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18 year old Barefoot runner continues across US

Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Barefoot runner visits Eagle on Saturday
Derek Franz

Rae Heim, 18, has been running barefoot across the country since April 1, when she started in Boston.

Today she enters Eagle County by those same bare feet. She’ll be passing through from now until Tuesday as she continues her journey to California and will be at the Dusty Boot restaurant in Eagle Ranch from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

She is raising money and awareness for Soles4Souls, an organization that provides shoes for needy children and adults.

Heim will stay with Eagle resident Mick Daly while she is here.

“This will probably be the longest number of nights she has stayed in the same bed during this trip,” said Daly, who is a longtime runner and will accompany Heim on some legs of her journey in addition to driving her to and from her start/end points in Eagle County.

On Heim’s Facebook page she says that she never ran more than a mile until she was 15. She has since fallen in love with “a former enemy” and finished five half marathons and two full marathons — the last three she ran fully barefoot.

“When she started, she thought the trip would only take four months, which wasn’t realistic,” Daly said. “She’s had to improvise and she has been running long stretches by herself. Utah was a concern, since there are such long, empty stretches of desert there. It’s basically wilderness. Someone recently committed to taking a month off work to follow her with his RV so she can have support and a home base.”

People are encouraged to bring their children and teenagers to hear Heim speak at the Dusty Boot on Saturday. They are also encouraged to wear or bring gently used shoes to be left as a donation to Souls4Souls.

For more information, contact Daly by emailing mick@daly.com or by calling (970) 948-5950. Heim’s website is RunRaeRun.org.

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