As we are getting to the end of 2012, I thought now was a good time to dish out the Gloucester Sports awards to the brands who have done well (or haven't!) this year.
Footwear Brand of the Year: ADIDAS - A great year for Adi, who have the complete range of shoes. Their Supernova and Response range of shoes are great workhorse shoes for banging out the miles. The Adizero range of lightweight and racing shoes are far ahead of any other brand for performance, price and fit. Their off-road shoes also come up well (if slightly iffy on sizing), great grip and cushioning without charging the earth!
Most Improved Footwear Brand: BROOKS - It's no longer just about the Adrenaline! Brooks now have a great range of shoes and we have done very well with the Vapors, Summons, Luanch, T7 Racers as well as our best-selling shoe in-store this year, the Adrenaline GTS.
Must Do Better Award: ASICS - Hugely disappointed with Asics this year, prices have shot up with no improvement in the shoes. They have badly let down the independent running stores (on whom they built their reputation) and sold their soul (sole?) to Sports Direct. They have now pulled out of SD but have decided to open their own outlets.
Brand To Look for in 2013: NEW BALANCE - We have already seen the range for Spring/Summer 2013 and the apparel for Autumn/Winter and it looks absolutely fantastic. Good functional shoes and some very competitive prices on the clothing.
Apologies for not blogging for a while, I've been busy working hard in the shop and getting married! The running is going reasonably well, I'm managing to get out 3 to 4 times per week but most of that is at 7am so I'm not sure how productive it is! My pair of trusty Nike Zoom Elite 5's have finally given up the ghost and been retired down to gardening duty! So I'm now onto a pair of Adidas Supernova Sequence 5's for my general training, so far so good. I've had a couple of pairs of the previous version and loved them, so fingers crossed.
Cross-country season is coming up so I'm getting a few muddy runs in on the local hill to prepare, always great fun splashing through the puddles and trying to stay upright. My shoe of choice for this season is the Adidas XCS 2 although sadly they don't look quite as clean as the picture as I've worn them a few times already! Will write again soon, happy running...
Rob (the 3rd business owner) has been lucky enough to work at the Olympics this year - here is a little report on what he has been doing!
Day 3 [am shift] First athlete, male marathon runner from Mongolia, his session was a continuous run for 80-90 minutes of 1K fast (3mins ish) and 1K recovery (5mins ish). The boss (Seb Coe) dropped in just at the end of the shift to check out the facilities, he came round to all of us to shake hands and say hello.
This is not how athletic tracks should look!
Summer is here... I just cant seem to find it! As I write this staring out of the window at the river running down the pavement outside the shop, wiping the remnants of the man flu i've been enduring for the last 2 weeks from my nose, its difficult to get motivated for tonights session. I haven't helped myself with clothing either, as because its "summer" all i've got is my trusty vest (every runner has at least 1 Nike Miler vest somewhere!) and split shorts... Good.
Apart from the weather the running seems to be going well. I decided to have 3 weeks away from racing so I could concentrate on some good training, but I'm planning to make an appearance at the first cheltenham open on wednesday to get back into it, and I'm considering entering one or two 10ks, pretty sure I'll regret that one three miles in...
I'm also going to enter a new multi terrain race called the cranham beast ( http://iamoutdoors.co.uk/events/cranhambeast/ ), with a 5 miler on the Saturday and a 14 miler on the Sunday it looks to be a great event, and I cant wait to find out what the "hidden surprises" are. Time to get my Saucony Peregrine off roaders out of hibernation I think!
See you all soon.
I was lucky enough to be invited (as a last-minute replacement) to run for the Midlands in the Great Manchester 10km yesterday, so thought I would let you know how I got on! A fantastic experience, being in the elite section alongside the likes of Haile Gebreselassie!
As we were waiting for our race, we were in a fenced-off area which had dozens of people peering in to see if we were anyone famous, now I know how it feels to be in a zoo! As we got closer to the start time, our bags were taken on the transport truck to the hotel and we were allowed to run up and down the start section. Gave a nod and a smile to Haile who returned in like, felt very pleased with myself but quite aware that I was so very lucky to be in that kind of company.
The 5 top Kenyan and Ethiopean athletes were introduced to the crowd and we lined up directly behind them. The gun went and they took off! It was a slightly downhill start but the leaders went through 1km in about 2.40! I tried to go off conservatively but still went too quick in 3.05. Wearing my Brooks Green Silence I went through halfway in about 16 minutes, spot on for what I thought I was capable of. Sadly, no-one told me how many inclines were in the second half, not hills but enough to sap your legs.
I struggled between 6 and 8.5km, then managed to pick up a little as the crowds got bigger and I got closer to the finish. The noise was great, just a shame that I slowed over the second half and finished in 51st (out of approx 25000) in 32.46. Great event to do and incredible to be allowed so close to some of the greatest runners in the world. Happy running