BALTIMORE (CBS Baltimore) – Runners searching for the perfect pair of sneakers may want to try and run in something different -- flip flops.
Keith Levasseur ran the Baltimore Marathon on Saturday in 2:46:58 and did all 26 miles in flip flops.
"I had every intention of sticking to the race plan of finishing a little under 3:00, so my initial pace starting out as 6:40-6:50," Levasseur told Runner's World. "After a few miles, I decided I go with whatever pace I could comfortably run, even if it was faster than my target pace. I know there are some decent hills later in the race and I didn't know how I would be doing from a time perspective at that point, so I gave myself some wiggle room by letting go on the downhills and cruising in the 6:00s."
Levasseur was the 29th person to finish the race out of 3,024 runners. He said others noticed his footwear.
"(They) were supportive of the effort after a 'you're crazy' comment or two, they wished me luck," Levasseur told Runner's World. "I heard a number of spectators saying, 'Hey, that's the flip flop guy!' as I passed."
Levasseur said the farthest he has ever run in flip flops before Saturday was 14 miles.
"I knew that what would normally result in a blister wasn't happening because there wasn't any room due to the snugness of the strap," Levasseur added to Runner's World. "Instead I figured it would just rub away the skin, which is what it essentially did."
Levasseur knew that focusing on his form was key.
"I knew it was all about maintaining a very efficient and balanced stride," he told Runners World. "There were times when my feet and ankles would get tired from maintaining a more rigid stride than I might otherwise have and I would start landing more on the outside of my foot and cause my heel to slip off the sandal. It only happened a few times and when it did, it would refocus my concentration on my stride and posture."
Levasseur said his feet were "quite sore" on Sunday. He also said his ankles and quadriceps were "more sore than usual because of his altered gait."
Runner's World says Levasseur's next step will be to fill out the proper paperwork to the Guinness Book of World Records to have him acknowledged as the world record holder for the fastest time running a marathon in flip flops.
"Many friends have asked if I'll do it again and my answer has been a resounding 'no,'" he told Runners World. "If someone breaks the record, I will simply congratulate them."
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