But the purpose for such a feat made the uncomfortable run at this year's Salt Lake City Marathon (42 degrees at the time the race began) special. Nye came to learn of an organization called Hometown Heroes, a group that runs marathons barefoot to raise money for cancer research at the Huntsman Cancer Foundation.
"I figured this was the perfect time to run my race barefoot at this year's Salt Lake Marathon," Nye said."It would be like my challenge to myself, running barefoot and raising money for cancer, as well as a challenge to potential donors."
So the challenge to train and run while raising money to save lives was on.
"I told my family, friends and colleagues that I would run 26.2 miles barefoot if they would help me raise $1,000," Nye said. "The response was huge."
Since the date of the race was moved up to April, training for the shoeless run became difficult for Nye, who will spend three years with the Peace Corp teaching English in West Africa beginning this autumn. Undaunted, Nye figured out how to manage the change.
"I ran inside every other day and trained for distances outside with a pair of Vibram Five Fingers, a minimal rubber sock," Nye said.
The race, he said, was a great experience with minimal discomfort, especially when he considers the pain of those fighting cancer.
"The middle miles were tough, but you keep thinking about why you're running and who you're running for and it makes it much easier," Nye said."
Nye's barefoot marathon raised nearly $1,500 for the Huntsman Cancer Foundation.
"I finished in five hours and 39 minutes, far from my best time but better than my first finish time in Las Vegas, in which I had shoes on," Nye said. "I'm still glowing from the experience and the accomplishment, which I consider to be one of my biggest."
Nye still gets people asking him about the run.
"Everybody asks me why I did it, or how I did it. They always say how amazing it is. Apparently, not many people know how popular barefoot running really is. I am certainly not the first. And despite my own excitement of my first barefoot marathon, I have to say, It was easy. Easier than many things people go through everyday, like cancer."