Category Archives: Adventure Running
Heading into the spring of 2021 Scott has again updated their iconic sky running shoe. This time, however, it is just a colour change. As well as the standout Black and Yellow they have added Black and Blue for men and Black and Red for Women.
Review from the 20th of June
Accelerate-Scott Team member Harvey has been lucky enough to get his hands on a pair of the new Scott Supertrac 2’s and over the last month has been putting them through their paces. Keep reading to hear what he has to think about this iconic shoe from Scott.
When I initially heard Scott were updating the Supertrac I was very sceptical as they have easily been my favourite trail and fell shoe for the whole of 2019. Whether it was racing or training, short or long it worked for it all. Thankfully Scott follows along the lines of if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. And wow, I think they nailed it. Everything I loved about the Supertrac 1 has remained with some very subtle tweaks to push it to the next level.
Straight out the box and I knew that they hadn’t changed too much. The main changes are an update to the outsole and a redesigned upper and lacing system.
Redesigned – The Upper
The biggest and most prominent change has to be the update to the upper, it now uses Schoeller’s Coldback fabric for better breathability, heat protection, and increased comfort. Something I found with the Supertrac 1 was that the upper always felt a little tough and restrictive. Now, however, the Schoeller fabric hugs your foot allowing it to move but still maintaining a lockdown feel you can trust. This could also be due to the update on the lacing, with an extra eyelet to help when using a runner’s loop to further lockdown your foot. Perfect for those steep technical descents where you need to be able to trust in your shoes. In terms of longevity with the new material, I have done just over 100 miles in mine and they aren’t showing any signs of wear.
The next change you can see is to the pattern of the outsole. The lugs have been spread out to help reduce the amount of mud that can get stuck in them without losing traction. When you are running this isn’t something you are likely to notice straight away. It certainly doesn’t hold them back. I have taken them on some pretty rough descents and not once did it slip or give me any reason not to trust them completely. Whether it was wet rock, deep mud, or long grass they just didn’t budge. Just what you want from a trail shoe that can easily cope with a little open ground and fell.
The final change they made is to the feel of the midsole, it is, to me, feeling a touch softer than its predecessor. This is due to the grooves which have been added to the midfoot area of the outsole allowing more flexibility throughout the shoe. For me, this is no bad thing and I know of a few people saying the 1 was a little too firm at times. With this slight change, it makes them feel even more lively when you hit a hard-packed trail or road section. They continue to feel responsive, with the advantage of also feeling more nimble through more rugged terrain.
After 100 miles, they are showing hardly any signs of wear, very true to Scott.
This is definitely an upgrade for the Supertrac while keeping most of the features that made them the shoes people love. If you liked the 1 then the upgrade is worth a look or if you are after a new pair of trail or fell shoes then these could be a big contender for you.
Get your pair now, Men’s here >> Ladies here >>
Its that time of year again. The nights drawing in, clocks going back, scrambling around to find the head torch you haven’t used since last winter. Only to find it ran out of battery a long time ago. Maybe its time for a new one? Well with a plethora of different models, designs and styles all boasting different lumens and burn times how do you know which is right for you? We have tried to put together a little guide that will hopefully de-mask the confusion of getting a new head torch.
The first question you need to ask yourself is what am I using it for. This for us breaks down into the two categories, being seen or seeing.
- Road Running
- Non-Technical trails
These types of runs don’t always require a huge amount of light. If you just want to be seen when running on the pavement a hi-vis vest might do just the trick. However, if you are road running on unlit areas where you need a touch more light the Petzl Bindi, really comes into its own. Its lightweight and compact design still packs enough punch to light your way. Weighing only 35g and pushing out 200 lumens. It’s great for sticking in a commuting bag as a just in case or for dark evening runs that’s just pushing it a little too much without one.
- Off-Road, Trail and Fell Running
- Technical Terrain
- Long Night Time Adventures
Heading off-road? well, this is where it gets a little more confusing, so here come a few more questions.
- What sort of terrain are you planning on running on?
- How long are you going to be out for?
Depending on the terrain you are heading for can affect the amount of light you might need. A good guide to follow, the more technical of the terrain the more light you need. This is where Lumens* can be miss leading. As a torch with a white light may seem brighter than that of a yellow-tinted light. However, having a lower lumen count. This is where it can get confusing with different opinions. Personally, I think you can never have too much light. But others are happy with 200-lumen head torches. Here at Accelerate, we have a range from Petzl and Silva that cover a lot of different brightnesses. Starting at the Silva Trail Runner Free H with 400lm but a very white light all the way up to the Petzl Swift RL that has a whopping 900lm, my personal favourite.
If you are never out for more than a few hours the battery life of your touch won’t be too much of a worry. But if you are into longer nighttime adventures that are hour on hour the life of your torch is much more of a concern. No one wants to be stuck on the side of a dark hillside with no lights. The Petzl Nao+ Head Lamp or the Silva Trail Runner Free Ultra are both great examples of torches that can go all through the night and still have power left over in the morning. Their only downside is the battery pack on the back of your head that increases the weight.
Hopefully, we have managed to spread some light on what head torch you need but if you are still unsure as to what you need either give the store and call or pop in and we are more than happy to chat you through what you might need.
To see our full range of head torches follow the like here >>
*Lumens = Light Output. In simple terms, Lumens are a measure of the total amount of visible light (to the human eye) from a light source. The higher the lumen rating the “brighter” the torch will appear.
On July 6th 2020 Accelerate community member Simon headed out what can only be described as a monumental challenge both physically and mentally. Keep reading to hear what crazy feat he attempted.
The alarm goes off and I rush to silence it because I don’t want to wake my wife up: not at this hour. I creep through to the bathroom where I find my running kit piled in the corner ready for me and then I make my way downstairs to grab a quick bite to eat. I unlock the front door and in the porch I pull on my trail shoes and look out at the weather that awaits me. It’s raining, not enough to need wet weather gear on a normal day… but this isn’t a normal day. I put a rain jacket on and dig out a pair of waterproof trousers that I’ve never even considered running in before. They are far too heavy for the job but the clock is ticking and I need to be on my way. Already, momentum is everything. I quickly add a pair of gloves and a fluorescent beanie hat to complete the look and at 04:54 I push the start button on my Polar watch as I head down the road on my way towards the Redmires reservoirs. I look at the sky and am amazed at how light it is already – despite the gloom of the weather – and I hope it is still light when I finish… whenever that may be. As I begin my journey down the lonely street, I have time to think about how I ended up here.
It was probably about a year before that I signed up to do the 2020 Race to the Castle, a 100km event from Kirkharle to Bamburgh Castle. I’d run a couple of marathons previously and managed
to run/walk the Dig Deeper 50km as the sweeper back in September 2019 but this was a chance to go beyond double figures! I convinced myself, as I often do, that it wasn’t as far as it sounded. ‘It’s only a 10km run done ten times, isn’t it?’, I would say to anyone who asked. I began training in earnest under Stu’s eye at the start of 2020 and everything was on course until Coronavirus hit. It was inevitable that an event involving over 1000 participants would be cancelled and so in early April we changed the plan and settled down to a more ‘routine’ form of training.
However, as lockdown continued and I ran my regular route round the reservoirs I kept hearing that voice in my head saying ‘It’s only this 10km run ten times, isn’t it?’ By late June it was no longer a question of IF I was going to try this, it was WHEN… and then Threshold Sports announced their Virtual Race to the Stones. The running stars had aligned and I had to break it to Stu what was going to happen. In fairness he took it well and within the week I was starting my first of what was planned to be ten laps of Redmires.
The first lap was uneventful, other than losing a glove on the way round, but I realised that the mix of a head wind, my height and the wet weather gear was going to be a problem… it was like running with a parachute on. On the second lap I decided a fast walk in to the wind was more efficient and used the wind to help me on the way back… I also found my glove! For each lap from then, it was always a fast walk out and as much running as I could manage on the way back… which was very little after about 60km!
My porch served as basecamp between each lap, with a box of provisions placed there the night before. The routine was to write up my time and distance on a backboard, take a photo to send out on social media, plug my watch and phone in to recharge and then eat and drink what I could. Bananas, apple juice and chocolate featured highly and I aimed to get through all this and back on the road in under 20 minutes, which I usually achieved.
I was out of the waterproof trousers after lap four (a marathon in those!!) and after lap six I had a change of socks, shoes and top. I also switched to my road shoes which were kinder on my tired feet when I hit the tarmac but I felt every stone through their softer sole on the off road sections of the route… ouch!
As time passed, so did the kilometres and before I knew it I was well beyond my previous experience. I felt worst on lap eight but by then I had a few running friends joining to keep me going and for laps nine and ten I had quite the posse along… all socially distanced of course. In the end lap ten didn’t need to be the full 10km, as each previous lap was actually 4-500m longer than planned leaving me only 6km to do, so I never made it round the reservoirs the tenth time.
I passed the 100km mark just before I got home, making it back at just after 21:30, 16 hours and 44 minutes after I started… and it was still light! I had done it.
Running and walking 100km on limited training may not be easy or even sensible but it isn’t impossible. It’s amazing what we can achieve if we put our minds to it… and have friends helping too. Fancy doing 100km? Want my advice? Go for it… it’s only doing a 10km run ten times after all!
Urban or Street Art is appearing in most cities. I’m not just talking graffiti.
In Sheffield we are blessed with the likes of Pete McKee and Phlegm, among others, who have taken the opportunity to redecorate our streets. Love it or hate it, Sheffield is getting a real reputation for the quality of street art and in around the City; there is plenty to be found.
During Lock-down what better time than now to go discover the street art that the City has to offer.
The process is fairly straightforward and it all starts with finding out where to look and then to plot a route. There’s plenty of art to be found on the canal, just down from Victoria Quays, Kelham Island and then the City itself along main pedestrian areas to the back streets. It just needs hunting out.
Running, following our predetermined route-map was good fun. Navigation on the hoof is always enjoyable and then stopping at each arty check point for a picture makes for a different and refreshing run. Pace is your own, taking time to admire (or otherwise) the art work you find an inspiration to find the next. Some are fun, others more surreal and there are those referencing distant planets and lifeforms.
Inspired by the most recent #RunSolo Photo Competition this idea was born. So we have teamed up with Saucony for the next lock down photo competition. We think it’s a good idea and fun way to explore, not just Sheffield, any City. So why not give it a go and see what you can discover.
It can be graffiti, a Rainbow, chalk art, a carving, a sculpture or as we saw last year stone towers in the River Don – imagination can be a key representative of what we call art, so anything goes. Well mostly!
Swipe to the bottom of this Blog for a few useful links.
Details of the Accelerate and Saucony #UrbanArt #RunSolo Competition Here >>
Visit Sheffield: Street Art and a list of artists to discover Here >>
The official Street Art Sheffield website Here >>