For the 3rd straight year, Rich Gladstone, owner of GladSoles Sandals (a barefoot shoes company), lined up to race in Seton Hall University’s Farinella 5K with his running sandals. “Originally, I was drawn to this race because of its name – Farinella, which reminded me of our beloved cats, Pharah & Penella. It was also a great opportunity to get another race in before the Maplewood 5K, which is coming up in a couple of weeks.”
This year’s competition was pretty impressive. The Seton Hall baseball team was there, as well the varsity golf team. Plus, several members of the soccer team, basketball team – not to worry though as Gladstone has been training hard and was ready.
“I’ve been running barefoot, or in my sandals, for so long now, I’m feeling pretty strong entering this race today. It’s another chance to see how this old guy stacks up against the college kids, and it’s a lot of fun.”
So, onto the race. There was a mad dash at the start, with a fairly large group of runners (mostly from the baseball team) vying for the lead the first mile or so. It looked like any number of runners could win. However, by halfway through the race, Gladstone, along with 4 or 5 others, separated from the pack.
“I felt like I had a chance for 3rd, but the top 2 guys were a little out of my league.”
The race ended with Gladstone winning his age group (35 and older), and coming in an impressive 4th place overall. “I didn’t win, but with my 19:04 time, I’m pretty happy as this is my 2nd fastest finish ever.”
Yet again, the Farinella 5K Race has proven to be a great venue for Gladstone’s running adventures. 3 years, 3 age group victories in a row, including a personal best 18:59 last year, not too shabby for a runner not wearing any sneakers on his feet. The custom made sandals win again.