Barefoot runner takes on new challenge

The Northern Echo: BAREFOOT RUNNER: John McBride, of Consett, during a visit to Kenya BAREFOOT RUNNER: John McBride, of Consett, during a visit to Kenya

A BAREFOOT runner will be shedding his shoes to take part in a famous road race next month.

John McBride, from Consett, will be one of 4,000 athletes taking part in the Blaydon Race on June 9, but will be the only one taking off his trainers on the start line.

The 50-year-old first ran barefoot in 2012 when he ran alongside children in the Nairobi slum of Korogocho who could not afford even second hand shoes.

Since then he has completed the last mile of the Great North Run without shoes and even completed his leg of the Olympic torch relay in bare feet.

He said: “The reason for running six miles barefoot is that it puts me in solidarity with, not only the children in Korogocho, but the Maasai children I met who already live in extreme poverty.

“Their way of life is being made even more difficult by climate change.

“It may be that they won’t be able to follow their traditional low carbon way of life because the developed world has messed up the planet.”

Mr McBride first went to Kenya with Cafod and will be raising money for the Catholic development agency during the run.

To donate go to www.justgiving.com/barefootrunner

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