Monday, 28 November 2016

shoeporn: New Balance - Fresh Foam Gobi V1

Gobi – whilst the 1,295,000 km2 desert covers parts of northern and northwestern China, and of southern Mongolia in Asia, it is also the name of New Balance latest “Fresh Foam” model.
New Balance - Fresh Foam Gobi V1 comes with a decent weightiness of 262.2 grams. As previously experienced with the Fresh Foam midsole, this shoe generates an effectively protected and relaxed ride without being to clumsy on the feet.
The Fresh Foam Gobi V1 was created to allow a wide-ranging terrain. Not yet a trail shoe, not yet a road running shoe.
The so-called FantomFit upper feels perfect. Although it permits a blameless portion of air circulation it does not vastly defend against water. A circumstance that could be key for a shoe that wants to be used on the trails thru the seasons. While there is no protection against water the toe protection is spot on. At least it saved me and my tongue-tied stride some times while grinding the local trails.
Front end - On and Off Road this one allows a secure and robust jog.
Back end – I like the well-designed and humble composition of this shoe. The 6mm drop does bid a steadfast feeling with this hybrid shoe.
You are looking for some versatility this winter? Maybe the Fresh Foam Gobi can help. If your daily running routine includes a mix of trails and roads then this could be for you.
Inside look – Comparable to what you already observed on this site of the interweb, the midsole of the Gobi is pretty similar to the well-liked Zante modell. It is a single layer of the commonly used Fresh Foam EVA. The simple construction does do the job properly with a touch of pronation support.
Close up with the Fresh Foam midsole material.  
With the black and red colour combo the shoes blend in with the season.
The NB is the head knee - Some branding on the front end of the white outsole.
New Balance Athletic Shoe, based in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. The company was founded in 1906 as the "New Balance Arch Support Company" and is one of the world's major sports footwear manufacturers.
Out and about – The white outsole material certainly is an eye catcher. The spacious low profile lugs are part of a soft outsole.
As you would expect with a shoe like this the sole does not provide a massive range of hold on the trail. Yet the combination of the soft material composed with the wider spaced profile does provide decent grip while being on the trail. On the road the sole does a great job. Besides a decent amount of trail running I also used the shoe on the track for a longer workout. 
Wrap up – A stylish and yet efficient “Jack of all trades”. The New Balance - Fresh Foam Gobi does not only look good. It is a great daily running shoe and like the Zante, which I previously tested, this shoe does provide great fun on a daily base. Especially at this time of the year.
All pictures © runssel 

Monday, 21 November 2016

On point with Shane Ohly

The Original Mountain Marathon (OMM) is a distinctive contest. Once renowned as the Karrimor International Mountain Marathon it is a true classic when it comes to running competitions. Some people regard this race the forerunner of adventure racing. Since the first edition in 1968, squads of two take on weathered territory in the north of Great Britain. The course is never the same as line-ups have to navigate themselves around the fells, reach certain checkpoints and sleep in an overnight camp. The teams themselves must transport every part of gear.

Shane Ohly and his buddy Duncan Archer won the OMM back in 2011 and also this year’s version as the course led throughout the picturesque Glen Trool valley in the Southern Uplands of Galloway, Scotland. Shane is a former professional climber and now a full time mountain runner. He also a Director of business with race organisation company Ourea Events in the UK.

Runsel: Yourself and companion Duncan Archer just won the elite category in the 49th running of the Original Mountain Marathon (OMM). After 2011 this was your second win in this iconic competition. The OMM is a contest that requires a pretty wide-ranging skilfulness. Now, a couple of weeks after the competition, what are you most proud of?
Shane Ohly: Not getting injured! Seriously though, we worked so efficiently as a team and despite a big lead at the end of day one we kept pushing ourselves at 100% effort level all the way through to the finish.

© Ben Winston

Runsel: How did yourself and Duncan Archer meet up? In what way do you folks get ready for a extraordinary race like the OMM?
Shane: We met though orienteering, but then when I was working for inov-8 I stayed with Duncan (and his wife Pippa) who lived close by, we often climbed together in the evenings at the climbing wall. Somewhere along the line I suggested to Duncan that he did a mountain marathon with me. I think he was quite sceptical at first because a mountain marathon is a big change from the classic orienteering races that Duncan had been focused on before.

Duncan and Shane captured during last years OMM around the Tweedsmiur Hills.

Runsel: Racing as a team is pretty special. What is the most important factor when you race with somebody?
Shane: We push each other really hard whilst racing, but are usually very well matched, so although we both have highs and lows we are very good at motivating each other and keeping our average effort level high. We are also both very competitive but in a relaxed and easy-going manner. It works well for us.

© Alex Telfer

 Runsel: In addition to the navigation and running talents it seems that you have to have your gear-game totally dialled in. What stuff do you guys use and what is the most vital part that can be found in your rucksack?
Shane: Getting the gear right takes lots of experience, and I have been regular mountain marathon competitor for about 15 years... Perhaps I am slow learner! It is hard to single out one particular item of kit as essential, but the high value items like your tent and sleeping bag can save the most in weight, if you are prepared invest a lot in the kit. This year, we were given some amazing new 100g 3-layer waterproof jackets from Berghaus (the Hyper 100), and they are brilliant. I suspect many people will be using these in the future.

Only a few kilometres left on the second day of last years OMM.

Runsel: You took on running in 2002. Subsequently you have been pretty busy round several hills and mountains. What’s inspiring you? What outlines the beauty of running for yourself?
Shane: I love the experience of the mountains; the wilderness, the commitment, the challenge. I like the sense of moving quickly in technical terrain and covering big distances, and most of all I like big solo adventures. It is a great life affirming experience.

© Ben Winston

Runsel: You are a well-decorated mountain runner. Which competitions are still on your “To-Do” list and why?
Shane: I have been doing some of the Skyrunning World Series races in the last two years, and so far I have failed to actually have a good race. It must be the most odd period of poor form and bad luck ever! I like these races because they challenge all my weakness; generally they are runnable (I prefer rough ground) and they are always marked courses (I prefer orienteering style events).

Shane during this years OMM around Glen Trool.

Runsel: Which running record do you rate the highest?
Shane: My favourite record is Jasmin Paris's Charlie Ramsay Round record in Scotland. I had the pleasure of supporting one of the legs, and she went onto break both the men’s and the women’s record. It was an amazing episode of running, and I was proud to help her in small way.

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Sunday, 20 November 2016

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Sunday, 13 November 2016

shoeporn: Saucony - Xodus ISO

It has been a while since I had the chance to experience a Saucony shoe. Just when the Boston-based shoe corporation released the latest trail-running model “Xodus ISO” I was eager to get my legs murky with this super-tacky off-road missile. Lets see what this 292 Gramms have to offer.
Inside look – And there it is again. It is kind of weird but once you slip into this shoe you know exactly that you are going to experience a Saucony shoe. I ran Saucony shoes before and directly got remembered about the brand-characteristic impression. Correspondingly the sock-like “Isofit” upper is pretty exceptional and makes for a particularly snug shoe. Right from the very first stride this shoe was comfortable.
The hell cup is pretty distinctive. Whilst it might looks firm and unyielding it sheltered my feet throughout gravelly and techy runs and offers the feet quite some solidity without being to strong on the feet and the stride. The heel stack height comes in with a fine 24 mm. The whole shoe does have a 4 mm offset. A feature I particular enjoyed whilst being out on the trails.
“Run anywhere” – the kind detail on the inner of the sole explains the motto of the Saucony - Xodus ISO.
The front end – Saucony upgraded the Xodus 6.0 and made the new style lighter to guarantee more off-road fun.
A well needed feature while roaming around off-road pathways – a suitable toe shield. Saucony calls it „Toe shell“ and shaped a bendy protection that helps against rocks and everything that comes across whilst being out there.
You wont find a classic tongue on this one. The so-called Isofit upper (a system that can be found at several of Saucony’s road shoes) generates a sock-like sense. It is extremely comfortable and together with the slender and breathable material used it provides a great and safe feeling. I appreciate the close-to-feet fit a lot.
The Saucony - Xodus ISO comes with a snug but not too thick upper. Individual Lacing is dialed in quickly and offers a appropriate fitting for all individual needs. 
Collar lining occurs with a material named “Rundry”. The compassionate outfit is well able to stave off moisture.
Heart and sole – the added foam level is titled “Everrun” and has been seen in some of the latest Saucony models. Moreover the comfy upper this material marks the Xodus ISO a beast for comfort. Saucony played the sizing of the sole well to cater for huge ground feeling notwithstanding having enough material and cushion to guarantee a relaxed ride. I valued the shoe during lengthier excursions on the trails as the sole offered great cushioning all over.
The Xodus ISO is the flagship of Saucony’s trail running collection.
Essential – Some functioning of the PWRTRAC outsole. Cavernous and forceful Zigs and Zags offer a pretty distinctive sting towards the underground. The outsole is bendy with a great sensation for the path. Whilst the sole acted faultless on dry undergrounds I had certain delicate encounters while having a wet and soaked underground. Generally a great sole that never produced a unsafe feeling.
Culmination - I entirely value the Saucony - Xodus ISO for lengthier off-road outings. The Xodus ISO is a great all-rounder that also knows how to perform on tarmac. I'd dig this shoe for longer competitions and as a day-to-day training partner. It'll be exciting to see what Saucony will throw at the busy trail-running bazaar once they'll release and update on this one.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Thursday, 3 November 2016

In Pictures: 35th Frankfurt Marathon (Set 4)

This is the fourth and last set of my Frankfurt Marathon photographs. Enjoy.