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Team Accelerate Adventure Racing. Supported, wholeheartedly by everyone at Accelerate. If AR is your thing then this could be just the tonic…

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!

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.

England Vs Wales Masters 10KM, by Dot Kesterton

Team Accelerate Runner and local legend Dot Kesterton took to the streets of Chester to defend her Vet 70 master title over the 10km distance. Spoiler alert, it went rather well!

To run for Great Britain as a Master (over 35 years old) you choose your event/s, enter, buy the kit and turn up on the start line. To run for England as a Master you have to run a qualifying race and reach a qualifying time. I don’t quite know why the discrepancy except that the World Masters Association set out to be as inclusive as possible and welcomes all athletes from 35 plus with no upper age limit. To qualify for the 2023 England Vs Wales Home International 10 km road race at Chester this week I had to plod off to Cockermouth two months ago and earn my place. With that achieved I was invited to race in Chester this weekend.

The next huge obstacle was to dig myself out of Bents Green, one of the highest locations in the city which, like the rest of Sheffield has had a seriously large amount of snow dumped on it two days earlier. Just before cancelling I wandered up the road to see just how bad it was and was pleasantly surprised to see lots of locals clearing a way through before a funeral car came down later in the day. Whilst commiserating with them I was also relieved that it looked as if, with a bit of community shovelling I’d be in a position to cross into Cheshire which had very little snow and join dozens of other runners for the annual Home International.

Chester 10k is one of three races offered in their calendar. A half marathon and full marathon follow later in the year. The course is undulating with the biggest climb back into the city from Mollington on the outskirts. It starts next to the racecourse and is well organised with bag drop and lots of toilet facilities alongside the start. The weather was pretty good on that side of the country. The snow had gone and a weak sun and fresh breeze kept us shivering in our pen before the start. At 9.00, half an hour prior to the main Chester 10k race the England and Welsh Masters set off.

I started with my usual visualisation of Percy Pud in my head, 2k to the dam wall, 5k to the Plough etc. Chester didn’t disappoint. At 8k came the last push to the Admiral Rodney, except this was up into the ancient walled city with medieval cathedral and iconic Eastgate clock. Of course, I wasn’t in much of a mood to enjoy the scenery. I’d given the race my best shot and was labouring in the final stages breathing hard and struggling to maintain my pace. A great relief then to cross the finish line in 48.03mins chip as first FV70, retaining my title as England Age group champion for the 3rd time, Kew in 2021 and Bristol in 2022.

Colin Hardy asked me about the pressure of competing as a former age group winner. Although like anyone else there is a mix of anxiety and excitement in the run-up to any event, I follow the advice of controling all the things we can control, race preparation, kit, knowledge of the route, other competitors, nutrition, hydration, transport and even shoelaces and thus minimise the chances of negative outcomes. I stare down the creeping doubts, the ‘I am not worthy’ thoughts and rise to the challenge, whether that is having a mantra to repeat which many athletes adopt or simply smiling, as I’ve seen Eliud Kipchoge do, though that’s often pretty hard by mile 5. On the start line adopt Caroline Brock’s ‘Race Face’ with 100% attention and focus on the job at hand. Most importantly I’d say is to celebrate that we can run and enjoy the whole experience, even the lung-busting pain which is temporary before the euphoria at the end of the race. Thanks for the question Colin.

The race was won by Jonny Mellor in 29.20mins. The first woman was Kirsty Longley in 35.32mins.

Full results can be seen Here >>

The Scott Supertrac Amphib, Tried Tested and Reviewed

Team Accelerate and Scott Supported athlete Harvey has been busy putting the new Scott Supertrac Amphib to the test.

Anyone who has seen me run or race off-road in the last few years will have likely seen the Scott Supertrac RC on my feet. So when Scott started developing the Amphib, a shoe designed around the Supertrac but with a lighter and faster draining upper, I was sent a prototype pair in the post and I was pretty excited (massive understatement). Now seeing them on the store shoe wall is even cooler.

I have been using them for a while now and are the shoes I reach for if I’m heading into the hills. I have raced in them most of last year and this year. They feel great and perform even when they are covered in mud. A real winner for the depths of winter.

What’s different?

The most common question about the Amphib is why choose them over the standard Supertrac RC. To answer this question it’s best to outline the differences.

Scott has used their iconic radial traction pattern outsole and AeroFoam+ midsole which are both found in the Supertrac RC.

The real change comes to the upper, Scott has used a KPU upper that provides a rugged and highly durable mesh that maintains excellent levels of drainage. Ideal if you are wading through water and want your shoes to drain fast.

Scott has worked really hard to make sure they don’t lose the fit of the upper. It’s great to see this be perfected over the prototypes. In the final version, Scott has nailed it with the perfect blend of a secure hold without feeling restrictive.

In conclusion, they are great if you are heading off the beaten track and encountering lots of mud, water and bog. Events like swim runs and obstacle course racing they will be ideal for.

Like the sound of that, come and give them a try in-store or order a pair Here

 

 

Scott Ultra Carbon RC, Tried, Tested and Abused

It’s happened, carbon plates have finally made their way into trail running shoes. The idea does not completely convince me. However, these shoes are doing a very good job of changing my mind. Scott has saved no expense on them, packed them full of their latest tech, and used the innovation they have become famous for.

  • Trail running and racing shoe
  • 5mm drop 25mm in the heel 20mm in the forefoot
  • 300 grams in my size 8UK

Straight out of the box

I was very lucky and got a pair a few months before they were released so have done plenty of running in them by this point. Going back to my first run and initial thoughts. Slipping my foot into them the over-ruling factor is comfort. The upper is a light and breathable mesh that moulds to your foot shape instantaneously. It feels wider in the forefoot compared to other Scott models which are good if you are stepping up the distance. For the cushioning Scott often have a reputation for their shoes being on the more responsive and firm end of the spectrum, with the Ultra Carbon RC, this is no longer the case. Thanks to the combination of the plate they have managed to soften up the midsole foam without compromising on the responsiveness, A real win!

The outsole is on the lighter end of the trail grip but I have been very surprised with how capable they are when it comes to the mix of terrain they can handle.

Running feels easy in them, unlike some carbon shoes it doesn’t feel like I have had to change how I run in them. The plate isn’t that noticeable until you start running faster then you can feel it subtly ping you forward. A great feeling, especially when you begin to tire towards the end of your run.

Conclusion

A few months on, plenty of miles were run and some raced. They are still a shoe I reach for if I want to feel faster. Still, with the same comfy feel every time I put them on. Some downsides I have found are on more technical terrain you lose ground feel and they feel clunky and oversized, this is more taking the shoe on the wrong trails, but something to be aware of if you are planning on taking them more off-trail.

Pros:

  • Super Comfy
  • Cushioned and responsive
  • Surprisingly grippy
  • Wide fit in the forefoot

Con’s:

  • Loss of ground feel on more technical terrain

Like the sound of going faster? Pop down to the store to try a pair today or follow the link Here to grab a pair today.

Team Accelerate Create A Heatwave in the Cold North

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.

Race day!

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!

Scott Pursuit, Tried, Tested and Abused

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.

Conclusion

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.

Tried, Tested and Abused: True Motion Solo

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.

Are you interested in hearing more about True Motion? Find out more in our Buzz “The New Kids on the Block”

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.

 

 

Dot Kesterton England Masters Athletics Home International Bristol 10k road race

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>>

Dot Kesterton, W70

Dot Kesterton Race Report from the Rotherham 10K

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.

A Closer Look – Hybrid Running Shoes Reviewed

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.

Best Newcomers

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.

Mizuno Wave Daichi 7 £120  Men’s >>  Women’s >>
True Motion Elements £140  Men’s >>  Women’s >>

Best Value

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.

Hoka One One Torrent £100  Men’s >>  Women’s >>

Established Favourites

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.

Scott Kinabalu Ultra RC 2.0 £150 Men’s >>  Women’s >>

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.

Saucony Canyon TR2 £120  Men’s >>  Women’s >>

Best Hybrid Shoe Designed for Ultra’s

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.

Dynafit Ultra £135  Men’s >>  Women’s >>

Wider Fitting Option

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.

Inov-8 Trail Talon £130  Men’s >>  Women’s >>

My Favourite..?  Best in Test…

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 Kinvara 13, Tried, Tested and Reviewed

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!

First Impressions

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!

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.

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