Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Monday, 6 February 2017

shoeporn: On - Cloudflow

To the elder generation of endurance sport nerds he is still well-known under his renowned moniker “King of Zofingen”. In a period that saw the punishing Powerman-event round the Swiss city of Zofingen at his ultimate peak, this man won the heroic run-bike-run happening on remarkable eight occasions. A year after his last victory he retired from professional sports in 2005. Several Ironman Switzerland wins alongside national and international Duathlon and Triathlon titles later Olivier Bernhard ended his impressive career.

As a fan of the sport with a endeavour for technical perfection the idea of the perfect running shoe kept him inspired to push the development of his idea forward. His original idea to supply an innovative running sensation lead him to a Swiss engineer. Little by little the duo advanced numerous testers and eventually found their elementary concept – a shoe centred around a unique sole technology. Bernhard and his buddies named their company On and called the diminutive cushion elements “Clouds”. In 2010, On hit the shops and just recently I had the chance to have a proper go with their up-to-date model, the On - Cloudracer.

No discussion - the most noticeable gadget of an On shoe is the unique sole scheme. With a mere of 18 separately positioned “Clouds”, the newest Cloudflow has the most cushion pillows of all shoes in the existing product range. The Zero-Gravity EVA foam replies nicely and delivers a fine momentum to the stride.
When it comes to looks and finishing features this shoe surely sticks out. The uncommon sole is not the only part that makes the Cloudflow stand. Plenty of little features make the shoe extremely classy and significant.
The total weight comes on with some sweet 220 grams. Not only this supports a fast run. Also the 6 mm Heel-toe offset is a feature that I liked. With the provided cushion and the low-to-the-ground feel, this is something that I appreciated a lot.
Some heel details - with my style of running I can only assess the forefoot ride which is great. At first I was a bit sceptical regarding the sole construction. I thought the stability might not be there. During several runs I was proofed wrong.
Zürich based company On smugly states that they are hunting “a quest for the perfect running sensation”. It certainly is a diverse feeling running on the pads and takes one or two runs to value the new feeling.
Style & Detail – It is fine to notice a lot of thought-out details. Besides the polite print on the slim and comfortable tongue, I liked the company-symbol that is placed on the lacing ring.
Element -  Undoubtedly Olivier Bernhard and his friends David Allemann and Caspar Coppetti created something special and unique with this sole design.
Sole scenes – Speedboard is the name of the design that’s included within the Cloudflow outsole. It is supposed to boost the stride-flow and contributes to a safe and steady kick. The traction on the road is great and I had no problems. While this is not a trail shoe it still performed for me on my resident off-road path in dry conditions.
Laced – It is pretty tasteful and comfy mesh that slips around the runners foot. The upper material feels nice and has great breathability. The laces are pretty thin but still hold things together.
From this viewpoint the slender and breathable upper is apparent. It adds to the nice and light flow that the Cloudflow provides.
Inside the ride – a guise at the inside of the Cloudflow sole and the 18 cushion pads.
Fun fact - The first prototype was made by slicing up a garden hose and super gluing the cross-sections onto the soles. That one only lasted a few steps and has been perfected since then.
Finale –From the very first glance out of the stylish black box till the previous workout on the track I ran with the Cloudflow. Whereas it looks diverse and matchless it undoubtedly has its function and benefits the run. I like the design that unquestionably matches the overall quality of this lightweight trainer. The Cloudflow is happy with a bunch of paces and the sole reproduces the individual needs. Undoubtedly I’m nosy what the Swiss chaps develop next out of their garden shed.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

INSTAssel: Dirty!

Ein von runssel (@runssel) gepostetes Foto am

Waking up to a frosty lactate shower after tranquil weeks in La Gomera. Kickstart to more racing and training with the classic Dirty Race in Murr. More then a month without riding my bike did not help the performance. Still loving it. So happy to meet so many friends. Thanks to @knutterbutters for the support and the rad pic!

Tune of the day: Joy Divison - Transmission

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

In Pictures: La Gomera (Part 3)

Whilst wandering around the isle this is a display that is pretty difficult to overlook – palm trees!
Some relaxed morning miles around the many quite off-road tracks.
Though San Sebastián de La Gomera has a pretty good 25 meter public swimming pool, I chose for the cold seawaters of the Atlantic ocean. There is a pretty lively local scene so if you are training in the mornings it is not hard to find training buddies at the shores of San Sebastián.
The stunning Teide crowning is a well-liked photo alternative.
Posing whilst the sun is calling it a day. 
Harsh but gorgeously green vales are a characteristic hiking spot. The trail system is excellent.
And again. A sun-drenched Teide mountaintop.

Check my picture galleries one and two for more.

Monday, 23 January 2017

On point with Sam Clark

This man has quite a skillset. He is a sturdy runner, an impressive cyclist, a fantastic swimmer, a steadfast kayaker and overall a pretty fine fella. Not only because of last years remarkable Coast-to-Coast victory people in the endurance world should know about him. He raised eyebrows in SwimRun and Triathlon racing and is very popular when it comes to Multisport and Adventure racing. In a few days he tries to defend his Coast-to-Coast title. But before that he took some time to rest and reply to several questions about what’s up and coming.

Runssel: February the 10th is approaching fast. You are planning to defend your title at the iconic Coast-to-Coast one-day competition. What did you learn at last years race and what does an athlete need to cross the New Brighton Beach finish line first?

Sam Clark: The one day event is known as "The longest day" and for good reason, the winning time is often over eleven hours. I have learned from previous races is to never stop pushing. “Coast” is a test of your mental endurance as well as your physical, and the winner will have a good balance of both.

Last year Sam had to wait 58 Minutes at the Coast-to-Coast finish line for second place finisher Bob McLachlan. He won the iconic race in a time of 11 hours, 37 minutes and 7 seconds. This year he tries to defend this well-earned trophy.

Runssel: The competition is ramping up and with highly decorated Australian triathlete Courtney Atkinson in the contest there will be added opposition. Who do you think will be your main contenders in this year’s race?

Sam Clark: The competition has stepped up over previous years and there are some seriously talented and experienced athletes racing in 2017. Braden Currie has gone from strength to strength in the past two years and Courtney Atkinson will be very quick over the run, as will Daniel Jones and Alex Hunt.

Runssel: Do you train on the Coast to Coast course often? If yes, how would a key workout look in preparation for the big day look like?

Sam Clark: I live in the North Island, so it can be a bit of a mission to get down South to spend time on course. I like to spend the 10 days before the race re-familiarizing with the course, and discovering the subtle course changes, which naturally occur from year to year.

It was the punishing 33 kilometre mountain run where Sam increased the gap to the rest of the field at the 2016 version of Coast to Coast.
Runssel: A long and challenging race like the Coast to Coast includes a lot of equipment organisation. What are your weapons of choice for the big day?

Sam Clark: My shoes on the day will be La Sportiva Helios, I'll ride my Merida Warp TT bike and paddle a Ruahine F1 kayak.

Runssel: Keith Murray’s 1994 course-record still stands with a time of 10 hours, 34 minutes and 37 seconds. When and how is that record going to fall?

Sam Clark: The record time was set over a slightly different course, Richard Ussher came very close a few years ago but it will take a very quick athlete and perfect conditions for the course record to fall.

Runssel: Last year you based yourself in Sweden for the European summer season. How did this come about and will you go back there again this year? 

Sam Clark: For the past two years I have been racing as part of the Thule Adventure team, which gave me the opportunity to base myself in Sweden and experience some European style racing, I plan on returning to Europe this year too.

Once you live in Sweden there is no way around SwimRun dashing. Not only because of his exceptional clothing style Sam left quite an impression to the local endurance scene.
Runssel: Do you already have a race schedule set up for the rest of the 2017 season?

Sam Clark: The early part of this year is already full up with Coast to Coast, Ironman New Zealand and then some team racing in China. I am currently seeking out some long distance triathlons to aim for later in the year.

Together with Kristin Larsson Sam led the early stages of last years Rockman SwimRun. Nevertheless the mixed team came in as the second crew overall - Remarkable!

Runssel: You race all sorts of endurance races. From road, off-road triathlons to multiday events, what does motivate you and why don’t you specify on one single event?

Sam Clark: Being a Multisporter opens up a lot of opportunities to race, travel and have a broad range of experiences. I have thought about specializing, but I enjoy the variety that competing in multiple disciplines offers.

Runssel: What record do you listen to at the moment?

Sam Clark: I listen to an eclectic range of music; lately it has been a lot of Rolling Stones, Ice Cube and Metallica.

Sam is sponsored by Suzuki New Zealand, Merida Bikes, Thule Adventure Team, Skybright Natural Health and Foot Traffic Coaching

Make sure to follow Sam via Facebook and Instagram

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Checked: REZLO

While stylish, smart and high-class outfits are pretty much wide spread around the cycling world, goods that are aimed to fill that exclusive niche are not the norm in the running business. The keen chaps from Rezlo want to please these desires and have a small but thought-out assortment of running clothing on offer.
Made in USA - Although Rezlo get their fabrics from around the world, the shirts and shorts are man-made in sunshiny Miami, Florida.
I had the chance to exam chunks of their up-to-date collection through my everyday training. Pictured is the Euclid shorts and the Dromos singlet. The name refers to a public road in the Roman Empire.
As I was training in the warm temperatures that the sun-drenched La Gomera Island offers, I became an admirer of the Dromos singlet. The micro-mesh material offers a light and breathable running shirt.
Fairly often I have some struggles with the cut of running tops. It appears that the cut is not intended to benefit thin runners and some shirts that might come in with the suitable size are too short or to loose-fitting. The measurements of the Dromos appear to fit perfectly for me - a comfortable slim fit with the accurate length.
The polite detail that can be found on each Rezlo product is a topographic map. It symbolised each runner's very personal challenge. It is the route that a athlete has completed, but also the one that lies ahead.
My personal favourite is the Gradian Jersey. 100% Australian Merino wool generates a fine looking but more essentially a very comfortable running top. Almost to good to drench it in body moisture.
Merino has become one of my preferred base layer fabrics. The breathable and soft Gradian Jersey fits right in this scene and is completed with the brand typical details.
Similar to the singlet the sizing of the top is just perfect. With its characteristic collar design it surely stands out.
A detail photograph that highlights the collar zipper of the shirt.
The Gradian Jersey strikes me with its timeless look and unquestionably makes this shirt a elegant and unique piece of lightweight running gear.
Rezlo’s Euclid 4.5” running short is another simple and stylish part of the product range.
The Euclid short features a nice mixture of well thought out petite pouches. The position and the dimensions are great for a gel and keys. Once they are full they are not in the way of the stride.
Although the fabrics and the cut of the short feels blameless throughout the run it can be scorching and gluey as it is not breathable. I enjoyed the shorts more whilst running it in cooler temperatures. Personally I think the colour range does certainly sticks out to other brands and fulfils  the unique look that Rezlo offers.

Rezlo can be discovered in the WWW, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Tune of the day: IAM - Monnaie de singe

Thursday, 19 January 2017

INSTAssel: Compañeros

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That was some rad and exploratory morning session. I encouraged my local training compañeros to get a SwimRun/Coasteering tour in. The outcome was La Gomeras inaugural SwimRun meeting, a hell lot of fun, remarkable setting along the coastline and new SwimRun aficionados. Plans are already made for an even lengthier voyage along the harsh coast.

Tune of the day: Eric Lau - Examples

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

On Point with Ryan Sandes

If you are into trail running, this man does not need to be introduced. Hailing from sunlit Cape Town, 34-year-old Ryan Sandes is no stranger in the world of ultra-running. He dominated the challenging 4 Desserts series in record setting manner before becoming a household name on podiums of numerous world-wide mountain running races. Ryan is a busy man running and scrambling around the scenic mountains of his hometown. Last weekend he got his first shot of SwimRun racing. Together with his training partner he finished 3rd at Africas first ever SwimRun race along the picturesque "Mother City" coastline. I catched up with Ryan to find out what he has to say about the competition and SwimRun in general.

Not shy of new challenges - Ryan Sandes looks forward to get some well-known running in as he finishes a choppy swim section. (Picture: Craig Kolesky)
Runssel: You had your first taste of SwimRun racing at the inaugural competition in South Africa, the Torpedo SwimRun this Sunday. How did it all come about?

Ryan Sandes: One of my sponsors Oakley offered me an entry and I was like yeah yes please. I had heard a lot about the SwimRun events in Europe and I grew up in the ocean so I was really intrigued to try the concept out.

Runssel: When was the first time you heard of SwimRun? Genuinely, what did you think?

Ryan Sandes: I read about the ÖtillÖ SwimRun World Championship a few years ago in a Red Bull article and I thought wow this looks really fun. I think it is such a fun event and really different.

Ryno Griesel and Ryan broke the 200km Drakensberg Grand Traverse record in a time of 41 hours and 49 minutes back in 2014. (Picture: Kelvin Trautman)
Runssel: How much time did you spend preparing the contest? Did your companion Kane Reilly and yourself train on the course that leads along the coastline of Cape Town much?

Ryan Sandes: Kane and I are both trail runners and do a bit of surfing now and again so that was our main preparation. We did a bit of a recce on some of the course the weekend before to see what we were in for and as an excuse to go on a bit of an adventure.

Runssel: What type of equipment did you guys choose? What would you do different if you would race again?

Ryan Sandes: I used the Salomon SLAB XA Amphib shoes and a Full Sleeve Huub Swim wetsuit. Kane went for hand paddles. I think if we did it again we would both use the leg floatation bouys and I would definitely use some of those hand paddles. I think I would need to do some training with the hand paddles though.

Kane Reilly leads Ryan out of the water onto another run. (Picture: Craig Kolesky)
Runssel: How do you rate SwimRun as a sport? Can you see the sport growing in South Africa? Any plans for another outing?

Ryan Sandes: Its an awesome concept and I think it will get really popular in South Africa. We have a really big endurance culture in South Africa and because we have such good weather I think the SwimRun events are perfect. Yes I would definitely like to do another one of the events!

Runssel: What is on your running schedule for this season?

Ryan Sandes: My main focus races this year will be Western States 100 and then either CCC or UTMB. I am also working on one or two free running projects.

Ryan prepares for the Antarctica marathon with a training run around the dunes of Silvermine Nature Reserve, near Cape Town. (Picture: Craig Kolesky)
Ryan used Salomon’s latest SwimRun flagship, the SLAB XA Amphib. Review soon on this part of the interweb. (Picture: Kelvin Trautman)
Follow Ryan via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and via his Homepage
Ryan is sponsored by Oakley, Red Bull, Salomon, Suunto, Axis House, Ford and