While this has been in the works for some time, I am excited to finally announce some sponsorship news for the 2012 racing season.
Before I get into the new news, I wanted to first give a quick shout-out to the folks at GU Energy. I've been running for them for a couple years now and have relied on GU's nutrition products for all of my ultra wins and course records. Their gels seem to get all of the attention, but the raspberry GU Brew electrolyte drink mix is my secret weapon. The constant flow of calories and electrolytes keeps me running strong, especially when the gels just won't go down late in the race. And I love the single serving packs that are so much more convenient for my crew to deal with when I'm racing.
|Special delivery last week.|
You might have also noticed that I recently added Swiftwick as my sock sponsor. I ran my first race in Swiftwick socks at the Land Between the Lakes 50 miler (race report). With the chilly temps at the start, I went with the Pursuit 12 merino wool compression sock. It performed great even as the temperatures quickly climbed throughout the course of the race, a testament to the fantastic temperature regulating property of merino wool. In addition to their wicking abilities and compression, one of my favorite things about Swiftwick socks is that they are made right here at home in the USA.
|Donning the Swiftwick Pursuit 12's before LBL50.|
Now, I am especially excited to let everyone know that this year I'll be running for Salomon as my trail shoe and apparel sponsor. After watching the great things Salomon has been doing on the trail and ultra running scenes, I finally had an opportunity to try out some of their gear for myself. Not surprisingly, I found Salomon's reputation for producing high-quality and innovative products was well-deserved. I've been wearing their Speedcross 3 shoes on the trails for the last few months. My win and course record at Land Between the Lakes 50 miler was run in that pair of shoes. The Speedcross is very well cushioned and I have found the heel-to-toe transition to be silky smooth. If it weren't for the aggressive outsole lug pattern, I would wear these shoes to run on the roads. Of course, that lug pattern gives them great grip on the muddy trails that have been persistent in the Midwest of late.
I just received my first shipment of team apparel and gear this week. Although I've never run with a hydration pack before, I am really excited to try out the S-Lab Advanced Skin Pack. The reviews have been fantastic and it seems to fit very well just trying it on around the house. The real test though will be how it performs on the trails.
|S-Lab Advanced Skin Pack|
Speaking of exciting new products, Salomon is about to release a new shoe. If you are an active member of the trail/ultra community and you haven't heard of the Sense, you must be living under a rock. Salomon is hosting a live event tomorrow (Monday, 3/26/12), featuring Kilian Jornet, to officially introduce the Sense. Weighing in at only 6.5 oz, the Sense was designed specifically based on Kilian's needs for the Western States 100 mile trail run.
|As if it needs an introduction. The Salomon Sense.|
You see why I am getting excited here? I am running Western States this year. Kilian is running Western States. We'll both be running for team Salomon. Salomon will have a brand new shoe tailored for the WS trails. In addition to Kilian, Miguel Heras and Ryan Sandes from the international Salomon team are currently entered in Western States. No pressure, right? I haven't gotten a pair of the Sense on my feet yet, but word is that it won't be too much longer. While I am obviously optimistic, I definitely will have to thoroughly test out the Sense to make sure it's a good fit for me at Western States. Seeing how I adjust to the low 4mm heel-to-toe drop will be of particular interest.
But before we get to Western States, I need to be mentally preparing myself for the IAU World Championship 100k as it is the next race on my calendar. Physical preparation has gone extremely well thus far. LBL50 two weeks ago was a great checkpoint race, and after a little recovery week, I was back at 105 miles this week. This week included a 3x3200m track workout and a 25 mile fast progression run followed the next day by a 20 miler. I'll do one more hard week before beginning my 3 week taper leading into the 100k in Italy. Another exciting turn of events is that work is sending me to France to cover a test right before the 100k. So I'll have plenty of time to acclimate before flying straight from France to Milan to meet up with the rest of the US team.
I'll leave you with this. You've probably already seen this video, but it's worth another watch, I promise.