Barefoot runner on global journey stops in LaGrange

Asia Ashley Staff Writer

October 15, 2013

A nearly 12,000-mile trek to the “end of the world” is not impossible for one man running barefoot from Canada to Argentina.

Joseph Michael Liu, a Montreal native, made a stop in LaGrange Saturday during his route across 14 countries, to Tierra del Fuego, the southernmost city in the southernmost country in the Americas.

“I have the desire to do something big that can change my life and others,” said the Liu, 32.

Running between 15-to-25 miles a day, Liu has been training as a barefoot runner for two years and ran cross country at Concordia University for five years. His goal is to raise money for the Edible Schoolyard charity.

“The charity provides organic gardening to teach kids a healthier choice,” he said.

The trek has come with some hardships.

His relationship ended because of his solo journey, which began July 2, from Montreal, and he hopes to have it completed by 2015. He has been stung by bees while camping in his tents some days, and other days, he is offered free hotel stays after people here about his trip.

Some great memories have come out of the trip, he said.

“I was in an Applebee’s and the manager made an announcement to the whole restaurant about the trip, and two guys offered me to go skydiving with them while in town,” he said.” I went skydiving for the first time.”

While in LaGrange he was stayed free of charge at the Best Western of Lafayette Parkway. Monday, Liu, an engineer, toured the Kia plant in West Point, and said he was offered a job to work for the plant.

With the help of his sponsors and donations from supporters he is able to have food and supplies for his trip.

“My followers have been really supportive and I’m lucky to have the a lot of people that have been providing hotels,” said Liu.

Liu’s journey can be followed online at where donations can also be made for his trip and to Edible Schoolyard.

He hopes to make a documentary of the journey.