Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Innovation: La Sportiva "MountainLite"

Inspired by fellow Wasatch Speed Goat Steve Pero's recent modification of his La Sportiva CrossLites (he removed the lace "corset" to allow easier access to the laces), I decided to experiment and make a few modifications of my own to correct some of the shortcomings I had with this shoe. 

Before I go any further, let me say that the CrossLite is an excellent shoe; it is a great transitional shoe for those desiring to go more minimalist and are used to a more beefy, heavy and cushioned trail running shoe.  The CrossLite scores high on being a more streamlined, lighter and more lower profile shoe.  However, since I had already made the transition to very minimalist trail and road running shoes over the past 3 years (Inov-8 Roclite and Nike Lunaracer/ Free 5.0 respectively), the CrossLite simply is not minimalist enough.  A true mark of a minimalist trail running shoe, IMHO, is a shoe that is extremely flexible and thus very responsive on any trail surface encountered.  I want to be able to "feel" the trail to a certain extent.  The CrossLite's flexibility is extremely compromised by the torsional stability shank embedded in the shoe.  So I thought why not experiment with them to see if I can make them more minimal by removing this shank and in the process perhaps help develop a shoe that La Sportiva might consider marketing in the future?  Thus, the "MountainLite" experiment.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

2010 Antarctica Marathon


Finished 1st overall in 3:50:02 and was closely followed by my better half, Kathy, who finished 1st woman and 2nd overall in 3:58:59; Kathy became the only woman to go under 4 hours in the 11 editions of the Antarctica Marathon.  The course consisted of a series of 4 x 1/4 marathon out-and-backs.  It was a 100% non-paved, very hilly and extremely muddy route that really benefited those with trail running experience (i.e. me and Kathy). Temperatures never got out of the mid 30's, however there was a constant wind that grew to over 30 knots that created a chilly out bound head wind but wonderful in bound tailwind.  Not the toughest race I've ever run, nor my best personal performance, but I'm elated to have had the opportunity to run in such a forbidding and very difficult place to get to!