Meet the Kerryman who's been running barefoot for over 40 years

Mangan had another reason to celebrate on Sunday as his wife, Anne, won the over-60 women’s race. And no, she doesn’t run barefoot.

Meet the Kerryman who's been running barefoot for over 40 years

The habit of a lifetime continues to serve Mike Mangan well.

Mike Mangan (Star of the Laune AC) on his way barefoot to a medal in the O60 Munster Athletics cross country championships in Beaufort, Co Kerry, on Sunday. Picture: David Kissane
Mike Mangan (Star of the Laune AC) on his way barefoot to a medal in the O60 Munster Athletics cross country championships in Beaufort, Co Kerry, on Sunday. Picture: David Kissane

The Star of the Laune AC runner finished third in the Munster Athletics O60 cross country championships in his native Beaufort on Sunday — running, as always, in his bare feet.

The 62-year-old explained: “I wore spikes in my younger days but most of my cross country races over 40 years have been done barefoot.

“I just find it much more comfortable to run that way and as a result, I run better barefoot.

“Two or three others in the race ran barefoot as well so perhaps they feel the same.

“The course on Sunday was very nice as it was all grass but sometimes if there was stony ground you have no option but to wear spikes”

Mangan explained that the highlight of his running career was during the 1980s: “I won 12 Kerry senior cross country titles and three or four Munster NACA titles as well. My highlight was second in All-Ireland NACA cross country championship in 1984.”

He admitted: “I’m still training three or four days a week but I don’t take it as seriously as I did when I was younger.”

And Mangan had another reason to celebrate on Sunday as his wife, Anne, won the O60 women’s race. And no, she doesn’t run barefoot.

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