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Published May 16, 2012, 10:35 PM

Grand Forks Runner Taking Different Approach to Fargo Marathon: No Shoes

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - The eighth annual Fargo marathon is set for this weekend and a Grand Forks runner will approach it a bit differently.

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - The eighth annual Fargo marathon is set for this weekend and a Grand Forks runner will approach it a bit differently.

Josh McSparron is running the marathon barefoot.

He's had knee problems since college and last spring, decided to ditch the shoes. He's been training barefoot ever since.

"I ran 750 miles last year and didn't have to take a day off for knee pain," McSparron said.

The only downside was that he couldn't run long distances right away.

"My first run was only five minutes and you just slowly build up every day after that. It's just a gradual toughening," McSparron said.

He says when other runners see him barefoot, they just shake their heads, so he made a t-shirt to give his fellow runners something to look at as he passes them.

"People think it's weird enough that I'm running without shoes but it'll give them something to laugh at if they're running behind me," McSparron said.

He's hoping to make history this weekend, becoming the first barefoot runner to complete the 26.2 mile course.

The full marathon starts Saturday at 8:15 a.m.

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