STEVE Loader has already completed one London Marathon, at the age of 18.
This time, though, it will be different. He will be running barefoot.
Steve, aged 30, has been running without footwear around the streets of Heeley and Nether Edge since November, inspired by Mexico’s Tarahumara Indians, who run barefoot for hundreds of miles.
The Sheffield runner has sustained no injuries. “Because there is no added protection, your body automatically adjusts.”
The natural gifts of the body, he says, kick in – the energy-filled springs of the legs, the ‘shock-absorbers’ of ankles, heels and toes and the supple resilience of the feet. Steve quotes Leonardo da Vinci: “The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art.”
Nor has he encountered major obstacles on the streets. “Most people think there may be glass or dog poo but I have never had any real problems. There is a great deal of pleasure to be had. I like to go running in the woods for the change of surface.”
Steve, an actor, who works in theatre and comedy, is aiming to raise £3,000 for World Wildlife Fund by covering the 26.2-mile London Marathon on April 22.
“I’m expecting to get a lot of attention and encouragement.”
Meanwhile, he is teaching techniques for barefoot running in Endcliffe Park on Saturday, with an invitation to runners and non-runners and culminating with a five-minute run on asphalt. The cost is £9/£7, with proceeds to WWF. Meet at 10am at (appropriately) the feet of Queen Victoria, off Rustlings Road.
Steve can be contacted on 07966 692062 and sponsored on www.justgiving.com/edy-feet-of-steve.