Glorifying Jesus – One Sole at a Time
Rick Roeber, alias “Barefoot Rick,” (man on the right in photo above) has been running barefoot since October, 2003. Previous to this date, Rick ran 18 marathons (at 26.2 miles each) and thousands of miles with regular running shoes.
Rick describes himself as a challenged “shod” runner, because he would over stride thereby heel striking. Since heel striking is a major cause of knee stress, Rick continually injured his knees to the point where he would either need surgery to repair his rotator cup ligaments or stop running altogether. After reading about how barefoot running forces proper technique, Rick began his experiment with barefoot running. He subsidized his shod running with barefoot running for the next six months, until April 2004 when he ran the Boston Marathon… barefoot. Since April, 2004, Rick has run exclusively barefoot, logging thousands of miles annually. In addition, he has completed dozens of barefoot marathons and one barefoot ultra marathon of 40 miles.
“Barefoot running is my statement of faith and humility before the Lord God Almighty and His Son, Jesus Christ. Though its seemingly foolishness to some, I pray that they will understand how God often takes the base things of this world to shame the wise (I Corinthians 1:27). Through the faith He bestows, He does remarkable things through a penitent sinner saved by grace. As such, I am privileged and humbled to be a barefoot runner for His glory!”
Dedicated as an infant in the First Methodist Church of Moody Texas in early 1956, Rick grew up in and out of church, lacking a firm foundation that ultimately led to his waywardness. After years of searching, he gave his life to the Lord Jesus in May, 1976. During 1976-77, he attended Capernwray Bible School in Estes Park Colorado, receiving a certificate of completion.
In 1978, he allowed himself to be wooed once again by the world. It would be another 14 years of trying to reestablish his faith while dealing with homelessness, alcohol and drug addiction before surrendering to the Lord. Rick recommitted his life to Christ in March, 1992, when he put the “plug in the jug.”
During the next several years, Rick rebuilt his life, graduating with honors from the University of Missouri-Kansas City with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Journalism. During this time, he developed a love for running and eventually started running barefoot. As a recovering alcoholic and a lover of Jesus, Rick believed the Lord desired him to use his barefoot running as a ministry to others. In 2006, he began to write about his experiences and to publish miscellaneous writings to a growing email distribution. In 2007, Rick went public regarding his testimony and how the Lord set him free in the Kansas City Star article, “Barefoot in the Park.” Since then, Rick has shared his story with the national and local media, running groups, churches, schools, and homeless shelters.
Since April, 2007, Rick has published “The Bare Soul,” a weekly devotional written and distributed to hundreds of runners and non-runners alike (Sign up is available at www.barefootrunner.org).
Rick continues to put his feet to work for the less fortunate by running for various charities. Watch this short video of Barefoot Rick’s FOX News “Kansas City Rescue Mission” Interview.
Rick understands that the Lord Jesus has given him a special talent, as well as a platform to reach and help others, so he continues to raise awareness and funds for various organizations like the Kansas City Rescue Mission (mentioned in video above) and the Free Wheelchair Mission. Rick lives in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, with his wife Rebecca. They have five grown children.
For more information, visit www.barefootrunner.org or contact Rick directly at email@example.com