Skip Navigation

Category Archives: Buzz

Tried, Tested & Abused – Altra Timp 5

The new Altra Timp 5 boasts maximum comfort for spending all day out on the trails. Accelerate Community Run Leader Carlton has been putting them to the test in Peak District. Continue reading to find out his thoughts on Altra’s new cushioned trail shoe

Straight out of the Box

Taking these shoes out of the box, I was immediately struck by the bright colours: these luminous yellow ones are not for those wanting to blend in (other colours are available).The shoes look big both in terms of the wide toe box and ample midsole cushioning but I found them surprisingly light: my size 8s were just 277g on the scales. They are well designed for trail running with a reassuring toe guard, a flexible lacing system and a gusseted tongue to stop debris getting inside.

I was initially perplexed by the loop at the front of the laces and the Velcro tab on the heel but apparently these accommodate gaiters. I’m sure this might be a useful feature for some, but I have never heard of anyone running in gaiters so it did seem a bit unnecessary.

The Vibram sole is as colourful as the upper. The 4mm lugs are well spaced and I was interested to see how they would cope with really muddy paths.

First Run


Feeling slight conspicuous in my new fluorescent shoes among the grizzled runners of the Peak District, I went out for a 10km trot around Stanage Edge over a variety of paths and terrains. The shoes were a perfect fit for my shoe size and the spacious toe box let my feet spread and breathe while the combination of laces and fitted heel held me snug and secure throughout the run. I was initially concerned that the side of the shoe came up quite high and would rub my ankle but this didn’t happen as I scampered around.

These are zero drop shoes and the lack of elevation at the heel is not something I am used to. I noticed the difference it made to my running form as I found myself less likely to heel-strike and this improved my steadiness particularly when the ground was unpredictable.

The thick midsole proved extremely comfortable, offering lots of bounce and a surprising amount of stability which helped me feel more confident running on the uneven terrain. The outsole really held onto the gravel paths and forest trails. Despite all the cushioning, I found the shoes quite responsive and nimble over roots and more technical rocky sections. I was surprised at how grippy they proved to be on the particularly muddy parts of the run and having been submerged numerous times, how quickly the water inside displaced.

 Conclusion

These shoes are very comfortable and soak up bumps on the trail while remaining pleasantly responsive. Combined with the roomy toe box, the shoe is really well suited for long runs. Although, I’m not sure what they would be like if I was wearing gaiters at the same time!

How do they sound?

The men’s can be found here >> and the women’s can be found here >>. Or if you are not quite convinced, pop down to the Accelerate Running Store and try a pair out for yourself!!

Altra Escalante 3 – Tried, Teasted & Abused

A classic in the Altra line up but with some tweaks to pull it in a sleek and speedy shoe.  With a new knit upper and an updated midsole its Altra’s answer to a more traditional racer/trainer. Team Accelerate Athlete Will Burton is a big fan of Altra, he’s been putting the new Altra Escalante 3 through it’s paces. Continue reading to find out his thoughts.

The Altra Escalante 3 is a minimal and lightweight shoe, perfect for running workouts and road races. I have been fortunate enough to test them over the last few weeks and have found them a great addition to my line up of running shoes. I have been a fan of Altra shoes for a while now, favouring the Altra Via Olympus for my recovery runs and Sunday long runs. I also like the Torin’s and have used them for steady runs, workouts and races. But as versatile as these shoes are, I prefer something more minimal for my sessions and race days. The Escalante 3 fits the bill.

STRAIGHT OUT THE BOX

Straight out the box the shoes felt great. The flat laces combined with a soft tongue and snug heel made the shoe feel comfortable and like an extension of my foot as soon as I put them on. The slim stack height of the shoe and trademark Altra zero drop from heel to toe also helps the shoe feel neutral. The vivid red mesh of the shoe and rich red laces look great, and we all know that good looking running shoes make you go faster! The shoes come in lots of other colour ways if this isn’t to your taste.

FIRST RUN THOUGHTS

The shoe felt very responsive and close to the ground from the first run. I felt agile and able to accelerate quickly and didn’t feel like the shoes would take long to ‘break in’. However, similarly to when I tested out the Altra Olympus, I felt it necessary to put a lace lock in the top of the shoe to keep my foot firmly in place when on the move (have a look at this video if you have not done this before). This is a matter of preference but it worth trying out to see how it feels. I do this with most of my shoes.

I haven’t worn a shoe this minimal for quite a while but was really impressed with how it has felt in my recent training. I think the shoe is great for track and road sessions where you want to run fast with a quick cadence. So far, I have used them for a 12 x 300m session and fast fartlek session, feeling able to kick hard from the first rep. They feel especially good after warming up in a slightly heavier and softer shoe. I think it’s always good to warm up in a heavier shoe as it helps you feel light and nimble when you start moving at speed. The shoe also felt great when doing drills before running sessions. Their minimal profile gives you a responsive feel underfoot and allows you to dial in the technique of your drills, improving your running form overall. In terms of racing, this shoe would be great over the 5k and 10k distance.

CONCLUSION

This shoe might take a few runs to get used to if you are used to more cushioned, high stack shoes. But it is an excellent option for runners wanting to take their training and racing more seriously, shaving seconds off their 5k and 10k personal bests. For longer races I’d favour something a little more cushioned but for road races of this distance it would be perfect. I plan to continue using this shoe for track sessions, tempo runs and road races as we come into the spring and summer season. Combined with something more cushioned like the Altra Olympus this shoe is a great, lightweight addition to your running shoe rotation.

The men’s can be found here and the women’s can be found here. Or if you are not quite convinced, pop down to the Accelerate Running Store and try a pair out now.

Team Accelerate Athlete Harvey put the Scott Supertrac Speed RC to the test!!!

Team Athlete and shoe Nerd Harvey takes you through his thoughts on the All new Scott Supertrac Speed RC.

Initial impressions

Opening a box of shoes for the first time is exciting for me. Even if you know what they will look like. The new Scott fell shoe is no different. They are topped with a super light Rip Stop Cordura upper, sandwiched in is a thin layer of cushioning and finished with a new aggressive looking outsole.

Slipping them on its pretty clear they are made for speed. You can barley tell they are even on your feet. In the first few protos this resulted in a drop in durability, however, in the production models they look to have got it nailed, and kept it stripped back. The cushioning is minimal, this has the upside of offering great ground feel, the downside, if you happen across harder packed trails you start to know about it. Now the outsole, using a new pattern designed for better traction in soft ground. At first look they appear to be on the small side but once you get running in them this is not the case.

In the first few runs I was blown away by just how well they gripped. In the ice, mud and even on rock I seemed to be able to put my foot down and it not shift.

On top of the grip of the shoe the biggest thing you notice is just the lack of weight, from pushing on an uphill it feels as though nothing is there hindering you and, on the flats, and down you feel practically weightless in them.

Conclusion

Pro’s

  1. Its super lightweight and feels like you have nothing on.
  2. You can be confident to hit pretty much anything and you won’t slip.
  3. They are bright yellow, enough said.

Con’s

  1. The minimal amount of cushioning might be a shock for some.

So, if you are looking for your next fell running and racing shoe that’s a bit different from the norm this are certainly worth giving a go. You can find Men’s Here and Women’s Here

Scott Supertrac Speed RC Review By Athlete Jonah Cooper

As a keen trail and fell runner, it is important that I have a shoe that I can trust when running on technical terrains. Having had some fell running shoes that I haven’t liked so much before, I had high expectations when I was given a pair of the new Scott Supertrac Speed RC to test out, a shoe specifically designed for the quintessentially British “Fell run”. This isn’t to say I wasn’t excited, however, because straight out of the box I knew that they would certainly live up to their name- “Speed”. Immediately, the weight of the shoe, or should I say, “non- weight”, was noticeable, with them weighing in at only 215. On first looks, the lightweight upper and 7mm lugs added to the great aesthetic of the shoe.

Initial thoughts.

After displaying them on my bedroom floor for a couple of days, it was finally time to put them to the test. Straight away, I noticed the lightness of the shoe. The lightweight upper allowed for less weight in the shoe, while still providing a tough and durable barrier for my foot. The perfect combination of the lower stack height and harder yet responsive midsole underneath allowed me to have enough ground feel to stay stable on the technical terrain of Loxley Common, but also a good amount of push back from the floor, allowing me to pick up the pace on less technical areas. This overall created a smooth ride, whilst having the luxury of being able to feel the ground beneath me. I also noticed that the gusseted tongue kept my foot secure in the shoe, whilst adding some extra comfort round the middle of my foot. This combined with a bit of a wider toe box at the front of the shoe made for a comfortable and breathable shoe.

 

Race Testing.

I then wore the Supertrac Speed RCs for a 5k fell race in the Peak District, to test how fast they really would be, in conditions that were wet, muddy and slippery, where I quickly found out that wet limestone is rather slippery, but then again, nothing grips on wet limestone. It’s safe to say that they certainly lived up to their name, and I didn’t need to worry about falling or slipping, as the shoe perfectly balanced being able to grip on grass, tree roots, mud, grit, gravel and boggy terrain, whilst being comfortable and securely locked in. Furthermore, the shoe has enough grip to be secure and fast and the way up and down, but the lugs are far enough apart that no mud or grass gets stuck in between them, meaning the shoes don’t get clogged up. This may seem like an over-the-top point, but would you want to be running down a 40% slope with minimal grip because of clogged up shoes? This, in my opinion, is one of the features that sets this shoe apart from its competitors. Another final thing to mention is that this shoe can cope with all the distances. I wore this shoe for a trail half marathon in the Cheviots, where they felt just as good for this distance as they did for a 5k fell race.

 

Conclusion.

Overall, the Scott Supertrac Speed RC certainly lives up to its name. Lightweight, grippy, and most of all speedy, this is my favourite fell running shoe I have ever worn, a bold claim given the array of shoes I have tried before. You should certainly consider the Scott Supertrac Speed RC for your next fell running shoe.

Like the sound of these beauties? Come and give them a try in-store or order a pair online. You can find Men’s Here and Women’s Here

 

Dot Kesterton 2023: Yearly Round-Up

Wow… What a amazing 2023 Team Accelerate Athlete Dot Kesterton has had. From recovering from a injury in 2022, she can back stronger, set new targets and absolutely smashed them out of the park!!! Keep reading to find out how she has done.

At first sight this is a very satisfying set of results for 2023 and one I’m immensely proud of. As the year comes to a close I can record a WV70 World Rankings lead in 3000m on the track in 13:22.64; a WV70 UK rankings lead in 1 mile in 6:47 at Edinburgh and WV70 UK rankings lead in in 10k in 45:26 at Dewsbury. Yet my second year as a WV70 athlete was more notable by what I was unable to achieve.

At the top of my set of goals was to compete in the European Masters Track and Field Championships in Pescara, Italy in September. It was soon evident that because of a medial meniscus tear a year earlier my dream of competing in Italy soon evaporated. I travelled to Italy as planned in September following minor surgery by the incomparable Mr Jez Brown and spent my time not only watching and supporting fellow athletes but also doing homework on what I will need to aspire to in 2024 as we head toward the World Masters Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden, next August. I will no doubt have my work cut out for me over the coming months as I prepare.

A second goal for the year was to win the Percy Pud age group title, scuppered by stormy conditions and event cancellation. I first won WV55 Percy Pud in 2011 at 59, a huge surprise to me since I was relatively new to running and had few aspirations as a competitor. With wins in each of the five year age group categories since I would have been aiming for a tenth title. Interestingly my fastest Percy Pud time is 44:04 in 2013, a difference of around 2.5 minutes over ten years. I’ll count that as a win and look forward to Percy Pud 2024. Getting my pudding and hat was a bonus for which I add my thanks and condolences to the organising team.

Despite my knee injury I was able to qualify and compete for England in 10k road race in Chester coming first in 48:03 and in the British and Irish Masters Cross Country Championships in Glasgow, coming 4th WV70 and 3rd WV70 team.

For my birthday in early April I treated myself to an increasingly rare Parkrun at Hillsborough Park. Sub 23 minutes would get me pretty high on the national rankings so I was delighted with 22:49 and my highest 2023 AG% score of 99.2%.


Parkrun 2023

Date Name Time Position Comments
01/04/23 Hillsborough 22:49 1st WV70 99.2%AG Top AG.
13/05/23 Hillsborough 22:57 1st WV70 98.69%AG
27/05/23 Endcliffe 24:05 1st WV70 93.98%AG
19/08/23 Millhouses 24:33 1st WV70 92.19%AG
26/08/23 Graves 25:31 1st WV70 88.82%AG
02/09/23 Cinder Track, Whitby 23:42 1st WV70 95.63%AG
28/10/23 Hillsborough 23:15 1st WV70 97.36%AG
25/11/23 Rushmere, Beds. 24:15 1st WV70 93.33%AG
16/12/23 Millhouses 22.57 1st WV70 98.62%AG
25/12/23 Sheffield Castle 23:24 1st WV70 96.72%AG

 

Acknowledgements:

Without the support of a small and very important group of people I would not have achieved the results I was aiming for. My thanks and appreciation go to:

Accelerate/Scott for Strength and Conditioning support and kit.

Joel Kesterton, Running buddy.

Steel City Striders, Virtual Harriers and Smiley Paces for providing endless hours of challenges, company and fun.

Mr Jez Brown for twice getting me back on my feet after knee surgery.

Dot’s Strava Stats for 2023:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team A Wooler Review – Continued

After a wicked weekend in Wooler, the team have rested, recovered and put together their own experience on paper after such a successful weekend!!

Harvey

The trail outlaws Wooler half has become a bit of an annual event for me over the last few years. It’s a great event, in a stunning place with some lovely people who run it. Well, this year I fancied something a bit different and opted for the marathon. This is significantly longer than I have ever raced before, bar once but I do well to block out that memory…

Like any trail race it started with a very unassuming feel but with a nervous excitement and energy of what’s to come.

10k in and everything was going very smoothly, over the cheviot and all still going well. This is where the first hints of danger came, only halfway in and a twinge of cramp. Part of me saying stay calm it’s okay, the other half s******g myself I wouldn’t make it round.

Fast forward another 20k that past in a blur of too many gels, some stunning views, knee deeps bogs and the odd cramp and I’m done.

A week on and I have already blocked out the mud, sore legs and walking down the stairs backwards and only remember the views, great memories and cheering the rest of the team around on Sunday. Did I have fun, definitely, will I go back, probably.

Eddie

The Wooler Trail Half Marathon is a 14 mile trail run through the heart of the Northumberland National Park, starting and finishing in Wooler, with 741 metres of climbing! The race is organised by Trail Outlaws who put on various trail events in the North of England and Southern Scotland and was sponsored by Scott Sports UK.

6 Members of Team A- the performance running group overseen and personally coached by Head Coach Stuart Hale of Accelerate entered into the race with 5 of us doing the half and the other doing the marathon

As someone who much prefers to stick to good old reliable road running (and preferably flat) this was certainly out of my usual comfort zone and a bit of shock to the system; the route covered features a mix of undulating terrain through forests, fields with livestock, streams, through/over several gates and stiles and across heathered moorland with a single checkpoint and water station at the halfway mark. Weather permitting the route offers splendid and often breath taking and uninterrupted views of the horizon. Thankfully apart from some rain in the hour leading up the start, it remained dry with good visibility allowing the views to be taken in, although this was often when struggling up the inclines or looking ahead to see how bad the next climb looked!  Some of the climbs were pretty brutal- none more so than having to reascend the at times very steep mile incline you have just descended to get to the checkpoint. The majority of the inclines are tackled within the first 14KM but there is still some undulation to be tackled before you get to the finish line however overall the inclines and declines themselves aren’t very technical and would be considered reasonably beginner friendly, a group I would certainly put myself in for this type of terrain. With a great pair of trail shoes (Scott Supertrac RC 2) I found grip to be in abundance and would often find myself overtaking people on the descents, I really did feel confident with my footing that I wasn’t suddenly going to slip or end up with a nasty injury and when I was able to turn up the pace the shoes felt lightweight and responsive.

Overall it was an extremely well organised event, with facilities to leave bags at the start/ finish area, the entire route was obviously marked throughout (and dare I say even I would have struggled to have gotten lost) and  plenty of supportive marshals along the way with  finishers awarded a medal and a quality t-shirt at the end.

Whilst im still not a fully fledged convert to trails I do look forward to hopefully doing it again next year with the team and looking to improve on my time. I can certainly see how doing more trails and off road running can benefit a self confessed “road runner specialist” and will try to incorporate this a bit more into my training. For anyone looking to get into this themselves Accelerate offer ATR groups (Accelerate trail run), a twice weekly friendly and sociable off road run at a steady  sustained pace with plenty of stops and regrouping, more information can be found instore if interested.

Will

The Wooler trail half marathon was my first time racing this distance and my first trail race in over two years. I had no idea what to expect from the race but was excited to put on my trail shoes and head up north with the team. The sky was grey as we arrived in race HQ but started to clear as we toed the line with everyone excited to set off. I felt strong as the race began, conserving my energy but taking the race out at a strong pace with Jonah beside me. I pushed on solo as we got into the hills and the mud, aiming to keep Chris in sight as we raced further away from civilisation.

The long climb at the turning point halfway round the course was the hardest part of the race for me. My legs started to tire as did my morale, but a strawberry yoghurt gel (much nicer than it sounds!) and a few sips of water perked me up as I reached the top of the climb. I was able to pick up the pace as I descended back into Wooler and hold onto second place. Overall, I was very pleased with how the race went. I felt strong over the half marathon distance and feel like the longer efforts in training, and strength and conditioning work in recent months, has made me able to compete over longer distance events. I’m looking forward to the Percy Pud 10K in December and potentially some cross country races in the new year.

Jonah

After a long training block and a tiresome first few weeks of sixth form, I felt happy in the knowledge that I would be back racing at the weekend of the Wooler Trail Half Marathon. So on Friday, two days before the race, Chris, Harvey and I embarked on the long drive up to Northumberland, a pleasant journey where we talked about race plans and Harvey’s preparation for the marathon, which was on Saturday.
When we arrived, Harvey knocked up a delicious mushroom dahl, which must’ve been good seeing as I don’t normally like mushrooms. It was then time to relax, settling down for the evening to watch a film, after discovering the local Co-op.
On Saturday, after Harvey had set off on his marathon, Chris, Michelle and I – one of the Scott reps- went to support Harvey at the first checkpoint in the marathon at 10k, where he came through in a brilliant 2nd. After this, we drove back to the finish to see Harvey come in, taking the win and smashing the course record by over ten minutes! Well done to Harvey!
Back at the house, with Harvey sprawled on the sofa, the rest of the team arrived, with Eddie, Hugh and Will completing the group. It was now time to get down to business and talk team tactics and start to gather our kit ready for the race the next day. While Eddie, Hugh and Will went for a shakeout run (me and Chris had already been earlier), I helped Chris make lasagne for tea ready for when the others got back.
After eating the delicious lasagne while watching a film about the spine race, it was time to kip down for the night, to get some well needed rest, ready for the day ahead.

It was race day- I woke up around 6:30 in the morning and made porridge for the team, then it was time to pack our gear, and off we went to the start.
After collecting numbers, it was time for a short warm up to get the legs going and to mobilise. As a new member to the team, mobilisation was a newer thing to me, but it really does make a world of difference.

By now, it was absolutely tipping it down, and on the start line, I went over the race plan that I’d made with coach Stuart to go fairly easy, wind up the pace in the second half, and most of all, enjoy the experience.
It’s safe to say that after one kilometre of running, that plan was positively out of the window; I’d set off at a relatively conservative pace and just thought, “this is boring, let’s go faster.”
Throughout the race, I constantly enjoyed the magnificent scenery of the Cheviots, an area I was not previously familiar with. I had settled into a good rhythm and was holding third place, with Chris in first, and Will a couple of hundred metres ahead in second.
A sense of pride filled me as I rounded the top of the last major hill at 12k, and my inner 10k runner was unleashed for the final part of the race. For in my opinion the most enjoyable part of the race, I cruised along the last few kilometres, back down towards Wooler, and back down to the road. I rounded the corner to the sight of Chris and Michelle cheering me on with a little less than one kilometre to go.
As I crossed the line in 3rd place, I was greeted by Chris, Will and Harvey and the Team Accelerate podium clean sweep was complete.

A huge thank you to Chris and Michelle from Scott, and Scott for supporting the team and making the whole experience possible by gaining me special permission to enter.

What an experience overall, I definitely will be coming back and would certainly recommend this to anyone who is considering a longer trail race!

A Weekend in Wooler

The start of November means one thing for Team Accelerate, what’s become an annual team trip to a small race in the heart of the Northumberland National Park. Team Accelerate Scott runner Hugh Mackie summarises the trip below.

Following the success and enjoyment of last year’s trip to Wooler, I had been looking forward to this weekend for a while. This time the team consisted of the three newbies Eddie, Will and Jonah, Chef Chris, myself and of course, the self-proclaimed ‘King of Wooler’; Harvey ‘Prema donna’ Martin.

As if I didn’t need any more incentive and excitement, I arrived at work to find the holy grail of parcels; consisting of a new podium jacket, technical fleece and a pair of shiny new Scott Supertrac RC 2 (massive thanks to Scott UK and Accelerate Running Store). With my shiny new goods packed, I was picked up by my Chauffer for the weekend (Eddie), and the weekend began…

Eddie, Will and I all travelled up on Saturday morning and arrived to find Harvey waddling around the house like a toddler with a full nappy. Turns out the madman had decided to upgrade from the half to the full marathon, my personal idea of hell, so he’d already completed his race the day before. Chapeau Harvey and congrats on retaining your Wooler crown. The Saturday arrivals promptly went for a shakeout, following a long drive, and proceeded to try out our bright new shoes. Following an altercation with a postman and a puddle our bright new shoes and clothes were not so dry or clean anymore. A few choice words were uttered and we carried on our recce of the start of the course. Arriving at the final descent, a debate began; to jump the fence or not to jump the fence? A question which can only be answered on race day…

After the route check was complete the boys and I settled down with the fire on, watching football focus; a perfect pre-race afternoon. With Harvey wallowing on the sofa following his jog earlier in the day, it was down to chef Chris to cook up the evening meal; which consisted of Lasagne and some homemade bread. Stomachs full, an early night was in order to prepare for the big race.

Race day!

A nice early arrival gave us plenty of time to collect numbers, kit check and warm up. Looking up to the cloud filled sky we completed a quick prayer to the rain gods, which came to no avail. The team came back from their warmup looking like drowned rats, but the spirits were still high. Last preparations in place, a final team talk about tactics and soon we were off.

Straight from the gun, it was black and yellow at the front; with Chris leading the way and Jonah and Will following closely at his heels. Just in front of me I could see the familiar heels of Eddie, settling in nicely. With coach Stuart’s words circling round in my head, I stayed sensible and kept in zone 2- using this as a training run rather than a race. As we approached the first section of mud, I could see the 3 Team A runners leading the way out in the distance, with myself and Eddie sticking to our respective game plans. By the time I got to the midway turnaround point, Chris had opened up a sizeable gap, we gave each other some words of encouragement and carried on our own races. Next up the hill came Will, looking really strong, closely followed by young prodigy Jonah- who had to get special permission to be allowed to race due to his young age. At the aid station I grabbed a handful of sweets and got on my way, overtaking a couple of competitors in the process. Next up came the big climb, where I saw Eddie flying down the hill, fuelled by a sugar rush of sweets the hill passed by relatively easy; not as bad as I’d remembered! Once at the top of the climb I came into my own, with the flat speed coming into play. I passed one runner, then another, and could see another two way off in the distance. I thought to myself, “I can’t catch them. Or can I”… Before I knew it, I was at the top of the final descent, with the gap between me and the two in front cut down to only 30 seconds. Upon reaching the road, I knew that they were within my grasp. As soon as I got onto the road, I could hear the voices of Michelle and Chris cheering encouragement, and I knew that the people in front were catchable. I quickly caught up with the first person, but his friend proved more difficult. This is when I knew my track training would come into its own, and I flew down the last KM in just under 3 minutes; putting around 30 seconds into the two guys behind me. Not too shabby eh? By the time I reached the finish, Harvey, Chris, Jonah and Will were already changed and describing their own races. I soon learned that the podium was a Team A clean Sweep, with 4 runners in the top 6. Eddie was next across the line with a huge smile across his face (or grimace, I couldn’t tell!); top running from the self-confessed “lover of road running”.

Wow, can I just say, our team is absolutely amazing, and there’s so much potential ahead of us to achieve together!

Now, let’s talk about The Wooler Trail Half Marathon – Trail Outlaws seriously nailed it with this race. The course is a bit of a challenge, but totally doable for runners of all levels. Plus, there are some seriously fast sections to mix it up.

Big shoutout to Scott Sports for being our awesome sponsors at Team Accelerate. I mean, I can’t help but feel super proud, and lucky to be rocking their gear during the race.  And of course, massive thanks to Stu and Debs for being our rock-solid support on and off the course.  And let’s not forget all the wonderful folks at the APC who helped us deal with those pesky little aches and pains, both in our bodies and our minds.

All in all, what an incredible experience, and here’s to many more awesome races and achievements together!

Saucony Triumph RFG, Tried Tested Reviewed

Team Accelerate Athlete Andy Shelton is back again with another review!! This time Andy is out on the roads testing out Saucony’s first every recycled shoe, the Saucony Triumph RFG (Run For Good). They are available Instore and Online now, you can find the Men’s Here>> and the Women’s Here>>

High Renewable content, more sustainable, no performance compromises…so what have we got then.

Corn and lots of it!!!

Here we have the Triumph RFG (Run For Good) it has a bio based midsole foam, and an outsole made from 80% natural rubber.

As we all hear more and more from the press and other outside agencies, the need to be more conscious about saving the planet, cutting down our single use plastics, and not creating to much consumer waste. We all try to our bit, but running companies have been a little bit behind its outdoor based equipment companies in terms of producing more environmentally friendly products. So the global running company Saucony took a huge step with the launch of the triumph RFG, and announcing the green goals for the next decade, that 100 % of a shoe that will contain organic, recycled or renewable materials by 2030 (7 years away)

So Saucony have brought us this little gem of a shoe to the market the Triumph RFG, what did I think?

First of all, lets look at the vitals of the shoe:

  • Weight 279g
  • Drop 10mm.
  • Neutral shoe
  • Upper is 78% cotton/22 %hot melt yarn with plant based dyes
  • PWRRUN+ foam 55% corn based
  • Outsole 80% natural rubber
  • Roads and light trails
  • Training

From the start, you are given with a very nice box, and when you have opened it all up your are presented with a very tasteful looking shoe, not bright and flashy, just nice and simple, for some, that will not cut it as they want colour everywhere, but for people that use the running shoes for the purpose they are designed for these are very subtle and very very nice…and it has more surprises than you think, so never judge it by its looks!

This model is a nice evolution from the last shoe as they have included PWRRUN+ tech for superior cushioning it is a touch firmer but you hardly notice, the upper is like a sock, very breathable and very malleable, great heel design giving you a great locked in feeling, and a nice wide toe box, this a neutral shoe with a slightly higher stack than normal daily runners which can make it slightly unstable, but on this occasion it has no detrimental effects so stability is very good, for me it’s one of the most versatile shoes on the market.

I have taken the shoes out on a variety of runs and even a walk or two and found them to be very competent on all occasions.

On my recovery runs which are nice and easy, the shoes are super lush, the soles cushioning is wonderful it absorbs the joyous and unsmooth tarmac of Britain’s wonderfully maintained roads, the shoes are not averse to going off road, and are not to shabby at all, put them through a faster session and I was extremely surprised (because they aren’t one of the lightest shoes) as they were responsive and snappy like a good top end racing shoe, and finally a long run 14miles which were lovely to run in and my legs didn’t suffer. The Triumph is most definitely a daily mile running shoe and pairs nicely with Saucony’s Endorphin collection.

I have been lucky enough to able to run in different brands ECO shoes but this by far has been the most comfortable to run in, a few other brands ECO friendly shoes are a bit more advanced in there promise of keeping things sustainable, but Saucony will have lots of runners backing this shoe in the long run.

So my overall opinion is that Saucony have made a great start with the RFG Eco shoe (shows what can be done and not having to pay a subscription like other manufacturers for the privilege of wearing something sustainable) for me a absolute no brainer to add this to your shoe rotation.

The shoe has a well cushioned ride, with plenty of responsiveness, ideally suited for long miles, easy runs not your tempo runs though. An attractive shoe with a great future, well done Saucony made a sustainable shoe without compromising performance.

If the Saucony Triumph RFG is a shoe you fancy adding into your shoe rotation, you can find the Men’s Here>> and the Women’s Here>>

Ten10Ten – Race Report by Dot Kesterton

The 13th Sheffield TEN10TEN Race

This is a tricky one to plan for because it has such wide surface variations underfoot from easy, broad road sections to grassy rises and from spongy field to ankle breaking tree roots. Son Joel and I walked the more difficult parts and discussed the merits of road v trail shoes, finally opting to play safe with a more grippy sole.

The annual Ten10Ten race was a delight. Unseasonably mild, even warm with lots of fellow Striders, Smileys and assorted runners, young and old descending on Endcliffe Park for the early autumn jamboree. Music blared, children leapt into action and officials strutted their stuff and got us all into our various pens ready for the off.

Just coming back to form after minor knee surgery I had no idea how today’s race would pan out. I’d had the pleasure of spectating for 10 days at the European Masters Athletics Championships in Italy last week watching records tumble and seeing extraordinary athleticism including from Sheffield’s Jed Turner and World M70 100m Champion Steve Peters so I was motivated to give this one my best shot.

It’s a two lap course from Endcliffe Park through Bingham Park, rising on slippery grass and mud to an uneven trail through the Porter Valley before a steady descent along the river and back to Endcliffe. That means you should be able to work out your negative split in advance by taking a measured approach for 5k before blasting lungs and every muscle on the second leg to come in triumphant. That’s the theory anyway. In the event most of us in our enthusiasm go off too fast, slog the first hill, stagger round Bingham and die somewhere around Queen Victoria cursing the fact we’ve now got to do it all again half dead. The heavy rasps of snatched breathing and visible slowing suggested others were going through exactly the same experience. Huge support from marshals, spectators and well wishers meant we were able to forget the pain momentarily until we could limp through the quieter parts of the course furthest away from the park.

My dodgy knee held up and I managed to complete the race in 52:27, only a couple of minutes slower than my last Ten10Ten race in 2021. That gave me first of thirteen V70+. How brilliant that thirteen V70+ were out on the course. Perhaps we scooped up a few pensioners out for a quiet amble before lunch.

My thanks to Doug Banks, Andy Green, Matt Rimmer and the whole army of volunteers who gave us the best morning out since the Sheffield Way relay a few weeks ago.

The race was won by Lewis Roberts, Worcester Athletics Club in 36:15mins.
First woman was Sarah-Jane Bamford W40 in 44:20mins.
Sarah-Jane had a baby earlier this year and is only recently back to running again. What a great result by Sarah-Jane.

Dot Kesterton
08th October 2023.

The Saucony Xodus Ultra 2

Accelerate Community member and Accelerate Trail Runners Run Leader Graeme is back again and has been lucky enough to get his hands on another pair of the Saucony Xodus Ultra’s, but this time it’s version 2. Now available from the Accelerate store, to find the specs of the shoe Click Here >>. Keep reading to hear how he got on!

I reviewed the Saucony Xodus version 1 back in May 2022 and have now done over a 1000k on them – The review on the version one can be found Here>>; this review is a comparison of that version so I’ll focus on the differences I’ve noticed after ~50k with runs on mixed terrain (tarmac to fell) ranging from 7k to 26k.  I’m being a bit picky.

Straight out of the box

The upper is stiffer, less stretchy — more protective I suppose — so I was unable to tighten it up in the same way over my lumpy feet.  That said, I did this last time as I thought they were slightly too big – same size this time and they didn’t feel too big – certainly for longer runs where feet need to expand.  The forefoot is spacious as before.  The laces have changed too – round and quite chunky,  not the original stretchy, flat ones.

The ride feels firmer than before – but the sole has not changed!  So it must be me: too used to my now slipper-like v1s – after 20-30k they feel as before, so it was me.  Very comfortable in both heel and forefoot.

That upper…

What I’ve noticed is that there seem to be two versions of the upper – and this is not just a colour thing – mine are a claret colour – interesting – all others I’ve seen are grey.  On inspection the grey ones have a different (softer?) upper, more akin to the v1, plus the inner forefoot gusset seems to be of a lighter / thinner material, plus the laces are the flat stretchy ones.  Most unusual.  In summary the grey ones are much more like the v1s but are still a more robust material.  The inner gusset now covers the whole forefoot – the v1 had it just around the mid foot.

The upper foot shape has changed a bit – see comparison photo – and there is now a useful looking rand around the whole shoe next to the sole – to protect more I suppose.  My concern was that it would keep water in – didn’t seem to make any difference, which was good.  The change in upper shape may be holding my foot more naturally, requiring less tight lacing.

I can only really comment on my claret version but personally, I prefer the previous material but I like the new foot shape change and the welt – I’d prefer a softer, thinner material as previously it only started to fail on me after 1000k, so not bad.

Conclusion

Pros: new grey colour looks good; same plush ride but with good ground feel.

Cons: check out if you want the claret or the grey style; the upper may be a bit stiff for some.

Summary

Fundamentally the same as the version 1 with a more robust upper.  My go-to, long run shoe again.

You can find the Men’s Here and Women’s Here. Alternatively, pop on down to the shop and give them a try.

The Scottish Mile 2023 BMAF Championship by Dot Kesterton

Blast Running organised its second Scottish Mile race at Silverknowes, Edinburgh waterfront, inviting runners from across the UK to enter either an open race for all with no age limit and the British Masters 1 Mile Championship event an hour later for UKA registered athletes aged 35 and over. I have got used to running distances from 5k to 10 miles with very little else so thought it would be good to step out of the comfort zone again and try out a fast and furious 1 mile. OK it’s a long way to travel for seven minutes of anaerobic agony but this was my chance to meet kindred spirits and turn my legs over a wee bit faster than normal.

 

Son Joel offered to drive so with him registered in the open race and me in the BMAF race we were able to support one another. Joel set a target time of 6 minutes and I went for 7 minutes with a favourable wind. And that’s where this race differs from others.

“We can’t guarantee you a tail wind however we CAN make sure that you don’t have a head wind on our flat, tarmac, no turns coastal route. How can we do this you may ask? We decide the direction of the race on the day depending on the wind direction”. Race Director.

 

Down on the Forth estuary there certainly was a brisk breeze to add to the dimension of a gloriously sunny and cloudless day. Around 150 Runners in each of the two events ages ranging from 7 to 85 faced West and leapt into action at the signal.

 

When I run a road 10k I try to start steady and gradually build throughout the race to finish strongly. In a 1 mile race there is no such luxury. You have to go out strong or lose the advantage. Yet it is not a sprint, so getting the balance right between purposeful running and blowing up is key to a successful race. As a novice I had to suck it and see. In the event I started at what is probably 5k pace and soon realised I’d be left well behind if I didnt lift it significantly. I quickly caught old friend and World Champion in many events, Angela Copson, F75 and Linden Nicholson, V70 and by the half way point had built enough of a lead to feel reasonably confident of an age group win. The second 800 metres was a challenge because I knew I had to finish faster than I started. Lots of encouraging shouts and claps from spectators and runners helped spur me on to achieve a 6:47 minute time, first of two F70’s. Joel had had a great race to finish in 5:40 chip, 25th overall, 18th male and 5th in the M40 group. Both he and I had run well within our target times.

The Open race was won by Finlay Murray, East Sutherland AC in 4:12 chip and Margot Wyrwoll, unattached in 5:07 chip.

Full results can be seen on results.perfecttimingscotland.co.uk

Dot Kesterton

5th June 2023.

Round the Houses 10k by Dot Kesterton

Team Accelerate Runner and local legend Dot Kesterton traveled up to Grangemouth for the British Masters 10km Road Championships. Spoiler Alert, Dot smashed the out of the water. Find out how she got on below!

Grangemouth, 16th April 2023.

Named after Jim Dingwall (1949-2005), one of the finest Scottish runners of his generation*, the Round the Houses 10k road race in Grangemouth was the setting for the British Masters Championships for the second successive year.

A weekend in Edinburgh in glorious spring sunshine, a walk up Calton Hill and a tour of the Botanic Gardens provided a splendid preparation for the BMAF 10k road race. A short journey up the Firth of Forth towards Falkirk on Sunday morning brought us to Grangemouth for a lunchtime race organised by the redoubtable Falkirk Victoria Harriers. Everything you might hope for in a race, a stadium start and finish, large sports hall for meeting organisers and friends and a fast, flat course round the houses to enjoy in pursuit of a good finishing time, nice T shirt, chocolate egg and if at all possible a British Masters medal.

Margo Duncan, Sheffield Tri Club and I, the Sheffield contingent, met athletes from all parts of Scotland and the north of England to catch up on news of achievements, injury and illness and then, with our age group printed on card and pinned to our backs so we could view our competition on the line, tipped out onto the track for a warm up lap or three in mild Spring conditions.

The race took us round and out of the stadium and directly onto the road for an anti clockwise circuit round a housing estate finishing with a run through an adjoining park before re entering the stadium for an 80 metre dash on the track to the finish.

The usual jitters about pre race nutrition and hydration were played out. Too little and you’d be gasping; too much and you’d have the lead stomach to contend with. In the event I relied on a jam sandwich and water an hour before the lunchtime race. It seemed to do the trick. I started with a steady pace resisting the temptation to chase Margo who was way ahead almost immediately. One by one I focused on runners with similar pace to try and pick them off. Eventually I saw Margo ahead so put all my energy into levelling up and even briefly overtaking her at 8k. She urged me on but clearly saw the chance to chase me down in the final stages and came haring past at 9k as we returned for the final push to the finish. It’s great to have a friend to race against. We used each other for motivation and finished the race with Margo, V50, slightly ahead on the line in 47.14. I kept the elastic as short as I could to finish in 47.20. That gave me first V70 by a good five minutes and BMAF V70 Champion 2023. That chocolate egg tasted very good once I’d recovered from the post race nausea.

 

The race was won by Daniel Bradford, Shettleston Harriers in 31:03.

First woman was Jennifer Wetton, Central AC in 35:48.

Dot Kesterton was first V70 in 47:20 chip.

*Jim Dingwall achievements: 5000m -13:48. 1975.10,000m- 28.45. 1978.10 miles- 48:05. 1985. Marathon- 2:11:44. 1983.

Accelerate Lifestyle Limited

Accelerate UK: The area's largest Running Store for road, trails, mountain and fell. From parkrun's through to ultra marathons. A wide range of shoes and running items that is backed up by a knowledgeable and experienced running staff. At Accelerate we love our running, and we believe it shoe.

Come and say Hi, "The kettle is on"