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Schlagwort: running

On point with Travis Hawkins

At the present time it is just an occasional sign – Folks with a start number pinned on their vest. Joe DiNoto of infamous New York Underground running powerhouse Orchard Street Runners is a man that makes things happen. One of his most prominent races, the OSR30, an unauthorized 30 miles contest round Manhattan was one of many race annulments in the mist of the Covid-19 epidemic. Last weekend saw yet another turnout of this raw and self-navigating competition. Even with basic knowledge of the New York running scene, a look at the start list made clear that the stakes for a thrilling showdown were high.

And race day delivered. With favorites David Kilgore and Alex Burks surging away early on, it seemed clear who was battling for victory. But then again after missing a checkpoint, the lead changed, and it was Travis Hawkins who crossed the line in first place. His 3:17:44 for 51,90 kilometer (Strava) was not the fastest time of the day, but he was the fastest runner to reach all the necessary checkpoints along the course.

The father of two (Rafaela 7 & Mathilda 3) and Brooklyn resident is definitely no stranger to this competition. He won it on two occasions, but this time his stakes were unquestionably the lowest. Travis grew up in Leonia, New Jersey which is exactly 1,5 miles from the George Washington Bridge a checkpoint in the OSR30. Travis has a 08:51:10 Ironman PB (Challenge Roth 2019) to his name and owns a personal training and endurance coaching business. I caught up with him in the aftermath of last weekend’s win.

Runssel: Congrats to your three peat at this year’s OSR30. How does this victory weight in in comparison to your first two successful excursions around Manhattan?

Travis: Thanks so much. All my three OSR30 races are all pretty unique. In 2018 I was 100% confident that I was going to win. When Erik Reitinger put a gap on me 10 miles in that I couldn’t seem to close I was kind of devastated.  I was as shocked as he was when I passed him by taking the Brooklyn Bridge instead of the Manhattan, for the win. In 2019 and 2021 I had no reason to think I could beat David Kilgore, or Alex Burks. I do know that these races are about so much more than speed. I have a ton of experience navigating around the city. I am comfortable in traffic. I ride my bike through it all day. This years victory was the biggest shock of all though. After the year we’ve all had and the level of competition on the day, it was definitely the most rewarding.

Runssel: As we all know, Covid-19 knowingly slowed down the racing the last couple of months. How did you keep up the motivation and when did you fully commit to another OSR30?

Travis: In late February of 2020 I tore a calf muscle, training for the OSR30. The race was cancelled etc… I moved my entire business to Zoom in one day.  I had no confidence in coaching my clients via video chat, so I did every workout with them as they did it for the first few weeks. This meant essentially doing 8-12 hours of resistance training with bands each day.  I was back running in less than a month and was able to slowly build to more volume than I have ever even considered.

Without a race on the calendar, I was really able to be patient with strength training, yoga and Physical Therapy, slowly accumulating tons of fitness.  To answer your question though, I didn’t have a goal in mind.  I was just running because I didn’t know what else to do.  Balancing school from home with my 2 kids, my wife is studying to be a nurse and I’m on my computer coaching clients from an office all day.  I can usually carve out 60-90 minutes to go run and clear my head, so I do. Without it, I don’t know how I would have survived the year.  Joe DiNoto sent me a text in early February, asking if I would be interested in running the 30 sometime towards the end of March.  I said yes but wasn’t really sure if I was going to want to put in the speed work required. It turned out I had accumulated a lot more fitness than I thought.

Runssel: This year’s OSR30 start list was perhaps the best it’s ever been. What battle scenario did you assume and how did you plan for it?

Travis: It was definitely the strongest field!  I knew there were going to be at least 2 guys capable of running way faster than me (It turned out that I was right). I also knew that I had the fitness to put together my strongest race. My strategy was to run my strongest race and hope that they pushed each other beyond their limits or got lost trying.  I suppose it worked. I definitely ran my strongest race. 

Runssel: Do you have any key workouts leading up to a race like this? How do you approach training towards such a race?

Travis: I am a strong believer in running hard on long days for races like this.  I can usually accumulate a decent amount of weekly miles with a bunch of light runs, but there is always a hard long run and a harder short run.  I do most of my running in similar conditions around Brooklyn, so I suppose that helps too.  There’s typically a ton of concrete in these races which I think tends to do more damage than people realize.  If you’re doing all your training on blacktop, it’s not great preparation for a race that’s on a lot of walkways and paths made of concrete and slate. 

Runssel: Knowing the city is a huge advantage. How do you prepare the navigational part of the OSR30?

Travis: I know the city intimately. I ride my bike around all day from client to client.  I like to make a game of finding the fastest routes. Riding and running in traffic are fun and adds a level of adventure to training and commuting.  Finding the shortest route for OSR races and practicing them on my bike has been part of the fun since the first midnight half I did in 2016. 

Runssel: Another indefinite year of racing is ahead. Do you have any goals planned out?

Travis: I don’t have any goals this year. I’d love to get lost in the woods at some point- in a race or on a long adventure run.  I’d also like to get on my bike for a race since I haven’t done that since 2019. Who knows? 

Runssel: Will there be a OSR30 four peat next year?

Travis: The target on my back keeps getting bigger. I don’t think it would be fair to take it down prematurely.  

shoeporn: Adidas – UltraBOOST 21

Herzogenaurach’s three stripes company just released the state-of-the-art renovation of their popular UltraBOOST series. There is possibly no shoe in the assortment that feature so much of adidas’ soft and springy Boost material then this one. In addition to the iconic three lines, the material has been a trademark for adidas running shoes since its very first release in 2013. I had the chance to test one of the first pairs, the Adizero Adios Boost, back then. Check the Post if you are interested.

With the UltraBOOST series adidas has been surfing amid the so called “lifestyle” and “performance” segment. There are no two opinions about the look, that is for sure. Nonetheless we will concentrate on the performance part of things in this post.
As mentioned earlier on, the boost material is a trademarked polymer exclusively used by adidas. Basically, it is a lot of small balls which are compressed and molded to protect the foot from the ground and it delivers a certain boost while toeing off during the running movement. The small balls contain of patented thermoplastic urethane. Adidas cooperated with the German chemical powerhouse BASF (Hello Steffen 😉) to create this material.
Adidas did not hold back with the usage of the boost material. Particularly at the back end of the shoe. At first the Boost material was only known within the running scene, but when a certain Kanye Omari West was seen wearing a pair of UltraBOOST “Triple White” in 2015, the shoes went mainstream and not only boosted running strides but also sales.
The three stripes are an iconic characteristic that defines Adidas. At first the brand added the stripes to its running shoes to make them sturdier. One of the initial T&F athletes to use the shoes with the stripes was legendary Jesse Owens in the 1936 Summer Olympics. By now, the stripes on the clover symbol represent Adidas focus on variety. Finnish brand Karhu and Adidas used to share the three stripes but Adi Dassler bought the rights in 1952.
Comfort undoubtedly is a key feature with this shoe. The upper feels super pleasant and comfortable. The pattern on the side of the shoe make sure that enough stability is provided. I like the sock-like design and the wide flexible fit around the forefoot. The Ultraboost 21 upper is made from flexible Primeknit material and is only 1.9mm thick. Compared to a traditional upper, this really feels like a sock.
The last 7 years, the Boost material was a stable when it comes to cushioning. Several models have proofed this. Notwithstanding the age, the material is still good and certainly does the trick when it comes to the padding part. The energy return was lacking in previous models and adidas successfully changed this with this model and the newly developed LEP Torsion System. The Torsion system is something that can been seen in older models but adidas changed it quite a bit and added the flexible TPU fork to increase the toe off.
A new standard is the Continental rubber that is used on the outsole of the shoe. Its durable and grips pretty well.
Two german tradional companies unite. Continental was founded in 1871 as a rubber producer and still is strong in this segment producing all kinds of tires and car equipment.
It is no top-secret that the Ultraboost 21 is not the lightest shoe. With a weight of nearly 380 grams in my US13 model it is weighty for its standard. Nevertheless, it doesn’t feel super heavy or unsmooth while running. The feeling was normal and I never felt I have to invest more energy then I essentially got out of the shoe. According to adidas, the Boost foam in this shoe is now firmer. This should result 20% more responsiveness.
A close up shot highlighting the Primeknit upper that is made of yarn from recycled plastic bottles.
It looks like the heel is one gigantic portion of Boost foam with one major drop. With 10mm, it is not that huge at the end. The heel foam is wrinkled around the cup of the heel and produces a setup that allows the foot to sit securely inside the midsole. This is a major change to the previous version, the Ultraboost ST.
To me the Ultraboost 21 is a daily milage grinder. I really treasure the fit and the padding it offers. I use this shoe on a daily basis to get the base miles in the tank. I like the fit the reliability of the boost material that certainly doesn’t disappoint. With the arrival of the Lightstrike and Lightstrike Pro material it will be exitng to see what the future holds for this modell range. Boost is the heaviest of the current three Adidas performance foams and it will be interesting to see how the brand develops or include these materials further.

Tune of the day: Fred The Godson – Garcias
YouTube of the day: Kengo Suzuki’s 2:04:56 National Record to Win Final Lake Biwa Mainichi
Pod of the day: Tommy Hughes joins the Spring Snyggt Podcast (Start at 53 Minutes)

Shoeporn: Hoka One One – Evo Carbon Rocket

Hoka One One is not all about chunky, oversized shoes. A heck of a 1mm thick full length carbon plate and a, for Hoka Standards thin sole, make this one a proper racing shoes.
Front view – the slick neon colourway (officially called: Citrus / Cyan) gives it away, this lightweight performer is loud and quick.
The Evo Carbon Rocket weighs in with a mere of 218 grams. If you put the amount of cushion in account, this is a pretty rad competition weight just right there.
I quickly became a fan of the smooth and thin upper. Pretty good breathability and a snug fit. All of this with a pretty roomy toe box. Nothing to complain really.
A closer look at the upper and the tongue. Both parts of the shoe are pretty slim and feel very good. Minimal and durable as it should be with a shoe that needs to go fast.
Another detail shot – The clean back end with a height of 26mm that goes down to 25 mm at the forefoot.
Inside the ride – Please note the very comfortable and efficient 1.00mm hell to toe drop. I enjoyed this a lot going through the paces. It certainly helps to be a mid-foot or fore-foot striker.
What you see, the front of the shoe. What you can not see, a striking carbon fiber sole sandwich. Pretty Yummy…
A early prototype of this shoe was spotted while Cam Levins broke the Canadian marathon record in Toronto at the end of last year. Afterwards message boards went crazy and soon after his race Hoka One One released the Evo Carbon Rocket to the masses.
It is pretty obvious that the sole has the design of a rocking-chair. This creates a very springy toe-off while running.
Hoka continues to push the competitive running segment. Their models continue to surprise me in a positive way.
Bottomline – the outsole below the ProFly cushion material consists of yellow durable rubberized foam.
The obvious question is: Is the Evo Carbon Rocket comparable to the latest Nike 4% hype? In my opinion it not really is. The Evo Carbon Rocket is much stiffer and firmer which creates a completely different feeling. It sure has a great bounce but that does not match the sensation of the foam that is used within the latest 4% fleet. It will be interesting to see how the latest Hoka One One Carbon X compares.

Tune of the day: MJ Cole – Serotonin X Tuamie – Flamingo Pink X Fierce and Cause 4 Concern – Carrier

VIDEO: From Flemingsberg to Handen

It has been a while. And it did not take me long to rekindle my love for proper trail running.

A great day out on the Sörmlandsleden. A 1.000 kilometer hiking trail that hits the south of greater Stockholm. Saturday saw some remarkable Trail Jogging with the lads (Strava evidence)

We went all the way from Flemingsberg till Handen. Fellow jogger and talented videographer Otto Norin visually summed it up.

You gotta love some off-road jogging.

Tune of the day: The Deli – Sunflowers

shoeporn: Nike – VaporFly 4% Flyknit

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