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Barefoot Runners Society Update and West Coast Tour

Posted by on Feb 25, 2012 | 14 Comments

Here’s an update on the state of the Barefoot Runners Society.  The team that has been managing the site and organization are in the process of setting up the new site.  There are two significant hurdles:

  1. The old hosting software (Drupal) sucked, which was a frequent complaint.  Unfortunately it is difficult to move anything from Drupal (further demonstrating its suckiness quotient).  It was important to everyone to preserve all member forum and blog posts.  I was originally in favor of simply starting anew, but TJ fought to keep it.  She felt all the contributions were a diary of each member’s deeply personal transition story.  Needless to say, she convinced me.  🙂
  2. There is an unfortunate legal debate over the old URL and site design, which is requiring an entire new build.  Many people have been asking questions about this, and I’ll provide as much of an update as I can.  Here’s the explanation the current leadership put together (it was written by Kate Kift [KittyK from the forums])-

We were migrating the site because frankly the services and site we were on, couldn’t stand the traffic.  It was only during the migration that we encounter ownership issues regarding the domain name.  A domain name change was never a planned situation. This was an attempt to get the site working as quickly as possible for our members.

We have had to hold the migration to solve the accusations regarding the domain name and “who owns what”.

No one currently on the executive committee, and as far as I was aware anyone else from CP’s to members ever saw BRS as anything other than a non-profit community.  Any “extra” contributions from sponsors and members are held for operating costs.  No-one currently active within the BRS community has yet made or wishes to make a wage or profit from this. No one until now has expected to make money off of this, as this was/is an all-volunteer organization

I wish we could say more, but we have to protect the community everyone at BRS has strived to create.  We want to protect each of our members information and privacy and that is what we are working on.  If keeping quiet and saying “no comment” is the way we have to do this, then we will. We hate it, but we will.

We hope, once we have collated all the relevant information and have ensured that we and the BRS are legally able to do so, we will show exactly what has happened.  We will do so without comment and judgement. We hope that the BRS community will see the situation for what it is and likewise judge the executive committee accordingly.

We hate keeping you in the dark.  However, we hope you understand that by progressing carefully we will ensure the barefoot running community as it is has a basis to grow to new highs.

Please be patient – we are ALL working as hard as we can on your behalf.  We want to make sure this is never an issue again.  

Your support is always appreciated not only now but a long time into the future.

If you’re interested in the back story, it’s spelled out in this forum post over at Runner’s World:

Personally, this entire issue is very upsetting for me.  The original intent of the BRS was to build a community of support and an organization that would advocate for barefoot and minimalist shoe running.  The original founders agreed that nobody should profit in any way; all of our work would be volunteer-based.  That was the original spirit of the BRS, which comes out in the RW posts where we first discussed the idea here and here.

I consider the BRS members a community- many of which I know personally.  We’re a family.  I see Cameron’s actions as exploiting our community in an attempt to make a quick buck.  I find it especially upsetting that he called TJ out specifically.  As anyone that has spent even a little time at the BRS knows, TJ is the person that single-handedly made the BRS into a community.  I think she may have posted on every single thread in the entire forum, tirelessly offering support and encouragement.

Please be patient as the new site is being built, and know the team working on it is trying their best to preserve the contributions of the members.  There’s a ton of legal evidence to refute Cameron’s claims, and that evidence has been collected.  It’s just a matter of waiting.  The BRS should be up and running in the very near future.  I’m pressuring them to give me an ET on the new site, which should be known soon.

Note- I have not or never plan on making any money from the BRS.  Currently I am the Activities VP (I plan parties) and an adviser or sorts.  My interest and involvement in this is to make sure the community survives to further the ideals of barefoot running.  As a founding member, I was privy to all the early decisions.  As such, I fully support the course of action chosen by the current team working to restore the BRS, especially TJ.  They are acting in the spirit of the founding principles of the BRS and are doing what they’re doing for the benefit of the community, not profit.


Today Shelly and I start a 2,700 mile journey over ten days where we’ll be doing six different events.  We’re following that up with three 50Ks.  It’s going to be a bit crazy and I may not have much of an opportunity to write.  I’m looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible during this trip!  Here are the scheduled events and the details I have thus far:

  • Feb. 25th- Running Skirts, 676 2nd Street, Encinitas, CA, 10am-2pm
  • Feb. 26th- Pt. Mugu State Park, 9000 W. Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA (morning)
  • Feb. 29th- Super Jock and Jill, 7210 E Greenlake Dr. N, Seattle WA, 8:45-9:45am
  • Feb. 29th- Born To Run Seattle, 6:00pm
  • March 1st-  Portland, Foot Traffic group run, 5:30pm
  • March 3rd-  Shu’s Idaho Running Company, 1758 W. State St., Boise, trail run in the morning, clinic at store
  • March 10: Way Too Cool 50k, Cool, CA
  • March 17th: American River 50 training run, Auburn, CA
  • March 18th: Rodeo Valley 50k, Rodeo Beach, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, CA

We’re working on two more clinics- one in Sacramento and another at Zombie Runner in Palo Alto.  Details will be coming soon!





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  1. JCataway
    March 1, 2012

    Ok, I’ll ask what is the new www. for the new BRS?


  2. Ludo
    February 28, 2012

    I hope that “the”BRS can move on from all the problems encountered.

    Zombie Runner in Palo Alto…. YES!!

  3. Steven Sashen
    February 27, 2012


    Too many businesses and organizations have started with good intentions and not quite enough legal paperwork.

    Had the domain name been put into whatever corporate entity BRS created, this couldn’t have occurred (or, at least, it could have been addressed quickly).

    I’m glad to see the site is basically back up, even at a new domain.

    And it strikes me as weird that someone could claim ownership (or copyright) of the site — Drupal is open-source, so nobody can claim that. The user-generated content… well, if the terms of service say that the users are giving away the rights, that’s one thing, but B got into hot water when they tried to argue that they owned the content users added to their site. What’s left? Some layout and design work and any custom-code that was written.

    Did I say, “Oy!” already?

    Good luck to everyone involved in working this out.

  4. Nick
    February 27, 2012

    Thanks for the history and telling us what is going on. Glad to see the BRS back online today. I can’t wait to hopefully meet you this Thursday in Portland!

  5. Erik
    February 26, 2012

    May Cameron’s future be shod with blisters and knee pain.

  6. Dave Goulette
    February 26, 2012

    Awesome news that you might come to Zombie Runner. I would love to meet you guys. Keep us posted.

  7. Rain Wolf
    February 25, 2012

    the Pt. Mugu meeting still just says “morning” as the time … that going to be earlyish or later? ooooor? I’d like to say hello, but work until 9ish (though can get out earlier =] )

    • Jason
      February 26, 2012

      Rain- it’s at 9:30. Sorry about the slow response, I just got access to a computer.

  8. Daniel
    February 25, 2012

    I’m glad I read this because I was considering using Drupal for one or more projects in the near future. Why does it suck exactly, and what are you going to use instead?

    • Matthew Moore
      February 25, 2012

      Daniel please add me to msn messenger and we can discuss –

  9. Robyn
    February 25, 2012

    Ooh, two clinics in Seattle?! I’m excited. I hope to make the night one.

  10. Matthew Moore
    February 25, 2012

    Yes drupal will no longer be in the picture. I have developed two platforms that we will go too. The hard part is getting everything away from drupal as it does not play well with any software out there. A lot of time and hours is being spent to bring over the information into a much more stable platform.

    As you can see Jason got too stressed out and went on his MANLY run to the border.

    I guess I will join his quest and run for the border. Here i come taco bell.

  11. Chadisbarefoot
    February 25, 2012

    Wow. I had no idea all that was going on with BRS, Jason. Thanks for filling us in. My heart goes out to poor TJ. She has always been nothing but kind and helpful to me and in any interaction on the board I have witnessed. And yes, I think she does actually post in every single thread no matter what it’s about or who posted it. lol

    PS: Just to clarify, we are ditching Drupal, right? That garbage software sucks truck nuts!

  12. Theresa
    February 25, 2012

    Thanks for the updates…:) Happy Trails! Be safe!