Ted McDonald, known as Barefoot Ted and the eccentric character in the bestseller book, Born to Run, will land in New Zealand this week to discuss the joys of barefoot running with the Kiwi running community.
Barefoot Ted is one of the global running celebrities attending RunFest, a grassroots trail-running festival organised by a group of amateur runners in the capital.
He first became famous by being one of the characters in what is arguably the most famous book about running, Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall. But Barefoot Ted has gained more and more popularity as the barefoot running movement has grown over the years.
He will be joined by Jono Wyatt, New Zealander and six-time world mountain-running champion, who will be sharing some of his secrets to running hills, Sally McRae, a pro trail runner for Nike, and US ultrarunner and filmmaker Billy Yang.
With trail running growing in popularity, the Wellington Running Meetup group - an informal running group of amateur runners - decided to create the event to inspire others to embrace the sport and the outdoors lifestyle.
"RunFest was born on Wellington's trails and part of the reason behind the event is to celebrate the amazing running scenery at our doorstep. It's also about inspiring people to make running an adventure, to push their limits and have fun while making friends," says Ewa Crazychick, co-organiser of RunFest.
"Wellington is a perfect location for such an event - just as Auckland has been called the City of Sails, we think that Wellington should become known as the City of Trails. We want to encourage people to get out there and explore, but also to be smart about their running so that it's sustainable over a long time."
RunFest is New Zealand's only running conference and will happen in Wellington over Labour Weekend. It includes talks, practical workshops and a film night dedicated to trail running and outdoor films.
For more information, including a full schedule of the event, visit www.runfest.org.nz.