Esther Kang

Rae Heim, barefoot runner, finishes cross-country run at Manhattan Beach pier [PHOTOS]

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Rae Heim, the 18-year-old who began running barefoot across the country in April from Boston, finished her eight-month trek late Thursday morning at the Manhattan Beach pier among a crowd of family members and local fans, which included mayor Wayne Powell and Skechers CEO Michael Greenberg. Not only is she the youngest person to ever run across the U.S., she is the only person to run it barefoot. Heim embarked on this feat to raise awareness and donations for Soles4Souls, a Nashville-based shoe charity that provides footwear for those in need.

“Barefoot running, also called “natural running”, is the act of running without footwear. Throughout human history, running barefoot was the natural way to run, and cultures such as the Tarahumara people in Mexico still practice it today. Barefoot running became popular in the latter half of the 20th century, as notable Olympic runners such as Abebe Bikila, Bruce Tulloh, and Zola Budd participated barefoot.” from Wikipedia

RELATED: Barefoot runner Patrick Sweeney of Manhattan Beach is known as the shoeless wonder.

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