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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

Light Speeds Ahead

This coming February sees the arrival of the latest Saucony Kinvara.  The Kinvara12 is set for a radical update yet remains true to its heritage. So what can we expect?

Lightweight with an almost minimalist approach, yet with enough cushioning and support for everyday training, the Kinvara has always been popular.  For some it have proved to more of a nifty and responsive racer for others a shoe for fast day training.  A traditional shoe in so many ways, resisting the trend towards oversized and max-cushioned shoes.
One of the most popular incarnations of the Kinvara from the last couple of years has been the 10 and 11. Key here has been the improvements made to the midsole. Simply improved cushioning with a greater level of responsiveness. The Kinvara12 has much to live up to.
So following a quick look at the the Kinvara12, this is what we found…

The New Kinvara12
First off the new look is terrific.  The Kinvara12 looks bold in it’s Bright-Future colourway and is definitively distinctive.  It is definitely a statement without being garish. It gets our approval here at Accelerate Towers.

Now the upper gets a revamp. Stripped back to save further weight, yet it very much looks like comfort and fit has been maintained.  Following a quick try-on it was definitely feeling good.  Tongue is sewn in to the sides as well and fit around the mid foot is as good as ever.

This is also where most of the weight saving has been made in this new lighter version.
Weight:
Women’s Kinvara12: 184 grams (UK size 5)
Men’s Kinvara12: 213 grams (UK size 8)

The Sole
Probably the main thing you will notice is the heel shape.  Turn the shoe over and you can see the heel is the newer distinctive ‘Dovetail’ shape.

Kinvara12 Sole

It is said that this helps to even out impact forces and allowing the foot to roll more consistently through the contact phase.  Whilst we are looking at the sole, Saucony have kept to minimal rubber overlays. This is pretty much as has been in previous iterations of the Kinvara and we have never really seen it as a problem – unless you use the shoe to brake whilst on your bike!

The Midsole
Cushioning or underfoot protection.
The stack height has change little and retains the 4mm drop.

Stack Height measured:
Drop: 4mm  Heel: 28.5mm  Forefoot: 24.5mm

The midsole however gets an update with the addition of TPU to the EVA midsole mix.  This will increase resilience and the distribution of impact forces. It will likely increase the firmness of the feel of the shoe yet in our experience of similar midsoles it will still feel cushioned. No doubt good for the long run.
As a result the shoe will feel responsive, in so much that your energy when you push will not be lost to the shoe. ‘Pingy’ is how we often described the older Kinvara’s and we expect this to feel no different in the Kinvara12.

So What do We Think?
Yes, we are kinda excited for the New Kinvara12. We think it will definitely feel different to previous versions, yet not to the extent that it is a completely new shoe.  Lighter has to be a good thing, a firmer midsole definitely gives it a different slant to the ‘rocker shaped big stacked midsoles’ found in many new shoes.  As a mid mileage shoe it ticks the boxes, for those wanting a lighter distance racing shoe, well definitely. As a go to tempo or speed session shoe, we really do think so.  Plus, if you are thinking of stepping into your first pair of traditional racing shoes, well right now, I couldn’t think of a better place to start.
A shoe that definitely should be tried before you buy.

As to the new colourway – oh yes, we are digging this.

Shop for the Saucony Kinvara12: Women’s fit Kinvara12 >> Men’s Kinvara12 >>

Special Note: For those running in the Endorphin Range then these really are a compliment. The danger is that in (and research has backed this up) running all your runs in your lovely rolling oversized shoes, with or without a carbon plate, you are doing your feet and lower limb a dis-service. You run the risk of weakening your lower limb and foot muscles and ligaments. So increase the risk of injury.  We have also seen an increase in adapted running form, that unfortunately is not doing anyone any favors. So popping on a pair of Kinvara12’s or similar is actually a really good idea.

Finally a Word on Responsiveness…
It’s all in the eye of the beholder.These days we refer to responsiveness as a positive feedback from the shoe – a bounce back from the midsole. The jury is out on how much difference this really makes and some research suggests that your foot (should) moves too quickly to gain any benefit.
Back in the old days, now that says something about my age, responsiveness remains more about that ‘pingy’ feeling. A shoe you can run off, without feeling as though all your energy and push has been lost to the midsole.

Please NOTE: The New Kinvara12 is due to arrive this February 2020.  ETA is TBC.

Team Accelerate Scott Athlete Stuart Walkers opinion on the new Scott Kinabalu Ultra RC

I have been wearing Scott shoes for a while now, and it’s fair to say they have got better and better. From originals like the Trail Rockets, they have kept what was good and thrown away what didn’t work.

My current favorites are the Supertrac RC Ultra, which has basically been my go-to shoes for everything (except rare tarmac outings) for the last couple of years. The latest release from Scott is the Kinabalu Ultra RC. These came out in June and lots of excited people have talked about how good they are in summer, but what about now we’re into the season of cold and sloppiness… will they be any good for winter?!

I recently moved from Sheffield to Cornwall. You might imagine that running down here is all flat hard-packed coast path trails and it’s basically sunny all the time? I did, but apparently not. I took the shoes out for a 20 mile training run last weekend and found almost every type of terrain. So, how were they? Here’s a quick roundup of how I found them on each type of terrain, in the order I found them…

Tarmac:
I wouldn’t wear these for a road run, but they are really comfy. Straight out of the box these were a nice shoe to wear. Running on hard trails tends to reveal any hotspots of discomfort and I found none with these. They also feel (and are) really nice and light, which has been a legit criticism of some Scott shoes in the past.

Mud:
I found plenty of mud! When the whole trail is ankle-deep sloppy mud there aren’t many shoes that are going to cope well, but the key for me is that they shed the mud as you get away from it and you don’t end up with a shoe full of gritty stuff. On this, they score highly. Something with a deeper tread would grip better, but in this stuff, you’re going to slop about whatever happens and I’d rather not have to empty my shoes out at the end!

Submerged bog:
More one for you Peak district folks than me, but courtesy of Goonhilly Downs I was able to test on this terrain to my heart’s content. Spongy bog with a foot of water on top: Check. Deep sinky bog which tries to steal your shoes: Check. Soft squishy bog with sharp gorse and brambles: Check.
I found good performance in all of these, to be honest, they were grippier than I expected. Again the mud/water shedding is good, my feet didn’t get cold, and the laces didn’t come undone despite only single knots (rubbish laces annoy me so this is a big plus!).

Beach:
Well, we are in Cornwall! I’ve not yet found a good beach running shoe. These are as good as any. On dry stony beaches, they grip well. I’ve yet to find anything that does grip on a seaweed-covered rock, but I can confirm these don’t.

Coast path (hard trail):
Up on the cliffs on a dry day, trying to run fast, these are in their element. The grip works best on this type of terrain, which reminds me a bit of Derwent Edge. When you’re trying to press on a bit, their lightweight is a great advantage and they feel really stable. They don’t feel like an 8mm drop shoe!

Summary:
I found the original RC with this tread liked to go fast, but didn’t work so well for plodding. The Supertrac Ultra RC are awesome and can do everything, but they aren’t the lightest.

These new Kinabalu Ultra RC seem to have all bases covered. They combine the best elements of my favourite Scott shoes into a very comfortable, lightweight and fast shoe. I’d pick them for everything from a short fast training run to a winter ultra, unless it was going to be a total bog-fest, in which case I’d go to the Supertracs.

So yes, these can be a fast summer training and racing shoe, but there’s nothing to say they can’t do the same for you all winter. Mine will be. We all have our personal preferences, but lightweight, well designed and good quality shoes are surely a good start for anyone!

A final note on longevity:
This is important these days, as we want our shoes to last for both financial and environmental reasons. I haven’t had these long enough to be sure, but I have been amazed at the lifetime I’ve had from recent Scott shoes, and these seem to combine the life-extending elements of those (particularly the RC sole and the raised edge of the outer from the Supertrac RC), so I have high hopes. One area I’ll be watching is across the top of the toe box, as this seems to be where my Scott shoes all eventually die.

Interested in trying a pair yourself. Follow the link Here >> for the Mens and Here >> for the Women’s.

To keep up with all Stu’s exploits find him Here >>

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