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Feet first . . . Former Oamaru man Ben Sinnamon will run the Auckland half- marathon bare foot to raise money for KidsCan on Sunday. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Ben Sinnamon is preparing to walk in another person’s shoes – except there will be no shoes.

The former Waitaki Boys’ High School head boy is running the Auckland Half Marathon on Sunday barefoot to raise money for KidsCan.

He said many children in New Zealand did not have access to shoes on a daily basis, and raising awareness of that was something close to his heart.

“I’ll do my bit and try and walk in their footsteps a little bit, and see what it’s like.

“Because it’s only a half marathon for me, but they don’t have shoes at all .. I think we take for granted some of the basic needs that we have, and I’m just blown away by the amount of kids that don’t have basic footwear, or families that are sharing footwear for their kids to go to school.”

Training for the marathon began weeks ago and he was surprised how quickly his feet adapted to running on concrete.

“It takes me back to running around on the streets as a kid in Oamaru, but the feet harden up quite quickly.

“It really hurts when you stand on a loose stone. You get quite confident and then get brought back down to earth when you stand on something sharp.”

It was the first marathon he had run in bare feet, and he looked forward to running over the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

“There’s a lot of people running for charities, not just KidsCan, and it’ll be a pretty cool event to be a part of.’

He was not looking to break any records – he hoped he could finish the race in one piece – but instead poverty in New Zealand, and KidsCan.

Originally, the target on his Everydayhero fundraising page was $2500, but when he reached it earlier than expected, he pushed his target to $5000.

He was blown away to have raised nearly $3400 by Monday and said it was a cause a lot of people could get behind and relate to.

Poverty was widespread throughout New Zealand and he encouraged everyone to explore charities and ways they could help a little deeper.

“We can really take for granted what we’ve got because our needs are covered, and there’s a lot more need out there than what people might think.”