Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Minimalist running and the Bondi B

Pick your's up at the Boulder Running company!
(if you are lucky enough to live here...)
Worn alot of shoe brands over the years, from Nike ACG, GoLite, Montrail, New Balance, Salomon, Pearl.. and they are all excellent shoes for the most part. But the Bondi B has to be one of the most inovative products to come out in years.

It is very interesting to compare the whole minimalist footwear movement and think about where trail running footwear has been and where it's going. For most of the 2000's (the "Bush years"..ugh), I found trail running footwear to be in the doldrums. It seemed that many a trail running footwear company's M.O. was 12-16 ounce behemoths that sold because they looked decent when tried on the retails floor with a pair of jeans. That was what sold, so it was what they made. True there were some inovative products but for me most trail shoes were too heavy for race performance. I actually prefered to race in light weight road shoes in many cases. Then the minimalist movement happened and folks could realize that you can have fun out there and not wear a pound on each foot.

I do think there is a place for 6 ounce shoes, but not for the vast majority of runners. Enter the Bondi B. Now you can run with the whole minimal shoe, but for a meager 2 ounces more you get the benefit of CUSHIONING! The Bondi B is an 8.5 ounce shoe which offers the benefit of light and fast (up OR down), but you don't trash your legs, reinjure that ole nagging knee, PF (plantar fasciitis), irritate the IT attachment, etc.

I was at the outdoor retailer shoe working the booth, and the president of Five Fingers stopped by to try on the Bondi B. Thoroughly impressed with Hoka One One, he applaudedthe ingenuity of the Bondi B. This was coming from a guy who had a hand in revolutionizing the sport of running. I also met the original designer of the Five Fingers shoe.. nice guy as well, with an obvious creative spirit about him which would inspire something like a barefoot shoe.

Alright I am sponsored by Hoka One One, but thus far the Bondi B and Mafate have changed my perspective on running, training, and racing. I think this year will be pivotal for the company, as even more top trail running results will come from Hoka in ultra and sub-ultra races. Also sports like triathlon and Xterra will see the benefit of such a shoe, as one comes off the 2 mile swim and 130 mile bike, the best thing they can have on their feet would be a light weight cushioned Bondi B.

We'll see what happens! The footwear scene is trendy and change is constant, but I expect there will be quite a few shoe companies copy-catting the Hokas very soon, and this is a trend here to stay.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Green love on valentines day

Not much to say here.. I just took a lunch break run and decided I'd go for a PR on the Gregory Canyon to Ranger trail. My mileage has been moderate lately, as I have been trying to get into the "quality" training mode versus high miles(which I never do anyway). Since I raced 5 weeks ago at the Bandera 100k, I have been swamped with school and work, so I havent taken any long runs. That works fine for me, as I want to be fully recovered going into the spring. I decided that American River 50 fits nicely into my spring schedule, so that will my the next race. I doubt I will have much time to be properly trained for it, but there is little I can do about that.

Jeff Valliere and I had a discussion recently on regarding which route was quicker getting to the top of Green Mt; Amphitheater/Greenman vs Gregory/Ranger. I think Gregory Ranger is faster, as it is more runnable than Amphitheater/Greenman, and roughly the same distance. Jeff said that Jason Schlarb had recently run about a 33 minute time, which I thought may be a moderate effort on his part, as I remembered running faster than this at some point years ago quite easily (I may be wrong though.. getting old here) Most people who read this probably haven't run either route, but you should when you do come out to run in the Republic.

Today turned out to be not the day to go for PRs, as it had snowed and then went through a freeze/thaw cycle a couple times, which means slicker conditions. I'd put about 8 hex-head screws in my Hoka One One Bondi B , and over a few runs lately I found this to be the perfect number for any icy conditions around here. However, to run uphill times fast you really need dry trails.

My splits were the following.
Start Gregory 0
1st Gregory Canyon Bridge 5:31
Top of Gregory (at signpost where the dirt road comes down from the right, just after the creek); 14:48
It was pretty good footing in Gregory up to this point , but above this I lost alot of time, as each step slipped back an inch or two ~~ %20 loss of efficiency.
Splits above Gregory..
19:54 Junction of Greenman trail going to the left off Ranger trail
34:05 4 way junction
37:55 Top off summit rock

So anyway.. something to write about.. think I will have a crack at sub 33 when it dries out a bit.

Oh and by the way, Jeff Valliere had a cameo in Aron Ralston's recent 3 hour show with Tom Brokaw. I don't have the link to Jeff''s 15 minutes of fame, but it is quite substantial, and they filmed Jeff and Aron running up Gregory Canyon. Good on ya, Jeff!

Okay time to go kiss your sweetie.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Energy Justice Benefit

I have a plug I would like to make for an worthy benefit fundraiser here in Boulder on Friday Feb 18th. (The plug request actually came from the girlfriends of two of my rivals, which is a unique situation in which to be put...just kidding Jenny) Scott Jurek and Tony Krupicka are appearing with the author of Born to Run, Chris McDougall, to raise funds for the CEES Energy Justice program. I haven't read Born to Run, but it is supposed to be a good read and the pre-cursor to the barefoot running thing.

Attend if you can.

Here's the beta..

Details: CEES Energy Justice works to build awareness surrounding the problems of energy access that nearly a third of the world’s population faces. Last Summer, CEES’s energy justice teams took the initial step toward addressing some of these concerns through completing a needs assessment in Ayaviri, Peru. Students conducting the assessment surveyed 200 homes regarding their cooking practices and what community member felt were the gravest problems their community faced. This assessment will be used to facilitate a plan the best brings sustainable energy technology to the Ayavirians.

The Ayaviri project is just one way CEES is working to build awareness surrounding energy access issues. CEES brings together people from all over the world in order to meet collectively and discuss each person’s role in fighting for energy justice during its energy justice Conference. Additionally, the CEES team is creating a documentary in order to educate the general population about the problems associated with having no access to energy.

In order to support energy justice awareness and CEES energy justice projects, we will be holding a fundraiser that all runners and outdoorsmen (and women!) alike are sure to enjoy!

On Friday, February 18, 2011 at 7:00pm, renowned figures in the distance running community Christopher McDougall, Anton Krupicka, and Scott Jurek will host a panel discussion and presentation on distance running. Chris McDougall is famous for his best selling book Born to Run which featured Scott Jurek. Anton Krupicka and Scott Jurek are both popular, champion ultramarathon runners. In addition to the speakers’ presentations, top of the line running gear will be raffled off!