Week in Review: May 24-31
IAAF World Relays Debuts in the Bahamas
The story of the week undoubtedly came from the Bahamas where the IAAF World Relays were held for the first time and were hailed as a resounding success. The athletes apparently enjoyed the trip to the tropical island to run track in front of rabid fans. Yohan Blake was announced as the “Most Valuable Teammate” for anchoring Jamaica to 4 X 100 and 4 X 200 meter victories, but New Balance athlete Brenda Martinez deserves a hearty mention for her anchor legs on American Record 4 X 800 and 4 X 1500 meter teams that secured gold and silver medals, respectively. Overall, Team USA returned with medals in 8 out of 10 events (damn dropped batons).
Christian Taylor isn't just a Triple Jumper. (IAAF)
Oiselle Owner clashes with USATF
Oiselle stirred up some controversy by sharing a photo of the American Record 4 X 1500 ladies with the Nike Swoosh logos on the uniform replaced by the logos of their respective sponsors. While USATF often chooses to operate as though closing their own eyes makes them invisible to the world, protecting their biggest sponsor’s interests is not something they should be expected to take lightly. Nike funds the lion’s share of USATF’s operations (including athletes’ trips to the Bahamas for the World Relays) and the logo on the national team uniform is undoubtedly USATF’s most valuable asset to be sold. While Oiselle continues to make noise in the running industry by making great product, (certainly a favorite among women in the Running Warehouse hallways) and Sally Bergesen is by all accounts an admirable woman, they should know that intellectual property is not something to be trifled with.
Jon Sutherland Can't be Stopped! (Runner's World)
California Man Runs Every Day for a Really Long Time
Of course the rest of the World didn’t stop running while athletes competed in the Bahamas. In fact, for 45 years and 2 days (on Tuesday) nothing has stopped Jon Sutherland from his daily run as he now holds the record for most consecutive days run. Inspired by friend and former record holder Mark Covert, Sutherland has run at least one mile a day during a streak that started as a teenager. Through surgery and hurricanes he as averaged an incredible 11 miles per day logging over 190,000 miles total. Not all of those miles were at a leisure pace either; Sutherland boasts an impressive 28:51 10k personal record. Sutherland shows no signs of slowing down either, on Tuesday he ran twice, once for the local TV cameras and once for himself. (more from ESPN last year, here)
For nearly a decade, a single short has dominated the women’s run apparel industry. The Nike Tempo Track Short is the queen of running shorts; women of all shapes, sizes and abilities adore it, some so faithful that they refuse to wear anything else. Through the years, the Tempo has taken on over 1500 color combos and hundreds of prints, from tie die to stripes, checkers to polka dots. Other running brands have tried to confront the Tempo “craze”, but they have ultimately been unable to draw attention away from the hoards of colors and the incredible following that the short maintains. (There are entire walls of tempo shorts in many retail stores, and even a blog entitled “Confessions of a Tempo Addict”).
In some ways, the success of the Tempo Short is peculiar – it’s very basic in shape, fabric and features. In other ways, it’s no wonder that it has won over the hearts (and purses) of so many female runners: the fit is forgiving and generous, not to mention that it’s reliable and always available, with 20+ colors and prints to choose from during any season. Women need not “shop”, they can simply “buy”.
Priced at $30.00 MSRP, the Tempo is clearly a price-point buy. But Tempo-mania goes far beyond that, and it is likely to continue given that Nike is offering some 50+ versions of the short for the Holiday season alone.
Fascinated by the dominance of such a simple short, we decided to do a comparison between the Tempo and its competitors. Interestingly, when put in a line-up among other 3”–3 ½ ” running shorts of similar price and style, the Tempo didn’t pan out where expected. According to an in-house survey of 5 different shorts, a Saucony short actually out-did the Tempo in all 3 areas of criteria: Fit, Fabric and Aesthetics.
Nike Structure Triax+ 14 Men's Running Shoes
Coming out December 2010, the Nike Structure Triax 14+ continues along the path of its predecessors. Using the same tooling as the Structure Triax+ 13, which means the midsole has not changed (still uses Zoom Air for added cushioning), the latest version makes minor tweaks to the upper. Since the ride quality of the 13 is well liked, maintaining the midsole/outsole configuration on the new version is a good thing. This continuity allows past users a greater chance for success with the update.
The Running Event is the annual expo where all the major vendors and the running specialty retailers who sell their products meet see what’s new and catch up. It’s one of the few chance for running specialty accounts to see all the major players together in one location. The Running Event allows all of us to cover a great deal of ground in a short period of time. This year’s event was held in Austin TX and it was the 3rd time I’ve attended.