BENGALURU: Milind Soman has come to be the face of runners. He is one of the very few celebrities who runs barefoot. He will be part of the Barefoot Marathon, which will be held in the city on December 6 and in Coorg on December 5.
I love it. I started walking barefoot four years ago. I walk better this way. It has improved my posture and emotionally, it has calmed me.
Being barefoot is also good for environment. We tend to keep our surroundings and roads clean if we will walk this way.
Running barefoot also erases differences between people. Everyone becomes one.
Won’t you hurt yourself?
After four years, I feel like my feet have eyes. I run everywhere barefoot, except in dark.
Will you be eating insects during the marathon?
Yes, I will be eating tribal food and tribal medicines. Insects are part of some diets and I want to experiment with that myself. When I was in Guwahati Pinkathon, I ate some silkworms and they tasted quite good.
Scientifically, they say that insects are the cleanest form of animal protein. Some say that if more people eat insects, the world’s hunger will be wiped out. They can be commercially farmed.
Can a name a few of these insects?
Spiders, earthworms, leeches, ants, ant eggs... Yummy. There are insects in your food. There is more dirt in the mind than filth on the street.
How can people train for a marathon?
They just have to listen to their body. Wake up at 5... Their life will change.
How did you prepare for the Ironman Challenge?
I have a certain level of fitness. I have been participating in various fitness activities since I was 10 years old. Ironman was a way to celebrate my 50 years. I trained for about two months.
Sports helped you quit smoking?
I found it difficult to give it up, so I started running. Then, it became much easier. I started running since I wanted to run a marathon. My whole life changed. When you make a small change in your living, there’s a domino effect.
How much time do you spend on marathons and fitness?
I spend very less time shooting. Otherwise I do my own running events.
We started a new concept of celebrating new years running from one city to another. Last year we ran from Bombay to Pune, this year we are running from Bengaluru to Mysuru. It is called the Last Long Run. People are coming from different cities like Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru and Mysuru.
Once we reach our destination on December 31, we will have a new year party.