A BRAVE athlete will bare his heart and soles when he steps up for Sunday's Reading Half Marathon.

Warren Edwards will be going back to nature and tackling the entire course in bare feet.

The 32-year-old, from east Reading, initially ditched his trainers before the 2010 race when he crossed the finishing line in 1hr 35mins sporting a pair of Vibram FiveFingers - specialist glove-like minimalist running shoes with soft soles.

But this year the Reading Roadrunners member is determined to take things a step further to match his previous time.

Warren, who works as a solutions architect and is raising funds for the British Heart Foundation, insists barefoot running is better for his posture and prevents hip and knee pains. He said: "A lot of people think I am crazy but if you look at the evolution of running, early humans had to cross surfaces like hard rock and baked mud so it makes sense to me. The first time I went out it was absolute agony and my feet were constantly stinging, but I've been training for 12 weeks and been able to increase the distance."

He scrubs the soles of his feet after every race and applies surgical spirit, but he admits: "Running round Reading I have had to pull out a lot of glass from my feet and I've had quite a few blisters. It's a bit gruesome but you have to take good care of your feet."

Sponsor him at www.justgiving.com/warren-edwards/