October 2010
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Month October 2010

finding some miles

Soddy Creek section of the Three Rivers Gorge segment of the Cumberland Trail. A great run… it’s been too long!

demo days

trail love

The local running shop paired up with The North Face to put a spin on our regular Wednesday night trail runs. We met at FastBreak, where TNF had a bunch of the Single Track shoe for us to test out and take for a run. I got there a bit late, so some of the women’s were already snatched up, but I was able to find a 9.5 to test for the evening. I was warned the ran about a 1/2 size small… I’ve been dancing a bit between 2 sizes, so these were pretty close to what I needed. The length seemed good, although the toe box a bit more narrow than I’m accustomed to. However, the sides have a stretchy mesh that is quite forgiving, so I gave it a whirl.

The turnout was fantastic! We usually get between 5 and 15 people at the runs, but we had at least 25 tonight. Our destination was Stringer’s Ridge – a 90+ acre conservation area just minutes from downtown Chattanooga. The trails are undergoing much work. We’ve been running on them for years, but until recently the land was threatened to be developed. Thankfully with the Trust for Public Land’s help, the area is now safe, and being preserved for the future. I haven’t been out here in a few months and was impressed with the conditions. A lot of people have been busy working hard! (Now if I can just find my way around the maze of trails….)

Back to the shoes! We probably covered 6 miles on a mix of conditions – pavement, old asphault, dirt trail, dry crumbly rocky dirt roads, with lots of leaves and roots thrown in. I found the shoes to be a bit cushy like a road shoe, which was perfect for the harder surface; yet the “ESS Snake Plate” protected my foot from the rougher stuff we encounted. In general, it was a bit more neutral of a shoe than I’m used to, but I still felt comfortable in them. I don’t know if it would be my go to shoe for ultra distance stuff, but could definitely see it fitting into my shoe lineup for shorter  runs. Definitely worth checking out! They were also voted 2010 Gear of the Year award from Outside Magazine & 2010 Best Debut award from Runner’s World Magazine, if you need a more professional recommendation :)


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