Our Story

The 1st Annual New York City Barefoot Run was…unconventional.  Who would ever try to organize a barefoot run in New York City?  And with only two months notice, no venue, no sponsors, and no budget?

Answer: Two novices who had never organized a run before.

Okay, okay — we’re not suggesting it was anywhere near as improbable or epic as Caballo Blanco organizing the first Copper Canyons Ultra-Marathon.  He had to worry about a slightly more inconvenient location, narco-traffickers, and poisonous snakes.  But at least Caballo didn’t have to worry about getting NYC event licenses.  (And expedited ones, at that.)  No one is writing any best-sellers about wading through city bureaucracy.


The last few years have seen a re-awakening of an ancient human capability: barefoot running.  Before all the fancy footwear and pedometers, 5ks and 10ks, goo packets and Gatorade, treadmills and calorie counters, runner’s knee and shin splints, there was purposeful human movement.

Our mission is to reclaim our birthright.  To make running fun again.  To teach about about barefoot running and natural movement.  To build a community.  To explore human movement in all its forms.

John Durant

John Durant is co-founder of the New York City Barefoot Run and founder of Barefoot Runners NYC.  He advocates a healthy lifestyle based on our hunter-gatherer heritage: a paleo diet, barefoot running, natural movement, and more.  John has been featured in the New York Times, and has appeared on The Colbert Report, CBS Evening News, CBC Radio, and The Today Show.  John writes a popular health and fitness blog at Hunter-Gatherer.com.  He is writing a book, tentatively titled Live Wild: A Survival Guide to the Modern World, to be published by Crown in 2012.



Maggie Durant

Maggie (John’s sister) is the co-founder of the New York City Barefoot Run.  She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, spent 6 years consulting for McKinsey & Company, and got her MBA from Stanford. Maggie completed 5 marathons in conventional running shoes before giving up running for 7 years.  She re-discovered the joy of running when she heeded her brother’s advice and ditched the shoes.





“If I ever try to overthrow a government, the first phone call is gonna be to John and Maggie Durant.”
- Christopher McDougall

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