Guam - Eddie Vilbar Vega, also known as the "Barefoot Bandito", a 54 year-old marathoner and a current resident of North Carolina, born in the Philippines and raised in Guam since age 6, became the first person in history to complete 50 full marathons (distance of 26.2 miles) completely barefoot between January 1, 2014 and July 3, 2014, in various organized races across 35 different United States and Asia to set a new Guinness World Record for the category of "Most Barefoot Marathons Run In One Year".
Vega said, "It started because I wanted to honor my late mother and father and then I realized that as I was running barefoot marathons it attracted so much attention and so I wanted to use that for a higher purpose. So I partnered with Soles4Souls so that way I can raise awareness for the over 300,000,000 children worldwide who lack basic footwear. The partnership began and as I was trying to solicit for donations I decide that maybe one way to attract some donors because I was not getting as many donations during the first few months. So I decide maybe I would embark on something big and that's when I decide to pursue the Guinness World Record when I gained confidence in barefoot running.
As of July 3, 2014, he has run 142 full marathons and 10 ultramarathons (distance of 50K or greater). Of these, 70 of the marathons were run completely barefoot. It is noteworthy to mention that as of June 22, 2013, Vega completed a marathon in all 50 United States while wearing shoes and, as of November 10, 2013, he also completed a marathon in all 7 Continents. Vega is also on schedule to complete a barefoot marathon in all 50 States in one calendar year.
Vega added, "As far as Sole4Soul is concerned my goal for this charity is to get to get enough donations for 300 pairs of shoes for every marathon that I run barefoot in each of the 50 states and that would come out to a grand total of 15,000 pairs of shoes. And I wanted to let it be known that every dollar donated to Soles4Souls it would actually provide a pair of shoes to an impoverished child who does not have shoes or lacks adequate footwear. If anybody would be interested in donating just go on to www.gofundme.com/barefootbandito any donation would be great and any donation is tax deductable and will go towards the charity."