Saturday, 31 March 2012

Salomon S-Lab Sense Live Event

The introduction of the Salomon Sense, by none other than the man himself.

Salomon put on a globally telecast live event where Kilian explain more about the shoe and answers questions in real time. This is a repeat recording for all those who missed the live event.

The shoe is expected the be available in Singapore in the later part of 2012.

Another ulltra-running legend comes to town ..

This week, Anton (Tony) Krupicka caused a bit of a flurry amongst the ultra-running community here in Singapore when he flew in to promote the launch of the Minimus Zero range by New Balance.
Salomon - New Balance - North Face 
Tony is a two-time winner at Leadville 100, one of the toughest 100 mile races in the US. His race resume is littered with first places and PRs in 50 and 100 mile races, particularly if there's a mountain or two along the route.

I had a great opportunity to run with the man himself on our local trail, together with 20-or-so other enthusiasts. Despite nursing an injury and jet-lag (he was in New Zealand prior to his visit), he's light on his feet and gamely answers the questions being thrown at him without even breathing hard. He didn't expect the reception he received from fans and media at the launch event, it seems Singapore's ultra-running community is growing fast! He patiently obliged everyone's request for a photo or autograph, and answered all our questions with a smile. Definitely one of the good guys.

Mr Kor started running in his 70s, has done Boston once and qualified twice!

Tony and Sham lead the way
With the posse

When asked, he doesn't have much preference when it comes to food as long as its fresh, but admits to having "plenty of baked goods and probably way too much sugar". He liked our local chicken rice and nasi lemak, though!

His main philosophy for life is "being present and not getting distracted from the very serious task of truly living". And running in the mountains is the best way he's found to do that. Tony's well known for running in nothing more than his shorts and shoes, the bare minimum, happy to be slightly dehydrated and bonking a little if it means his run to the summit is unencumbered.

".. I love how I can run up and into a mountain cirque or over a pass and be completely dwarfed and humbled by the sheer immensity and grandiosity of the landscape and I love flying down the other side with the breeze in my hair and the gravel in my shoes and the burning in my quads and the branches in my face and then when I'm finally all worn out there's nothing like peeling my shoes off and just sitting. Just being at rest. Running sharpens the focus on life and intensifies the emotions. Is there any better reason to do anything?"

Riding the Macritchie Trail (not much wind, but a little rain!)

Perhaps we can take something from this, with our busy lives and myriad distractions. Back to basics, stripped down to bare bones. Everything is distilled back into it's purest form when we escape our distractions and concentrate on just being alive. I know I'm guilty. Sometimes I run and there's so much on my to-do list that I can't concentrate on what I'm doing right at that moment. It's only when I remember to let it all go, that I remember why I run in the first place. I remember who I am.

"Take the time to figure out what it is you're doing and draw on that most essential, most basic motivation when you get tired during training or racing and realize that - even if life seems a bit uncomfortable now - you will undoubtedly feel better - about yourself, about life - if you press on and finish instead of giving up and quitting. Doing well in ultras is largely about perseverance: perseverance in the consistency of your training and perseverance in the face of race hardships. the more often you persevere, ultimately, over time, the easier and more effortless your running will become and the more fulfilling the experience will become. Relish the experience of being truly present, which I find the suffering of mountain races usually affords its competitors." 

Some food for thought, a little inspiration and motivation, perhaps. What's getting you out for a run today?

The boys bare all .. well, all but one anyway.

I also got a chance to meet some new people, including Isaac Loo, a triathlete and runner who's got a neat blog on Everything You Want To Know And More .. go check it out! :)
With my new friend Isaac

Monday, 26 March 2012

Super bright Speedcross 3!

My lovely new Salomon Speedcross 3 have now been broken in with a 30km trail run at the weekend ... all ready for Sabah Ultra Trail in a couple of weeks :) No hot spots, chafing or discomfort of any sort right from the start .. brilliant! I'll get a couple more runs in before I post a review, but they're reasonably light with an aggressive tread .. that'll do nicely in the mud I'm expecting!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Salomon Urban Trail Run 2012

For 2012, the Salomon-Tiong Bahru Urban Trail Run route is along the former KTM railway .. a chance to experience a part of Singapore's history. Scheduled for 20th May, the event distance has increased to 14km to allow runners to get the most out of this unique run.

Last year's Urban Trail Run was quite a lot of fun, and incorporated a 'concrete jungle' route complete with overhead bridge crossings. No doubt this year will be no less interesting, with a new route and added distance.

The new XR Mission will be in stores sometime next week, and could well be the perfect shoe choice for this event. Even better .. there's 30% off Salomon products with registration for the run, that's a no-brainer! :D

Unfortunately, I'm signed up for an adventure race on the same day, but I'll be at the Salomon X-Trail later this year. In the meantime, go register and get training! :)

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Salomon's new XR Mission - Trying out a trail

Salomon's just launched the XR Mission, an all-terrain trail running shoe with specific fit for men and women, and its targeted at road-runners looking to cross over to the mud side.  It's also the entry-level shoe for trail-running beginners, and enthusiasts who enjoy both road and trail running.

XR Mission Men's
The XR Mission comes in 4 striking color combinations, but isn't just a pretty face. Light, flexible, unbelievably comfortable, the XR Mission is the newest member of Salomon’s award-winning XR family of door-to-trail running shoes.

XR Mission Men's

New from the ground up, XR Mission is light and responsive with a women’s specific version. The heart of the shoe is the OS muscle and tendon - Salomon’s patented cushioning midsole and energy returning tendon system. It cushions shock while improving heel- to-toe transition, making the shoe easier to run in.
With a Contagrip outsole, XR Mission naturally adapts to variances in terrain, providing great grip and rebound on any surface. XR Mission also has a host of comfort features that specifically address the most critical issues runners typically contend with. Sensiflex is a soft mesh fabric, placed on the metatarsal area of the foot. This provides great foot support in the forefoot, but reduces bunions that occur in about 30% of runners. Add internal Sensifit and Quicklace, the Mission adapts comfortably to almost any foot.

XR Mission Women's

XR is also specifically tailored to the morphology and motion of men and women, respectively. XR Mission Women is the first shoe built with Women’s Specific Ride. In addition to a specific last shape, asymmetrical fit that wraps medially to support a higher arch and taller instep, common among women, and thicker foam around the heel, XR Mission Women has more and deeper flex grooves to accommodate a lighter average weight and more rigid foot, also common in women. Ladies, Salomon's got us covered! :)

XR Mission Women's

This is a great shoe for starting out on trails or doing a mixed-terrain workout, and very competitively priced at S$179 .. go check it out!

And if you're looking to try trail running, have a look at my article on RunSociety for some pointers on getting started.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Catching up slowly

Time goes quick when you're having fun. We're already nearing the end 2012's first quarter and I've only just started sorting out my races for the year. Whilst the local ultra-runners kicked off the year with the Vibram HK100 last month, I was catching the tail end of the windy season in Indonesia. I promised myself I'd make time for my other interests ... ultra training takes up an awful lot of personal time .. not that I'm complaining, but even Kilian says there's more to life than just running! So I've had the last few months off, gone skiing, kitesurfed almost every weekend, and made time to catch up with friends and family. Life is good.
This year Hammer Nutrition have generously offered to support my racing efforts again, and Salomon have also extended their endorsement. This means I'll have my nutrition dialled and I'll be equipped with some of the best kit in the business ... lucky or what!

Training begins in earnest this week .. my first race of the year will be the Sabah Ultra Trail in early April.   I've got my main race of the year down as the Ultra Trail South West (UTSW) 100-miler in June, but it's the same day Milan Fashion Week starts so I've got a huge conflict of interest there. Doing UTSW will mean I'll have to give up covering Spring/Summer 2013 in Milan and Paris .. and going to work means I'll miss out on the inaugural 100-miler on the Cornish coastpath, with some of the most stunning landscapes I've ever seen. I lived in Cornwall for nearly 10 years, and it'd be nice to go back for a visit. Decisions, decisions!

I did consider doing the Al Andalus Ultra Trail after fashion Week in lieu of UTSW, but I'd much rather do a 100-miler than a stage race.

Next on my race radar is The Most Beautiful Thing (TMBT) 100km in Sabah (September), probably TNF100 Singapore in October, and if I didn't do UTSW, then I'd plan to do GNW in November.

I've been thinking a lot about the races that appeal to me .. so far it's
H.U.R.T 100
Petite Trotte a Leon (PTL).

Just a couple of milers, a stage race and a crazy adventure.
Oh, and UTMB. The mother of all trail ultras. The one I'd said never again to.

Yep, it was inevitable really. It's taken me 6 months of denial to come round to considering doing it again.

So I'm thinking HK Four Trails Ultra Challenge and UTMB in 2013, then H.U.R.T.100 and PTL in 2014. TransAlpine might have to wait till 2015 as it's too close to UTMB and PTL to consider doing it in the same year ... or I could take a page out of Andre Blumberg's training diary and do it anyway ... the man has phenomenal recovery abilities, amazing consistency, and a very nice guy to boot. The only person to do a TNF Grand Slam (all The North Face Asia Pacific 100km races in a year .. with 3 of them just a week apart!) Right now he's in NZ attempting a Kiwi Double .. the Tarawera 100km this weekend just gone and then the Northburn 100 miler next weekend .. hardcore or what!

Last weekend the wind officially died so it's running season again. Time to lace up and head out. See you on the trails!

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