Barefoot. This is how fitness and outdoor sports blogger Nonoy Floresca plans to take on the WWF-Philippines’ Reverse Run on July 22, at the SM Mall of Asia.
“Man is really born to run barefoot,” he told InterAksyon. He called it the most efficient way to run, noting that in the early days, hunters had to outrun animals if they wanted meat for food.
Running barefoot, he said, is more fun. He added that one utilizes more of the muscle groups in the feet and legs, because shoe technology such as cushioning and shock absorption tend to leave some muscles at rest. Of course, Floresca has to make sure the roads are safe and “walang bubog.” If not, he plans to use minimalist shoes, instead.
Outdoor wear company REI defines minimalist shoes as those without any heel height, and just a few millimeters of sole between the foot and the ground (http://www.rei.com/expertadvice/test/how-to-choose-barefoot-minimalist-running-shoes.html?s_tnt=42401:2:0). Some fit like a glove, curving around the natural shape of the foot and, most noticeably, the toes.
This allows the forefoot to strike the pavement, which is the best way to run, said Floresca.
While going barefoot might not fly with most Filipino runners, doing it backward might just be the thing to spice things up.
The World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines (or more popularly known as the World Wildlife Fund) is holding the Reverse Run as a “symbolic way” for participants to “stop and eventually reverse the degradation of nature.”
Not that runners will be backpedaling the entire time. The reverse run occurs for the first 200 meters only, after which participants will then run forward to the three-, six-, or 12-kilometer course of their choice.
The run, which is open to enthusiasts of all ages, is just the beginning of a year-long project called “Reverse the Bad.”
Reverse the Bad invites students from 13 to 22 years old to commit to protect the environment. Here, they can join WWF’s conservation efforts, learn about sustainable development, and invest in their future.
Students who join the Reverse Run automatically become Reverse the Bad members.
“Everyone has a role, especially the youth,” said WWF Vice-President for Marketing Reggie Olalia, in ensuring a “living planet” for generations to come.
Young or not, you still have seven reasons to get those shoes on (or go barefoot, if you prefer), and hit the pavement at the WWF Reverse Run on July 22.
1. You can serve two advocacies in one event. Floresca, a blogger who has been segregating waste for 15 years, and getting about Php200 selling paper, cans, and plastic to junkshops each month, is passionate about both fitness and the environment.
2. Reverse running has quite a few perks. According to Reverse the Bad Student Program Head Marie Bretaña, it burns more calories, improves balance and coordination, and makes you more aware of your surroundings. It is also less strenuous on the joints, she said.
3. Registration is easy. Just sign up at Chris Sports (at the SM Mall of Asia, SM Manila, or Glorietta 3 branch) and Skechers (at the Trinoma, Market-Market, or Festival Mall Alabang branch) and you’re good to go.
4. You’re in good hands. Organizer Ian Alacar, who was in charge of more than 60 running events last year through his company Without Limits, promises medic and water stations, road closures, and safety precautions particularly during the reverse part of the run. There will also be traffic advisories a week before the event.
5. Your money will go to a good cause. Your P500 (for the three- and six-kilometer course) or P600 (for the 12-kilometer course) will fund the Reverse the Bad program, as well as WWF’s programs on “environmental sustainability, biodiversity conservation, and climate change adaptation.”
6. You’ll get an interesting view. Ladies, and those who prefer men, fasten your underwear with safety pins, if you can. Because you might just get an eyeful of WWF Ambassadors Marc Nelson and Rovilson Fernandez on the racetrack.
7. You’re in for a surprise. Run, that is. Aside from the three-, six-, and 12-kilometer courses, WWF has something else up its sleeve. What can it be? You’ll soon find out.
“In a few years, the world might just give up on us,” said Bretaña. “Let’s all move forward and reverse the bad.”
View the teaser for the WWF Reverse Run that WWF Ambassador Rovilson Fernandez said took 17 days to shoot:
Check out wwf.org.ph/reversethebad, facebook.com/WWF.Philippines, or twitter.com/WWF_Philippines for more information.