Sunday, 29 May 2016

In Pictures: Sardinia - Part 2

More snaps from the recent Regione Autònoma de Sardigna excursion.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Zegama chronicles with André Jonsson

Last Sundays 15th running of the fabled Zegama-Aizkorri Mendi Maratoiaren was nothing short of being spectacular. Yet again the striking Basque Country in the western Pyrenees presented one of the biggest spectacles mountain running has to offer.

Another year saw one more top-notch field that took on the renowned 42 kilometres through the Aizkorri national park. While Kilian Jornet won the race again and cemented his legend status, there were some surprises along the way. One was Swedish Ski-Mountaineer and mountain runner André Jonsson. On his first attempt he scored a 10th place in cold and unforgiving conditions. Remarkable.

Born, raised and based in a small Swedish ski resort close to the Norwegian border called Storlien (60 kilometres west of Åre), he impressed with a clever and fast run. I asked André some questions about his most recent excursion in the Basque Country.

 RUNssel: A top 10 finish on your first Zegama shot is very impressive. How did the competition unfold for you? Did you had a special race tactic?

André Jonsson: I started pretty easy and then pushed harder after half way. Didn't feel so strong uphill but had a good flow in the downhills and technical parts so I advanced there.

RUNssel: Did you train on the course before the race?

André: Just the last 5-6km the day before. I ran with Norwegian Eirik Haugsnes (Comment: By now Eirik raced this race four times) who gave me a lot of info on how the course would look like.

RUNssel: Looking back, what was the roughest part of the day?

André: Definitely the ridge half way into the race. It was really cold up there, the hands were like bricks. While you were freezing you also had to focus on the technical terrain. But apparently that suited me. I advanced several positions there.

RUNssel: How would you describe the scramble through the wild crowds at Sancti Spiritu?

André: Just unbelievable, comparable with the Tour de France when they ascent Alpe d'Huez. Now I think I know how the cyclists are feeling.

Photo: Fjällmaraton

RUNssel: How did you get ready for the distinctive Zegama-Aizkorri course? Any key workouts?

André: No special training really. I just ended the ski season and still have a lot of snow at home. Just trying to find trails that are not covered with snow is a challenge these days.

RUNssel: Each year the right shoe is a point of discussion between the athletes. What shoe did you use during that murky excursion?

André: I ran the Inov-8 X-Talon 212 and they were just perfect.


RUNssel: You started your running season with a true highlight. What is next for you during the summer?

André: It will be the Ultra Skymarathon on Madeira island next weekend. Hopefully I will be recovered enough by then.

RUNssel: What is your preferred record at the moment?

André: Currently I’m listening to the Swedish band Rallypack’s album “Sod Off, God! We Believe In Our Rockband”. These days the band is called Lillasyster instead.

RUNssel: Thanks a lot a lot for taking the time to answer all the question. Best of luck for the upcoming season.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

In Pictures: Sardinia - Part 1

Just back from the second-largest isle in the Mediterranean Sea. Back with lots of upbeat vibes after remarkable days throughout the northern parts of the 24,090 km2 island. This is the first set of pictures. Track back for more throughout the next few days.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Checked: Dynafit - Transalper 3L Jacket

Hello rain! See this? Yes, it looks like a carrot. In fact it isn’t. This is a shiny and smart out-layer that keeps you in check. This is the latest addition to Dynafits running collection. It is ultra light and it goes by the name of Transalper. Eventually you will meet it.
Biking, running, hiking… If in doubt I always pack a light, packable sheathing. Let there be rain, cold or possibly snow. You need to have some sort of protection that does not bulk up the backpack or the shorts. With the Transalper Dynafit plays straight into that vital category. With about 185 grams it does not bother too much. The outcome is vital, though.
Dynafits emblem is a snow leopard. It embodies the fundamentals of the Austrian brand - speed, lightness, performance and technology.
Smart details – clever positioned ventilation in the front covered against rain.
The only storage solution provided – a little but useful pocket on the chest part. Enough to keep your keys or some gels. It is very laidback to use as the zipper worked particularly smooth.
On the back the leopard observes who’s following! I valued the breathable material used throughout my runs the body never overheated. Quality 3L material finished up well.
Significant during showery outings – a well shaped hood. Dynafit did a good job with this one. A real shelter without being to large. Also with a cap the hood worked well.
Another look at the hood – on the top you see a bendable band that’s fixing the hood throughout the run.
A look at the inside of the Transalper jacket. Taped seams help to keep the wet outside. An additional quality feature.
Generally an exciting and efficient jacket - I enjoyed the simple, sportive and slim cut. Specially the elasticized cuffs and hem stood out for me and summed up the proper performance. Hello rain! Try to beat this piece of equipment…

Tune of the day: Casey Veggies - Choose Up

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

shoeporn: Salomon - S-LAB Sonic

Annecy based off-road running connoisseurs, Salomon, created a key move towards the long avoided cemented boulevards. With the all-new S-LAB Sonic they absolutely impressed me.

With some elusive 220 grams it’s a treat to stride on the roads. The straight sensation joined by a comfy fit is well build - a shoe that needs speed.

However the performance is made for faster road runs I don’t know why Salomon assembled an 8 mm drop (24mm/16mm) in the sole design. Other then that this shoe is good and fast fun and an exciting addition to Salomon’s mountain based assortment.

All pictures (C) runssel

Tune of the day: Oddisee - Brea