“The Amazon Jungle Marathon is one of the toughest foot races I have seen. In October I provided foot care to the runners for the second time. This stage race gives runners the option of a 7-day race, a 4-day race and a one day marathon. Set in Brazil, the course sends runners up and down trails cut into the jungle, on the beaches of the Amazon River, across rivers, into streams and swamps, into jaguar preserves – all places where their feet are constantly wet. Runners are exposed to the relentless sun, the humidity of the jungle, rain, stinging ants and mosquitoes, the diverse fauna of the jungle, and numerous species of creepy things from huge spiders to snakes.
Nights are spent in your hammock and food is whatever you want, as long as it’s either cold or can be cooked with hot water. The medical team and other volunteers experience all the same conditions. It’s rugged.
Whether for one day, or four or seven days, the runners have to carry all their gear and food. Comfort is whatever they want to carry. For this year’s 10th anniversary race, the race director ordered custom Barkies – and everyone received one. This simple item, with its multiple uses, is a great comfort item. Runners, medical staff, and volunteers wore them day after day. They wore them through the mud and swamps and sand and then washed them in the Amazon to wear them again the next day.
I spent hours working of runner’s feet. The water and sand, and the conditions of the jungle trails created blisters of every runner’s feet. The constantly wet feet lead to severe maceration that got worse day by day.
That compounded the work of the medical team. When your feet hurt, every little bit of comfort helps. Thanks Barkies.”