The first weekend in November some of Team Accelerate headed north to race in the Wooler Trail Half Marathon. The latest addition to the team Paddy sums up the weekend.
I don’t need much persuading to travel to new places, so when a trip to Wooler Trail Half Marathon was suggested, I immediately put my hand up. Five months later, I’m on my way to the far North East of England with Team Accelerate, racing in Scott kit for the very first time, with teammates Harvey, Chris & Hugh.
Over the years, I have been on many away days and weekends playing rugby so I knew to expect some banter from the lads! Light hearted shots were fired before we even got on the road, team bonding had begun.
How much kit and pairs of running shoes would 4 people require for a simple 3 day trip and race? I had guessed at 2. One pair to train/warm up in and another to race in. How wrong was I?! Between Chris and Harvey there were 10 pairs with enough kit for every possible weather condition. As for food, we had enough pasta and rice to feed EVERYONE racing on Sunday! Genius move of the weekend? Harvey brought his coffee machine!
With all our bags shoehorned into the back of Chris’ Land Rover and some new age punk playing on the radio, we hit the road for the 4hr journey ahead. The weekend had begun!
I have been training alongside Harvey, Chris and Hugh for a few months now, under the wise tutelage of Stu. I began this journey wanting to find out if there was still opportunity to improve in my early 40s. I regard Stu as the best Coach I have met over the years and as a Coach myself I wanted to learn more about how I can improve the Coaching I provide, whilst sharing my own knowledge and experience with the Team.
I firmly believe in living everyday like it is a blank page and being willing to learn, change my mind about opinions I have formed over the years as an Athlete, Trainer and Coach. Many training sessions and a few races later, my confidence has grown.
I know I’m not completely there yet, but I also know I am now in a place where I can run well, run happy and begin competing at the front end of races again. Being part of a team that encourages and supports you on your journey is key. Travelling to Wooler to race as part of Team Accelerate made me feel proud of what I had achieved so far and actually took all the pressure off how I might perform on race day.
Harvey was returning to Wooler as defending Champion having made the journey North alone a year ago. This time he came with friends, and it seemed to provide an extra layer of confidence from the second we set off on our recce of the route. Despite the route having been marked out ready for the weekend, with a big yellow arrow directing us along the road, Harvey was certain we were to go off to the left along a well trodden footpath towards the woods. Apparently, he hadn’t read the race info that stated there was an alteration to the publicised route due to tree felling in the woods. We found our way to the route thanks to the little yellow flags and arrows put out by the organisers, checking the first 3k and the final descent where a discussion about vaulting gates would give us food for thought over the next couple of days. Shoe choice? The ground was still relatively firm and with the finish now a longish stretch of road would it be plausible to change to carbon road shoes to finish in? Fortunately, that was a decision we didn’t have to make as out of all the shoes we had brought, those weren’t on the list.
Route check complete, we went to find our accommodation for the next few days. Driving out of Wooler into the middle of nowhere, overlooking the very hills we would be racing on. Cracking job Harvey! Now to settle in and relax, with only one tricky decision ahead of us. What film do we choose?
We had decided to go to the route again on Saturday to watch the leaders of the marathon descend to the finish. It also served as a little leg stretch ahead of Sunday. It was definitely going to be a fast one with the ground firm and overhead conditions looking good.
There are many similarities between Northumberland and the Peak District. Sleepy towns, rolling hills and runnable trails that can take you anywhere.
We all certainly felt very much at home in our surroundings and even though we hadn’t dedicated much racing to off-road this year, we all felt quietly confident about performing well on what appeared to be a fast course.
The weather was set to be kind to us which was a relief. We arrived at the race HQ, Wooler YHA at 7.45am. Numbers collected, mandatory kit checked and plenty of time to warm up and prepare our bodies and minds for racing.
The short walk to the start line helped settle any nerves that we had and with the relaxed starting process of ‘I’ll count you down from 5 and you can go!’ we were off
Harvey took the lead and it is fair to say no one was going to catch him. Chris settled into a solid position, I eased into the race keeping myself controlled having not raced over this sort of terrain in a while, giving it the respect it deserved focussing on keeping my effort even and sustained. Hugh was sticking to his race plan of staying easy.
By the time I got to the turn around point, Harvey had opened up a sizable lead and as we passed each other on the hill into the checkpoint he was looking strong. A simple cheer of encouragement both ways was appreciated especially as I still had to come back up the hill I was descending. Chris had settled into 3rd and as I reached the checkpoint I found myself in 7th with 8th place trying to close the gap. Hugh was showing his versatility on the trails as I saw him in 9th place as I began my ascent.
Now the ascent! Up to this point the uphill sections had been, relatively speaking, a breeze. This final climb would prove the most challenging. Time to dig in and sustain the effort. If you are feeling it, then those behind and in front are too! Once at the top there were some free flowing trails to stretch out on, an opportunity to get the effort level back up and keep the legs turning. There was a short hill up to a final gateway and as I climbed it I allowed myself a quick check to see how far ahead of 8th I was. It gave me the kick I needed for one final push down the descent and onto the finish I needed! There was no way I was giving my place up now! A shout of ‘Focus, keep the effort up’ and ‘You’ve got this’ from Stu was the extra bit of encouragement to stay ahead. Time to empty the tank, which is exactly what I did down the hill and onto the road. By the time I had got to the finish the gap had increased. Seventh place was mine, greeted by Chris who had given all he could give only to be pushed back from 3rd to 5th in the final stages. Still a positive result for him having had his build up disrupted through illness and a niggle. Harvey was looking pleased with himself and after congratulating me for a strong run, he was pleased to announce he’d continued on for the win in under 90 mins breaking his own course record in the process. Hugh was next across the finish line in 9th having hardly broken into a sweat. The wonder of youth!
All in all, a fantastic weekend building relationships as a team and putting in individual performances that we can all be very proud of.
What a team and what potential we all have to look forward to reaching together!
As for The Wooler Trail Half Marathon, Trail Outlaws have put together a great race. A challenging, but manageable route for all abilities with some really fast sections to get your teeth stuck into. Thanks must be given to Scott Sports for their continued support of Team Accelerate, it was certainly a proud moment for this 41 year old to race wearing their kit. Thanks to Stu & Debs for their support on and off the course and for everyone at the APC for support with niggles of body and mind.
See you next year?
Ps…Our films of choice for the weekend? It had to be James Bond Skyfall on Friday & Spectre on Saturday!
My name is Will and I have been running with the Accelerate team for around 4 years now. I enjoy all types of running but am currently studying in Manchester, so do a lot of my training on tarmac and in parks and will be reviewing the Scott Pursuit. Keep on reading to find out my thoughts!
Straight out of the box
Straight out of the box the shoes felt plush and cushioned. The soft tongue and laces made it easy to get a good lace lockdown in the shoe, stopping my feet from slipping around. The 30mm stack height and rocker shape of the shoe did feel unique, especially after running in more minimal shoes like the Saucony Kinvara before, but I quickly got used to this and liked it. I run in a UK size 10 and have found the Pursuits fit true to size. I also like the different colourways (grey-black-lime green, blue-orange and dark green in men’s sizes, and navy-yellow, green-red and purple in women’s sizes) which is always a bonus!
First run thoughts
For my first run in the shoes, I did an easy 6-mile loop from my house. The soft midsole of the shoe was really comfortable running on a mixture of tarmac and dirt trail. Despite the cushioned feel of the shoe, they felt snappy and responsive. The rocker shape of the shoe helped me to promote an efficient midfoot strike and by the end of the run, I had no aches or pains which I sometimes suffer from with inefficient foot placement. The shoes felt snug and secure throughout the run. They were stable and grippy on slightly wet tarmac and soft trail but wouldn’t be appropriate for a muddier trail. The shoe is designed primarily for road running but can handle dry, non-technical trails.
Despite running less than 50 miles in the shoes so far, I have done lots of easy runs, an 11-mile long run, a fast Parkrun and a 12 x 400m session in them. The shoe is not designed as a racer but it has nevertheless felt comfortable and fast for all the types of running I have thrown at it. The shoes were also quick to break in, any initial stiffness alleviated after two runs in the shoe.
The Scott Pursuit is the best all-round running shoe I have used. From fast sessions to long slow runs, this shoe fits the bill. Using the shoe, I have been able to run further and faster with less fatigue the following day.
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 Runner and Technical Sales Expert, Summer takes the all-new True Motion Solo Running Shoe for a spin. As part of the Tried, Tested and Abused series we give this shoe more than a run, as they have covered a couple of hundred miles as part of this review. Used for steady runs, tempo sessions, and also for track sessions we discover what Summer thinks about the shoe longer term.
When I first tried the Solo, I honestly didn’t think I would like them because they didn’t seem to have the same amount of cushioning that I would usually prefer. However, once I had actually tried the shoes on, I had changed my opinion completely. The more pressure and force I had applied to the shoe, whilst running, the more the shoe felt accustomed to me. There was the perfect amount of cushioning I needed. Therefore, the shoe felt like it was personalized for my preference which is one of the greatest things I took from my first experience running in the shoe.
Despite the Solo being great for fast-paced running, I didn’t enjoy doing a longer and slower-paced run in them as much. I found that the shoe took a while for me to break into until I truly found them enjoyable. Due to them being slightly smaller and lightweight compared to the other True Motion Shoes, I think the better alternative for an endurance run would be the Nevos or the Aion.
The True Motion Solo has become my favorite shoe for running in in such a short space of time. As a track athlete, I have found a huge difference within my training experience just because of the effort, detail, and technology used to create an overall amazing shoe. True Motion shoes use a different type of technology called U-Tech. U-tech is cushioning in the shape of a U on the heel of the shoe which offers support as well as comfort. Whilst training in the solo, I have never felt more stable within a shoe. This is because the U-Tech centres the heel and ankle when force is being exerted whilst running. Therefore, no harmful twisting or tilting occurs in the joints and aligning ankle knee, and hip. Overall, I think the Solo is a fantastic shoe that is great for all runners wanting a lighter and faster feeling shoe.
Even more exciting are you in need of a new pair of trainers? You can fine the Women’s True Motion Solo’s Here >> and the Men’s Solo Here >> Not sure the are they are the right shoe for you, pop down to the store and we can have a look.
More information about True Motion and their range can be found Here. Or watch the video below.
Team Accelerate runner and Steel City Strider Dot Kesterton has recently raced in the Bristol 10K road race organised by the England Masters Athletic Keep reading to hear how she got on.
Stuck out on Higgar, can’t get back in time.
Forgot to fill in the entry form.
I didn’t tell the family I’d be away.
It’s the hour before the alarm goes off and all the anxiety half dreams are swirling crazily around. A dozen reasons why I won’t make the start line. With emerging consciousness comes a breath of relief. I’m in the right place at the right time with the right kit, well prepared and have done my homework as thoroughly as I can. Despite the nerves I’m looking forward to it.
Bristol, a bit hilly like home and made rich on the back of slavery sits in late summer sunshine with a breeze off the sea as I walk to the start. I do wish the ‘England’ on my vest sat as comfortably as the ‘Wales’ on the other home international athletes, proud of their heritage. There are times when I’m simply ashamed to belong to a small island nation with small, minded leaders.
The race was organised by England Masters Athletics. The qualifier was Leeds Abbey Dash last October so here I am 11 months later in my new V70 age group to pound city centre streets in search of a new title. The route, snake like in the route map, winds around the Avon, through a small park, over unfriendly cobbles and finishes in Millennium Square, a large pedestrian area overlooking Spike Island and the river. Around 240 England Masters 35+ years old were at the head of a large group of runners looking forward to the Great Bristol 10k.
Tim Rafferty, fellow Sheffielder warming up for the half marathon after the 10k calls a greeting. it’s so good to see a familiar face among a sea of strangers.
My race goes well in that I find my pace in the early stages and settle to around 4.40mins per k. That should bring me in among the leaders without blowing up. Breathing is manageable and my legs are strong. Through the 5k point at 23.22 minutes so if I can hold onto it, I’ll be in around 47 minutes. It would be good to magic up a sprint finish but that eludes me, so I stumble in breathing hard in 47.30 chip time. At that stage I don’t know if I’m leading the age group or not, so it comes as a great relief to learn that I’ve led the group from the outset. Friend and rival, Anne Dockery, a formidable duathlete is next in around 50 minutes with the remaining V70’s a little after.
We relax and chat over the post-race presentations as people from far and near celebrate their achievements. The Masters winner was Matthew Rees, M35 in 31.33. First woman was Helen Gaunt, W40 in 35.41. Full results can be found at Here>>
Team Accelerate runner and Steel City Strider Dot Kesterton took to the roads of Rotherham this weekend competing in the Rotherham 10k supported by the Accelerate Running Store and Scott Sports. A challenging course full of twists, turns and hills, this didn’t slow Dot one bit. Keep reading to hear how she got on. Sunday 15th May 2022.
An invitation from Accelerate Store in Attercliffe to run a road 10K they were sponsoring in Rotherham dropped into my inbox a few weeks ago. Well, why not, I thought. Nice to be asked.
Still a bit dizzy from last weekend’s Lakelands Trail race, Staveley, I donned my Striders vest and number this morning and headed for Clifton Park. Rotherham Radio, Accelerate and Scott Running were all there to greet the 376 10K runners of all ages alongside hoards of primary school-aged children who ran a fun one mile race while the rest of us panted post race.
The course leaves the park and does a circuit of the town centre on a flattish route before rising a little at the 6K point on Broom Road towards Wickersley Road and home via the Herringthorpe playing fields giving a total elevation of 104 metres.
I do like a nice hill. it breaks up the race and gives you the impression when you summit, lungs busting, that you can go really fast over the descent. Even better is that Rotherham hills aren’t quite as steep as Sheffield hills so it’s worth a little trip out to the east for a change of scene and terrain.
I’d had a disappointment racing in Falkirk a few weeks ago so my aim today was to recover by running a faster 10K and improve my UK ranked position as well as a Striders 10K record.
Once the communal warm up and loud shouts of encouragement were over we were away from the museum in Clifton Park. A tour of the town, well marshalled and with road closures so we had a safe run and then the climb towards Middle Lane began. By that time I had run consistently well, felt strong and was enjoying the race. The final stage into the park gave us a 400m climb up to the finish which I relished as a final challenge before the end.
Happily, I managed to knock a good 35 seconds off my Falkirk time to come in at 46.22 gun, 46.20 chip, 67th runner of 376, 5th woman after some very able Harriers, first FV65 and second fastest vet woman regardless of age. John Rothwell, coach, promptly reported a 96.98% age grading and top of the UK F70 rankings. That’s a very pleasing result.
Slightly annoying then for the results to completely miss me out because I’m actually F70, not F65. All the super athletes got their awards on a stage but I missed that bit and got the F65 award quietly after the ceremony. It’s not unusual for older women and perhaps men? To go under the radar when they get to a certain age. I’d love the organisers to take account of the grey brigade who now feature more in race events than they might have done previously. I wonder why 69 was the cut off age in this event?
My thanks to the race organisers notwithstanding the oversight for a lovely morning out. Thanks to Accelerate for setting the record straight and awarding a shiny voucher for a new kit.
First male was Jamie Hall, Senior, Hallamshire Harriers in 31.45
First woman was Hannah Walker, Dronfield RC in 38.03.
Hybrid running shoes are a combination of a trail and road shoe. Here at Accelerate it is a type of running shoe we are often asked for and here we take a look at some of our favourites, plus a couple of newcomers that have recently arrived in store, so here’s what we reckon.
As to the difference, if you are a little uncertain, then may I suggest you take a look at our previous blog ‘What Makes a Trail to Road Shoe?’Here >>
So let’s get cracking and see what’s-what within this selection of shoes. Tried, Tested and Abused by Stu and Harvey.
Both the Mizuno Wave Daichi 7 and the True Motion Nevos Elements are recent arrivals to the store. Both brands are predominately road biased and bring their favoured technologies to these excellent Door to Trail options. In both shoes, cushioning is exactly what you would expect from a road brand. Plush yet responsive.
With both the Diachi and the Nevos-Elements, uppers are woven and provide plenty of comfort. Both shoes are excellent at shedding muck and dirt from the upper. Again, all be it with differences, both shoes look to keep the heel stabilised and to hold the foot securely onto the platform.
Grip wise the Daichi is probably the best of the two for heading onto trails away from the city. The Nevos Elements, however, will feel right at home along the banks of your local canal and along paths through woodland and parkland.
Both offer, something slightly different, yet they really epitomise the benefits of a hybrid shoe.
Hoka One One Torrent
Primarily designed for trail use, we however feel this is another shoe that crosses the bridge between road and trail extremely well. Light enough for faster paced running yet has more than enough on offer for everyday use. A studded out-sole provides great grip on trails whilst having enough surface area for hard packed surfaces and pavement. Cushioning levels are high whilst retaining a responsive feel. It’s a great value all rounder.
We really love the fact the upper of this shoe is made from recycled materials.
Currently available for £100 instore, a Saving of £10.
The Scott Kinabalu Ultra RC 2.0
This is a very definite favourite here at Accelerate. This shoe has so much going for it and now in its second iteration is proving even more popular. Lightweight, well cushioned and traction that works across a variety of terrain. The upper is constructed of an engineered breathable mesh that just hugs the foot.
We have found the Kinabalu Ultra RC to be the most versatile of the shoes in this category and exceeds its original design brief of ‘suitable for man made trails’. Low and high level, hard packed to softer ground, dry and in the wet we feel this shoe just delivers. In fact this shoe was designed with Ultra’s in mind and we reckon that it is just the ticket.
Saucony Canyon TR2
Another favourite here is the Canyon TR2 as it offers great value for both road and heading out onto to more challenging trails. A full PWRRUN mid-sole ensure long lasting cushioning and boasts the addition of a flexible and protective rock plate. The upper will help keep out debris and provide a comfy secure fit. Breath-ability is high on the list of benefits of this upper.
We reckon the Canyon TR offers great value and a good bet for a long life everyday shoe.
Dynafit Ultra 100 Yes, OK, this shoe was primarily designed for a multitude of different trail surfaces. Yet, it was soon realised that longer pavement sections were covered with ease due to fact this shoe was built for maximum cushioning and protection – something that was well liked. In addition the platform is extremely stable and the shoes really endeavours to get you locked into this. A higher than average shoe volume coupled with a breathable upper provides a comfortable fit for those looking for a little more.
The Pomoco out-sole is an excellent option for multi terrain use, coping well with the steeper slopes of the higher mountain trails.
Inov-8 Trail Talon
A higher than usual foot volume has found this shoe a firm following. Lightweight, breathable mesh upper creates a secure fit through the mid foot. An integrated tongue helps to keep debris out of the shoe. Grip is what you would expect from a trail specialist and is definitely good for pavement to more technical trail. Cushioning, although not the best in test, is still up there and provides good protection and stability.
If you said to me (Stuart) I could only wear one shoe this summer, and that’s it, then I know which I would choose. It’s one I have tested and have since moved onto my second pair. Enough cushioning for road and hard packed; stable enough at higher altitudes and quite simply responsive and nimble then it would have to be the Scott Kinabalu RC 2.0. They last well, comfort is excellent and volume is above average. The grip just keeps on surprising, in dry and when it has rained. Yet, the biggest surprise for me is a high level of unexpected cushioning. For me the Kinabalu Ultra RC just work. Harvey, also found this shoe to be his favourite, with the True Motion Nevos-Elements the surprise of the bunch.
I wonder what your favourite will be?
Article compiled by Stuart following testing from Stu and Harvey.
Saucony’ s newest shoe has arrived at Accelerate Running Store, Team Accelerate athlete and technical sales expert Hugh, has given them a run for their money. His thoughts are found below.
Both the men’s and women’s are available in-store and online from Accelerate. The men’s are available here and the women’s here.
I received the new Saucony Kinvara 13 as a special surprise just over a month ago, let’s just say they do not disappoint. The timeless classic has received awell-deserved upgrade, with a lighter, better fit, and improved feel for the road. The new improved Kinvara 13 features a lightweight upper, an energetic midsole and a smooth ride. The shoe is built on a soft and responsive platform that’s comprised of a full-length PWRRUN foam midsole topped with a thin slice of PWRRUN+ for a bit of increased spring. A 4-millimetre heel-toe drop and a soft midsole give the Saucony Kinvara 13 an agile feel that’s perfect for quick running. An updated single-layer, airy mesh upper secures the foot down to the same midsole and outsole that runners enjoyed in the Kinvara 12.
The Saucony Kinvara Specs
219g for a men’s 8UK
184g for the women’s in a 6UK
4mm drop thanks to 28.5mm in the heel and 24.5mm
Saucony labels these shoes as a racer trainer!
Straight out the box they felt light, like really light; and putting them on gave me the same impression. The fit through the midfoot and toe box feels slightly roomier than earlier models, but still secure, allowing a more accommodation fit for varying foot shapes. A new, softer material has been used for the tongue which gives a softer, slipper-like feel. Running in the new Kinvara felt very different to the older models, although different is good, right? A softer feel under the foot and, in my opinion, a more responsive ride has allowed me to complete a variety of different sessions and different paced runs in the shoe.
How are they holding up? I have worn these shoes for multiple track sessions and a couple of long runs, needless to say I’m very impressed by the condition of the shoes after over 100 miles of use. From feeling cushioned enough on a steady long run, yet also feeling responsive on the track, I have really enjoyed wearing these shoes several times a week. Traditionally, with the previous Saucony Kinvara models, I have noticed that the midsole breaks down quite quickly; however, in the Kinvara 13 I am yet to feel a significant difference from when I began running in them, which is quite impressive given the amount of mileage that I have done in the shoe. For a do it all shoe, I would say that these Saucony Kinvara’s are certainly one of the best in the market and defiantly worth a try!!
Have the new Kinvara 13 piqued your interest yet? The men’s can be found here and the women’s here. Or if you are not quite convinced, pop on down to the Accelerate Running Store and give a pair a go!
With the racing season only being around the corner, some of you maybe be wondering, how do you prepare for races? What do you eat? How hard do you train? How often do you train?
Well, you’ve come to the right place. Team Accelerate athlete and Scott Supported runner Harvey gives you a little run down on his race day routine. Well, race week routine as he talks through what he eats and how he trains on the build up to a race.
How do you prepare for a Race?
‘If we use a Sunday race as an example the week really doesn’t change until the Thursday, all I try and do is keep training easy and make life less busy. Attempt to not eat too much rubbish and avoid any oily food.
Thursday rolls round and it’s time to ease up, my first run drops to 20 minutes and the evening session are much shorter. Normally consisting of some faster 200’s and 100’s to make sure everything is firing. After this session I eat a little more than normal focusing on simple carbs this normally ends up being rice and some sort of veggies.
Friday with either be completely off or a very easy 20 minutes just to get moving followed by some mobility work. I always try and get to bed a little earlier and sleep more. Saturday morning is a very short run, mobility, drills and then finished with some faster pick ups.
Now its time to get my feet up as much as possible. My last big meal is normally the Saturday night and yes, you guessed it. Its rice with some veggies and a form of protein. Very simple but I know it works for me.
Sunday morning rolls around I am normally far too excited and wake up way before I need to then it’s a battle of not eating to much but still having enough. I like to try and have my last meal a good 2 hours before I need to start warming up so a 10am race start I try to eat by 7am. Might seem a long time but it works well. Toast with peanut butter is my go-to for this meal at the moment.
Finally, it’s time to warm up, this really varies depending on the length of the race, the longer the race the shorter the warm up. If we take a race of 40 minutes, I tend to jog for 20 minutes before going through my usual mobility then some drills to make sure everything is turned on and working then finish with some strides starting longer and slow then picking up and getting faster.
After the race I try to cool down normally for at least 10 minutes and then of course finishing the day off with an all-important cookie and pizza, you have got to treat yourself after a hard day right!’
I hope that you’ve found this useful. Any questions about preparation then please email us at info@ acceleraterunningcompany.co.uk and we will be more than happy to answer them for you.
Meet the new and improved, do it all, mountain shoe from Scott the Supertrac 3. Team Accelerate Athlete and all round shoe nerd Harvey has been busy putting them through their paces.
Both the men’s and women’s are available in-store and online from Accelerate. The men’s are available here >> and the women’s here >>
Get to know the Supertrac 3
320g in men’s 8UK 290g in women’s 6UK
8mm drop 29mm in the heel 21mm in the forefoot
6mm deep lugs providing All Terrain Traction
Let’s start with a few specs, the new Supertrac 3 comes in at 320g for a men’s 8 UK and 290g from women’s 6 UK. The 8mm drop combined with Scotts new AeroFoam+ midsole and iconic eRIDE rocker results in a fast and poppy turnover. A new ripstop upper solves lots of the durability issues that have appeared in older versions.
Out of the box they have a sturdy and well built feel. The fit through the midfoot feels a little narrower than other Scotts but eases after the first few uses. A padded tongue and heel counter gives the shoe an extra plush feel, ideal for spending all day in them. New for version 3 of the Supertrac is Scotts Aerofoam+ midsole, the same as found in their RC lineup. Boasting better weight to cushioning ratio and having increased energy return is certainly something you can feel. I never got on with the older version they felt heavy, clunky, and cumbersome. Well, all that’s changed, they now feel poppy almost helping your legs to turn over at a faster cadence without trying. Flipping the shoe over is where it gets exciting, chunky 6mm chevron lugs make light work of muddy trails, however, thanks to their larger volume don’t lose out on harder trails or connecting roads. The All Terrains Traction Scott claim certainly fits the bill.
How are they holding up:
After around 90 miles of use, amazingly. I have to admit that I’m not the most diligent with cleaning my shoes. And still, these beauties are showing hardly any signs of wear. I have used them in a real mix of conditions. From hard packed trails, gravel, loose dirt to deep soul sucking mud, the outsole still looks in great nic. A shoe designed primarily for the mud and tougher going trails then I have been blown away by how well they handle themselves on longer road sections. Traditionally with a shoe that has deeper lugs, you sacrifice its ability to run on the road, the Supertrac 3 doesn’t! The upper and in particular where the little toe sits still looks solid, this is very reassuring as this is where previous models have failed.
Who is the Supertrac 3 best for:
If you are after a grippy trail come fell shoe with a good amount of cushioning that can tackle running on the road for a prolonged period. Something you can spend all day in, then the Supertrac 3 could be just what you are looking for.
Sold on them and want a pair right now? The men’s are available here >> and the women’s are available here >> Or if you are not quite convinced, pop down to the Accelerate Running Store and try a pair out now.
Team Accelerate runner Dot Kesterson has been busy racing and training throughout 2021. Keep reading to find out how she got on and plans to move forward and up her game for 2022.
Rother Valley relays
1st F50 team
Round Sheffield Run
BMAF North T&F
12th of 12
1st F65 of 1
NMAC Preston Road race
Dig Deep Trail.
EA Rep race, Kew Gardens
1st F65 of 25
Sheffield Way Relay
England qualifier. 91.87%AG
BMAF CC relays,
1st F65 team
SYCC league, Penistone
Derby road race
1st F65 of 7
3rd UK ranked.
4th UK ranked
SYCC league, and SYCC Champs, Graves Park
SYCC F65 Champion.
Annual Review 2021.
This is my last year in the F65 age group. Coach John Rothwell and I agreed it could be a time to enjoy running for its own sake before beginning more focused work for the next age group in 2022.
The first half of the year followed the same pattern as much of 2020 with a solitary run program punctuated with virtual races of different distances and terrains from 1500m to half marathon. I used the time well to increase my long runs as planned. Speed and interval work suffered because of a lack of opportunity to run against others.
The first race with other competitors was the Steel City Striders inspired Rother Valley relays, 23rd June. Teams of 3 runners x 5K. After 15 months since any races with actual people, it was both exciting and daunting. As an F50 competitor with Kate Morris and Kate Scott, the pressure to perform well was as keen as any race. We each ran well to win the category, though it was clear my 5K time at 23:20mins was around a minute slower than before lockdown a year earlier.
Attending the England Athletics Representation 10K race in Kew Gardens gave me a chance to wear my England vest, last worn in Birmingham in May 2019. I had no expectation of winning the age group since I was six months from the end of it but trained and prepared according to my goals and was delighted to win the gold with a relatively slow 47:34mins, 93.03%AG, just four seconds ahead of my nearest rival. An autumn series of 10K races finished with Percy Pud in December. 10K times were regularly around 47-48 minutes so a time of 46:16mins, 95.64%AG was very pleasing.
The South Yorkshire Cross Country league resumed in October, a series of 4 club races in the county, finishing with the SYCC Championships at Graves Park in December. Despite being ill and unable to race at Campsall I won the age group and Championship for the second time, 2019 and 2020. The BMAF Cross Country relays at Long Eaton gave my team of Carol Beattie, Sheila Woodhead and myself victory over the two competing teams in the age group, our second BMAF Cross Country Gold medal.
With the resumption of Parkrun in 2021, I have used the opportunity to work on my 5K and 10K pacing.
Planning for 2022.
My main goal for the year is to attend the World Masters Track and Field Championships in Tampere, Finland in July. The pandemic is still rife with the Omicron variant affecting fixtures but if the WMA fixture goes ahead, I will enter the 10K road race and Cross Country. I will be 70 in April and will compete against a new group of women at an international level. To achieve success at Tampere I will
Train well over the next six months
Prepare well for races
Race smart, pace judgment
Aim for 95%AG in all races.
Raise distance of weekly long run-up to 23K
Raise weekly mileage over the winter up to 50K
Focus on recovery including active recovery
Attend two-speed sessions per week except in recovery weeks.
Revisit Mental Prep modules for stimulus.
Races entered to date.
06th Feb 22: Alsager 5mile race.
07th May 22: Lakeland 10K trail race, Stavely.
There will be an England Home International race in Bristol, but no date had been confirmed yet.
WMA Tampere Website is not yet active.
I will enter other races as the opportunities arise, all as part of my build up to WMA 2022.
Well, well. Lots has happened since our last team blog. We have new faces to introduce, and our old and new members have all been very busy.
Let’s begin with Matt’s super performance at the Windermere marathon. The marathon can be a tricky distance, even with specific training. But even hard with ultra marathon training in your legs. However, team member Matt didn’t let this slow him down absolutely smashed the Windermere marathon, running a 20-minute PB in a time of 2hrs 53 minutes for a superb 9th place finish. A few months later Matt found himself in the Lake District once again, this time competing in the Keswick Mountain Festival 25k trail race. Matt has been training hard over the past 12 months, following sound principles, joining the rest of the team for sessions when he can; and the hard work is definitely paying off, keep it up Matt!
Next, we have the second half of the dynamic duo, Chris. Thanks to a late entry into the Alderley Edge 10k, Chris managed a 34:05 10k to finish 26th overall and 3rd V40. A quality run after a “steady start” and horrid conditions. Chris has been juggling parenting and running over the last year making the most of his training, running with the team when he can, and supporting Matt throughout his Ultra-running journey.
Following on, we have the next old’un, Harvey. Over the past couple of months, Harvey has been race mad; running two 5ks at Loxely Lash after a period of little niggles, marking his return to form. Two weeks later he was back with a bang, completing Jane Tomlinson’s Leeds 10k. His sensational time of 32:54 placed him 3rd and was a PB by nearly 2 minutes. This was a credit to all his hard work, and we are all very proud of him.
Next up we have new member Summer who ran in the Derbyshire schools championship. An awesome race by summer placed her 1st in the race, crowning her the new Derbyshire schools champion, a great achievement. Summer has come on leaps and bounds since joining the team and we look forward to seeing her progress this winter.
The other newest member Hugh has also been busy, racing in the English fell running championships. This compiled of four races over 5 months, with Hugh progressively getting higher up throughout the races. During the series, Hugh and fellow flamingo Izzy-Mai picked up Yorkshire vest and represented the best county on the fells. What an achievement for them both! The final round of the FRA Juniors race took place at Ilam. Hugh ran his best race in the championships here, finishing 4t. Nothing like saving the best to last. All that hard work is paying off, nice one Hugh.
Last but not least we have the youngest flamingo on the team, Izzy-Mai. Over lockdown and 2021 Izzy-Mai has been working hard and this is certainly paying dividends during her racing over the summer. The superstar has placed 1st, 3rd and 4th in three of her races this season, finally placing joint 2nd overall in the under 15 girls category even though she is currently only 12. What an achievement! All the fun and hard work from the athletes and coaches seem to be paying off, with Team Accelerate’s reputation growing by the races. This is down to the generosity of the Teams coaches, Stuart and Julie, who give up their precious time and put on a smiley face even when the weather isn’t playing ball. So, from all the athletes, a massive thanks to them and we look forward to some more flamingo-based fun in the near future.
The running year started promisingly enough for me with a chilly England qualifying half marathon in Helsby, Chester in January. Being freezing cold I nipped round in 1:43:39 so I could get back to my big coat as soon as my legs would carry me, 1st F65 and qualifier for England International in Fleet in March.
Storm Dennis put paid to my February BMAF 10K Championship in Poole. Then, in March, came the Covid-19 lockdown. The England representation half marathon in Fleet was canceled and so, month on month was every other race I had planned to do, even the Home Nations Cross Country race in Dublin, the one I was particularly excited about as I learned after Brexit I can claim my Irish passport, thanks to my lovely Irish mother.
With no particular goal to aim for I turned my attention to the offers of virtual races. Lockdown was going to go on for some time. I would need a challenge to get me up and out, running, training, and aspiring throughout the spring and summer.
The European Masters Athletics (EMA), posted a series of 6 virtual challenges, from 1500m to half marathon aptly named ‘The Road to Madeira’ as preparation for the EMA Road and Trail competition in Funchal in October. At 3 Euros per event, with a whole month to complete each one and little prospect of any real races at home or further afield I registered along with other Masters’ European hopefuls.
Preparation for each race was the same. I put my GB vest and shorts on to remind myself this was a competitive event, I was representing my home nation and I was going to give it everything, whether at Rother Valley or Madeira. A recce of the route and a warm-up session of jogging, strides, and drills helped calm the nerves and get me ready.
It was my job to start and finish the watch accurately and submit the correct time on the website. That was tough for a non-technical person. I had already run 40m short in the BMAF 5K road relays in May so was constantly checking the watch in the final stages of each event.
Six races of varying lengths and six months to train for, prepare, race and record. I had considered 5K and 10K to be my optimum race distances and looked forward to the familiar build up. I have to say that whilst track running is daunting, and not a little boring for a trail enthusiast, I did enjoy the thrill of the two shorter events at the end of the series.
Figure 1EMA 10K, Rother Valley.
The hardest race mentally without a doubt was the half marathon. I hadn’t really trained for the mileage and almost two hours of consistent running, alone and without others to pit myself against, in stark contrast to the actual half I’d done in January was grueling. Added to that I ran it on the TPT Rother Valley to Hollingwood and back on flat shale which was a test for the feet. In the last three miles, I’d gladly have bailed and nursed my burning feet. Thank goodness John Rothwell, coach, popped up at intervals to offer tips and words of encouragement.
The final two events were on track. Now I understand that Sheffield prides itself on being the City of Sport, so I didn’t expect it to be too difficult to find a 400m track. Alas, Woodbourn Road was padlocked, empty, and strewn with litter, a sad shadow of the former more imposing athletics facilities in the Lower Don Valley. I tagged onto the Accelerate coached sessions at Mt. St. Mary’s excellent track at Spinkhill which at least meant there was company if at an appropriate distance. Now how did Mt St Mary’s get such opulent stadia for their (private) school whilst the whole of Sheffield has so little?
As the rest of Europe began to emerge from their respective lockdowns the number of participants at each event reduced. From 429 competitors from half a dozen nations at the first 5K race in May the numbers have reduced gradually as national teams have gone back to their normal competition. The final 1500m event in October drew only 56 competitors.
Table of results.
EMA virtual race
EMA virtual race
EMA virtual race
EMA virtual race
EMA virtual race
EMA virtual race
This series has been very helpful to me. I have continued training and race preparation
through a lovely summer period with often empty trails and lanes. I guess the virtual scene will continue throughout the winter as we endure a second or continuing wave of the virus. There is sadly no chance to go to Madeira at the end of October to collect my award. Perhaps 2021 will bring new opportunities.
Worldwide Virtual Masters Challenge
In the middle of the EMA challenge, I sneaked in a World Masters 10K challenge. The event should have taken place in Toronto, Canada so I saved shed loads of cash by running it at Rother Valley.
WMA Virtual Challenge
1st F65 of 6
For those who have not yet considered Masters’ Athletics, this is an opportunity for athletes 35 and over to compete at a national and international level in the traditional 5-year age bands. Age Graded scores give the athlete an idea of how their performance compares with World Records to encourage participation. Go to bmaf.org.uk for more information.
My appreciation and thanks go to John Rothwell, coach, who has encouraged, coached, and supported me throughout the series; Andrew Deery who legged it and round Rother Valley with me in the 10K; Joel Kesterton with son Jacob in the buggy who have plodded around and offered company and encouraging comments; Malcolm Kesterton for being the early morning driver, bag holder, and general dogsbody; Stuart Hale who facilitated the track events and offered help with drills and preparation and Mick Wall for virtual technical assistance, advice, and encouragement.
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