he thought this was crazy. He replied amused, “As a doctor I should dissuade you but I can’t resist seeing you do it.”

And then he can always say he did it for a good reason.




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