On rabbits and running November 19 2015, 0 Comments

When I was at school some of us used to sneak out after lights out to try and catch rabbits that had come out to feed on the playing fields. We never caught one, but had enormous fun trying. Essential equipment for this was a powerful torch which would be scanned across the field until a rabbit was transfixed in the light. Two of us would then flank around out of the light beam to try and grab it, inevitably ending in a futile race across the fields, a still-free rabbit, and us panting and excited from the pursuit. 


We never wore shoes for this. The fields were reliably flat and free of harmful débris, and we could cross them with speed and abandon. The memory remains of the rush of cool night air and the incredibly light feeling of sprinting barefoot, swerving and dodging in hot pursuit of our elusive quarry.

For more formal pursuits, we wore 'tackies' or 'plimsoles' for cross country running, a thin, rubber sole with no more than 5mm or rise in the heel, and for rugby and hockey studded boots to provide traction and protect us from balls, sticks and other studded boots. At all other leisure times we wore flip-flops, or where possible no shoes at all.

This was an excellent grounding in running and sports in general, subsequently eroded by years of ever increasing amounts of padding in my running shoe soles. I have to say, I'm glad to be back, and since returning to barefoot style, have welcomed the return to that light feeling when running.