Showing posts with label Trails. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trails. Show all posts

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Skechers GoRunUltra Nite Owl Review

Been a while since I've blogged or provided a good update. Rest assured all is good and I've been going along well with family, work and training (in that order). Though it appear I am not working, as some that know me think (hey, he is on social media all the time, how is he working). Haha.
This post has been sitting in my "draft" for a month at least and long overdue. Maybe like 250km overdue since I've received the GoRunUltra Nite Owl from Skechers Malaysia. 

Being seen = potentially ensuring a safer late evening run
This is a follow up after the last unboxing of the Skechers GoRunUltra Nite Owl Edition. Along those mileage, the shoe has seen both road and trail action. Consistent with the GoRunUltra purpose, it is built to handle both on and offroad condition and it truly live up to it's name in terms of cushioning and grip. I brought this shoe into the trail during the Team 2ndSkin Trail Running Clinic about a month back. 
Look ma! No hand! Photos by Eugene 2ndSkin

First Feel
This updated GoRunUltra "feel" is the same as the original GoRunUltra that I've reviewed here. In my unboxing write up, I put up the differences between the GRU original and this Updated version. The biggest differences (not counting the Cool Glow In The Dark feature) is the upper synthetic material that make up the new mesh and overlay. 
Gripping all around. Photos from Eugene 2ndSkin
The feel of the dual-density sole is the same and the layout of the sole remains as well. I guess the philosophy of "why change something that work" holds true here. Despite the bulk, the shoe is surprisingly nimble and offer good protection. It is super flexible without giving the feeling that it does not offer sufficient support. I've raced this shoe (original) for Sabah Adventure Challenge and absolutely loved the fact that walking/jogging/running on hot gravel surface has never been more enjoyable partly due to the cushioning.
Dry terrain posses no issues for GoRunUltra. Photos from Eugene 2ndSkin
The toe box and sockliner remained the same as the original. So it is really (this time) about reviewing the shoe/revisiting the shoe again. 
Road Test
Almost 250km since I gotten the shoe, and likely will retire this on my Ironman Langkawi. I know the legs will appreciate the additional cushioning after the long day anticipated. 
Road test
Apart from the additional cushioning provided by the GoRunUltra, I've noticed that the new/refreshed material felt significantly cooler perhaps due to the lighter mesh on the top of the shoe. While I still sweat as much and the perspiration runs down to the shoe (as I run sockless and nothing soaks it up), the shoe doesn't feel sweat-logged and dries as quickly after I leave it for an hour.
If the shoe doesn't impress you with the technology, the color will
Similar to the original GRU, the toe box was more than generous without being overly roomy. I wear a triple-E wide leather/working shoe and those with similar predicament will know how difficult it is to find a shoe that suits you. Happy to report that apart from two other manufacturer (Brooks and New Balance), Skechers' range definitely caters for the wider-footer too.
Encouraged Mid-foot strike
The Skechers shoe promotes and help with the progression of mid-foot and forefoot landing/stride. More so after almost 2-years of unlearning and relearning how to run and keeping injury away, I am comfortable to say it comes naturally. So a word of caution if you are looking to change the way you run - the tools (shoes) is there to help, but you need to do most of the work (of landing correctly). Only then both will be in synergy. 
Runs are done mainly in evening as my Ironman Langkawi run will be after 5pm. Part of acclimatisation for the different heat and humidity. Make your training specific to your race.
Nite Owl Remain An Eye Opener
It is easy to see why. A short 30mins run outdoor before the end of day charge up the photo-luminescent material of Nite Owl and literally makes it glow like a road marker at night.
Not obvious under normal sunlight...until...
it goes into darker area
Friends with darkness, no less
As is from my phone camera
The lifespan of the Sole
The GRU sole has been reported to be fast wearing and that much is true. I've used both pairs of GoRunUltra and it has exhibit consistent wear at the sole. It was no difference when I compared it against my favorite GoBionic when I first got it about a year ago. It has passed the 600km mark (the GoBionic) and still in service for short (less than 30mins) run. The first pair of GRU has served me really well with about 400km mileage and still great - just don't take it out to tricky trails as the grip is not as good as it was; otherwise, it is still Go Like Never Before!

Note: This pair of Skechers GoRunUltra in NiteOwl variation is sponsored by Skechers Malaysia via collaboration with 2ndSkin Asia Athletes program. Thank you Skechers Malaysia and 2ndSkin! This pair is retails for RM449(men) and RM429 (women) in Peninsular Malaysia and available in all stores. Opinion in this write up is my own and not influenced by Skechers Malaysia or 2ndSkin program.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Sabah Adventure Challenge 2015 : Open For Registration

Sabah Adventure Challenge or better known as SAC is open for registration. I've raced this 3 times (once adventure/team and twice solo-paktorlogy with wifey) in 2011, 2013 and 2014. My races report is in this blog (check under "Adventure Races" Here).
My take on this?
If you can take off during Good Friday weekend (April 3rd to 5th, but expect to travel there on April 1st of 2nd), this is one race you should consider at least once in your racing life. 
Official SAC Announcement
Photos from past SAC races between 2012 to 2014 from SAC Facebook page. 
The Adventure Challenge team are proud to announce that registrations for Sabah Adventure Challenge 2015 open later today from the 15th-25th August 2014 with early bird rates available only for this period of time for the 100km ultra trail marathon (solo) & 120km multi-sport category (duo).
Sabah Adventure Challenge is Asia's oldest established multi-day adventure race which sees a limited number of runners competing over a 3 day period on the Easter holiday weekend (3rd April-5th April 2015) from dawn to dusk (and in some cases into the night for those who are at the back of the pack) with camping and gourmet food at the campsite as well as an opportunity for competitors to mingle and mix with fellow competitors over a 3 day period...making it a truly special event and race experience with a mere 200 runners and multi-sport adventurers accepted into the event each year.
Early Bird Rates:
Ultra Trail Marathon (SOLO) RM500 per person which includes gourmet style meals x 3 days (D/B/D/B/D/B/L), transfers from Kota Kinabalu to the START line and back to Kota Kinabalu after the event, official 2nd skin event tee and 2nd skin finisher's tee, official finisher's medal and camping fee's at the race venue for 3 days.
Multi Sport Category (DUO) RM1000 per team which includes logistics support for your mountain bikes and gear, gourmet style meals x 3 days (D/B/D/B/D/B/L), transfers from Kota Kinabalu to the START line and back to Kota Kinabalu after the event, official 2nd skin event tee and 2nd skin finisher's tee, official finisher's medal and camping fee's at the race venue for 3 days.
Being the oldest boutique race in this country, you have the opportunity to sign up now with the early bird rates being available:
Submit your details to us:
Email us at to register and we will email you the confirmation email for your participation as well as our bank details so you can confirm your slot in SAC 2015.
Once again early bird rates close on the 25th August 2015 standard entry fee rates will apply there after.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Skechers GoRunUltra NiteOwl Edition Unboxing

Skechers GoRunUltra has been in store for the past few months and I've used it past 250km to date specifically just for trail running and shorter run on the tarmac. If you missed the review and unboxing of this model, head over to these links:
Skechers GoRunUltra [Unboxing][Review 1][Review 2]
My last use of the shoe was at Sabah Adventure Challenge 2014 where it clocked no less than 80km over 3-days back to back. Cycled through a full dry-wet-dry condition over different type of terrain and soil condition. While clearly worn off at the sole, the shoe is still serving me for my runs in the trails and road. 
part of product testing (and torturing)
Then there were talk about "If The Trail Shoes comes with NiteOwl version". Imagine the shoe glowing in the trail or the darker/shadier part of the trail. It would be cool, isn't it?
And It Happened
I received a message last week asking me to head over to the HQ as there is a new stock of shoes arriving and the NiteOwl now comes in GoRunUltra and GoRunRide3 variant. Instantly, I could not resist to request for the GRU Niteowl. 
As it turned out, the new Niteowl now comes in different (color) glow. It was previously blue as seen on the GoRunRide2. Now, the additional would be Green and Fuchsia (pink). Ready for the Green RunUltra?
A Quick Unboxing
I was too excited that the GRU Niteowl came right out of the box the moment I got home. On the first impression, you will not noticed anything different compared to the existing GRU.
Glow, in capital E(xcitement)
That is until you take a longer look and realised that the shoe's material has been changed at most parts except the dual-density sole. Starting with the top layer of the new GoRunUltra, the material appears to be thinner and more cloth-like, lending even more flexibility. I am awaiting confirmation from Skechers on what they are naming this material.
The GoRunUltra NiteOwl
The 4-way mesh of GoRunUltra
 The side synthetic mesh and overlay too, received a refresh of new material.
More mesh-like to promote air circulation?
Original GRU with the closer mesh-like material
Essentially, there was the only differences (not counting one GLOW in the dark). The sole is the dual-density material that offer both stability and support. The Rigid Resagrip offers the stability while the softer midsole layer offers support. The design of the GoImpulse sensor or pods were the exact same. Other features of the shoes between the non-NiteOwl version and this is the same. M-Strike and integrated sewn down tongue just to name two obvious same.
Old (left) and New (Right)
One of the key issue is that the GRU pods doesn't seems to last too long. The wear and tear looked extreme when compared to the other model. I am not entirely sure if this is true or otherwise but I did noticed the differences especially the forefoot area. I have clocked about 250km on the older (red) GRU.
See the wear in the old shoe?
The grip or traction in the trails, however were the same as day 1 if you ask me. Seems the function of the pod to grip/provide traction did not diminish despite the seems like high wear rates. Perhaps there are material refresh for the GRU NiteOwl, and I can only tell once I put the shoe through the usual running route and abuse. 
A 360 view of the GRU NiteOwl
The GRU NiteOwl has Glow in dark material at the appropriate places such as the front, side, the back (heel cup) and the tongue. Reflective material was placed in the same location as the original.
Charging it under the sun
view from 7'oclock position
Back of Heel. The "Nite Owl" is reflective
The Tongue
The Glow
Ready? The photos will speak for itself. This was taken inside the home's slightly darker corner in mid afternoon, after leaving the shoe under the sun for about 2-hours. Photo as it is taken using my hand phone at approximate ISO1600 and 1/14s exposure.

To be tested side by side in a run, soon?
Note: This pair of Skechers GoRunUltra in NiteOwl variation is sponsored by Skechers Malaysia via collaboration with 2ndSkin Asia Athletes program. Thank you Skechers Malaysia and 2ndSkin! This pair is retails for RM449(men) and RM429 (women) in Peninsular Malaysia and will be available in all stores this week. Opinion in this write up is my own and not influenced by Skechers Malaysia or 2ndSkin program.

Friday, May 16, 2014

SAC Day 3 : The Langanan Wonder

Reality check. 4-weeks has passed since SAC and I am still writing the "race report". I apologise for the lateness as it is unlike me to delay things of these sort. I guess I am getting older and writing report seems to be slower at the same time. Excuses aside, enjoy the report on Day 3. 
Where 3km Was Actually 5km, One Way
As usual, Day 3 of SAC will always be an easy day of sort. This is due to the very tight timeline to get the race completed by noon, for the folks to pack and prepare to head home (to KK or to airport). It is also the day where the "tie breaker" will happen. You see, SAC is very much a "timed race" where the ultimate champion will have their results tabulated on the day to day basis. You can come out mid of table on Day 1, but if you managed to score it big on Day 2, and find yourself in contention to be on the coveted Top-3 position (for bragging), Day 3 is where you get a chance to outwit your opponents. It is usually a "treasure hunt" of some sort on Day 3. But first...a visit to the "Emergency Blister Control Row".
Everyone here is getting their blisters fixed
The last day was a Sunday, and the race director did not had plans for all of us to wake up any later than 7am. By 6.45am, many things has happened and the campsite was abuzz with activities.
But sir, it's (blardy) Sunday!
Blisters you asked, how bad? Well, to start with, how about at all spots you can think off on your feet?
Every single toes and at places you never think will happen, like top of your feet!
This race, myself and my team mate Roy Yeow took part together. But of course, he was way faster (and me better looking, because this is my blog :P)
We should had continue to confuse some participants...
Once all the blisters has been treated and covered appropriately, we headed to the starting line where the last briefing for SAC2014 will be done.
But first....
Yes, the trip this time around has been about taking photos and racing. Memories are made of these and best to have them immortalised and for sharing.
With Nasier. Thank you for the captures! 
Tired from the last 2-days and with some returning back as late as 11pm, tiredness could be seen on the faces of many. Little did we all know (on that morning) what will be put for us to complete. Afterall, a "hike up the waterfall" sound very do-able, more so there is already a fixed trail many could follow.
A photo showing a mixture of feeling...
How tough can it be, right?
The race started soon after the last briefing - that we need to hike up Langanan Waterfall, get our number marked, get back to race HQ and head out for a treasure hunt. Cut off is 12noon. Simple. We have a good 4-hours to complete all that and it is at most...15km...
As with all the days, photos are compulsory. :) Here, Rosli having a good time recording all of these for memories.
The short run out of Poring and we are headed to the start of the waterfall trailhead. It can be accessed internally via the Poring park, but why take that easier route when we can take a longer one?
Starting to look rather promising. A hike away from the sun. Nice.
Teammate 2ndskin in action
Somehow, no one started to run, yet. Dear Esther has went up Langanan before, and if she isn't running, that would only meant it will be tough - save energy lah, she said.
It says...3km...right?
The starting was good. With wide undulating trails that looked runnable. This is a tourists spot, isn't it?
So much fun
And then....
Climbs...40degrees switchback
And it just go on and on and on...for the next....4km.
It is a climb people! Move!
4km? Yes, because you see, the 3km is a straight line distance not taking into consideration the elevation change. The GPS records vertical distance and the 3km slowly creeps to 5km to the waterfall. You thought you are making progress, and the distance marker just refused to budge...
Wifey was struggling with her backache and I had the chance to run up further and take panoramic (vertical) shots to emphasise the climb.
We arrived at a cave known a Bat Cave. I've checked, no Batman inside.
Reeks of guano
More pics of the climb.
There got to be an easier way...but none.
Everyone forgot to look up
Because looking down was inevitable with the climb
A clearing for a breather. Fantastic view. I bet this was the waterfall we saw from a distance on Day 2.
A shout from the top for an photo opp and you see everyone looking
And then the climb continue....
Along the way, there were many huge trees. This one was the biggest I've spotted along the way.
Makes you feel small
And of course, when opportunity arise, we run for it. :D
Flat - run
And get dissapointed that there is another 1.5km (which in fact, translate to 3km) to go...
Kena tipu
That was also when we saw many running down from the check point
THe climbs continue for us mere mortals. Almost 60degree climb at certain section
Not easy...heartbreaking
Penang Triathlon and Duathlon organiser
Rosli mimicking a scene from a Hindustani movie
With a lot of encouragement along the way, we could hear the waterfall after what seems like a full 2-hours of hike (to cover 5km).
Thank you sir
And the sight did not disappoint.
300feet worth of waterfall
The waterfall was spectacular. But as we were chasing cutoff, we decided to spend maximum 10minutes to let the fall soak into us.
RnR for many not rushing
Checking in
One more selfie won't harm
Or two more...
Maybe three
This waterfall deserves a return visit in our next holiday trip to Poring. I can imagine how cold the water would be just from the breeze caused by the gushing water from the top of the fall.
Next time again, perhaps
The return journey was easier as it was 90% downhill. The 5km was covered within an hour of fast descent.
Run? Maybe not...tired dy.
We arrived back to Poring with about 45minutes to spare. But first, a compulsory pose to commemorate 2014 SAC. hot hot!
The remaining for the 45minutes saw me and wifey scrambling to find the nearest two spot. It was easily 2km one way and with 4km to cover, that made our 10min/km pace journey. The sun was beating down hard and we decided to just settle for the nearest two - which was the exit of the Day 1 route not too far away. We ran back a little to Race finish with about 5minutes to spare. 
Thank you Nasier
There wasn't any fanfare and there was just for us, self accomplishments. Yet another long race together and with both being stronger, we know we are not going to be last in the list. Even that, there is no shame being last, as the last 3-days proved to be tough even for the strong athlete.
:) Yay!
Route Data
Distance : 13km
Time : 4hours 5mins
Elevation Gain : 791m

Immediately after the race, we went back to the run to clean up and pack. As we booked the same day flight return to KL, there was absolute rush to make sure we got everything we need packed and ready for home. The award lunch was held soon after and just like 2013, the medals were huge ass big.

And this year, there was coffee from Tenom given to us, apart from finisher t-shirt (long sleeve) made by 2ndSkin. Nice!
It was also catching up with fellow competitors as we made plans for the return in 2015. New friends made, old friends rekindled. Races like these set the pace for many future races where many make the effort to keep in touch post race. The community is small and we will cross path again in near future.

It was indeed a good race. The organiser delivered yet another superb worthy to talk about race and with like minded participants, it became better. Many enjoyed the camp out with a handful decided to stay in the comfort of modern amenities (aka ourselves). Route from Day 1 to Day 3 totally wore us out, burnt us with tan line to remember and with elevation that makes us believe any mountain can be climb if we put our heart into it. Until 2015 and the 16th installment of SAC, stay well and thanks for reading all the 3-days report. It has been a pleasure writing and reporting it from memory. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did writing it.
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