Kansas City Marathon brings barefoot, knitting runners and more - KCTV5

Kansas City Marathon brings barefoot, knitting runners and more

Posted: Updated:
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

A barefoot runner and a man attempting to break a world record for knitting the longest scarf while running a marathon will cross the finish line in Kansas City this weekend.

They and thousands of others are competing in the Waddell & Reed Kansas City Marathon. The runners will take off from the starting line at 22nd Street and Grand Boulevard, across from Crown Center, at 7:05 a.m. Saturday.

"I believe in the saying, ‘Inch by inch, it is a cinch,'" said marathon runner Rick Roeber.

Roeber has covered a lot of ground in his life. He estimates he has run about 21,000 miles, barefoot and he's about to add 26.2 more miles to that tally.

"26.2 miles is tough no matter how you do it," he said.

The Kansas City Marathon will mark Roeber's 75th marathon and it will be his 57th barefoot marathon.

But he isn't the only one doing the race a bit differently.

"This will be my first full marathon knitting," said David Babcock, another runner. "I have regular needles. I had to add a stopper so it doesn't fall off when you are running."

Babcock is attempting to break a world record for knitting the longest scarf while running a marathon.

"It's the same stitch over and over again," he said.

The current record holder is Susie Hewer from the United Kingdom.

"She has the record of 6'9". I have to beat that. I'm hoping to do 9'10"," Babcock said.

Babcock happened to pick up knitting and running around the same time.

"It took a long time to do distance running. It takes a long time to do knitting. I thought these could go together. They are both kind of tedious. I thought it would be a fun challenge," he said.

During their training for the marathon, both men turned heads.

"People laugh. They think it's funny," Babcock said.

"Usually I chalk it up to the fact that it just kind of blurts out of their mouth. It's what they are thinking. It kind of blurts out, 'You don't have any shoes on?' and I say, 'Yes you are right. I don't have any shoes on,'" Roeber said.

Both runners are motivated to cross the finish line in their own unique way.

"This is a big milestone for me because a lot of people said I wouldn't be running barefoot after a year," Roeber said.

"I think it will be great particularly for my kids to be able to say, 'Dad did it. Dad broke a record.' Hopefully that will lead them to their own proud moments," Babcock said.

Both men said they are using their passion for running to raise awareness for charities. Roeber is raising money for Free Wheelchair Mission that provides low-cost wheelchairs in third-world countries. Babcock will be running to raise awareness for Alzheimer's research.

Click here to learn more about Roeber's charity.

Click here to learn more about Babcock's charity.

Click here to learn more about the Kansas City Marathon.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow
KCTV 5 News

Online Public File:
KCTV  KSMO

Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2014, KCTV; Kansas City, MO. (A Meredith Corporation Station) and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.