Category Archives: Running

Simonside Fell Race / Thropton Show

Nice write-up of last year’s Simonside Fell Race here.

Looks like today’s is going to be a warm one. Warm? In Northumberland? I don’t believe it.

pursued by angry bees

If there’s one thing the British are good at, it’s eccentricity. We’re so good at it we would be able to export it, if only the rest of the world got what it’s all about.

One of the key bits of our national oddness is tradition of the the village show – where else can you find horse trials, dog obedience, humorous vegetables, country crafts, a parade of tractors, agricultural supplies and cut-price Tweed (not that I own any Tweed, being vegan and all). And fell racing, don’t forget the fell racing.

Fell racing originates in the idea that the fit young folk of the village should like nothing better than running up to the highest hill about the village then descending as limb-disjointingly quickly as can be achieved in order to be judged maddest fool at the show. It goes without saying that it was invented before TV, which…

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Posted by on Saturday 19 September 2015 in Running


Brooks PureCadence review

I’d decided that my oldest pair of trainers (Nike LunarGlide+, bought in 2010, IIRC) were getting to be past their best, and were quite probably responsible for a few injury niggles that I’d had recently. I’d never been particularly happy with them anyway (not that I could tell you why), so wasn’t going to complain about a decent excuse to replace them.

Not long after getting the LunarGlides, I’d gone to Northern Runner for a proper gait analysis, and also the chance to try running in whatever shoes I was thinking of getting. As a result of this, I ended up with a pair of Mizuno Wave Nirvana 7. I’d been pretty happy with them, particularly with the feel of the forefoot, but was starting to think that they were just too chunky around the heel.

I went back to Northern Runner, and told them this, and the immediate response was a pair of Brooks PureCadence. As soon as I put them on, I noticed how much lower the heel felt; quite strange at first. A little jog up and down the corridor behind the shop, and I was sold. I tried a similar pair with a “normal” heel, for comparison’s sake, but I decided I really like the PureCadence and walked out of the shop after my card had taken a £100 battering… plus an extra £7.50 for some Lock Laces that I’d got talked in to buying. [Damn, I hate good salesmen.]

I wore them for an hour or two around the house, and was a bit concerned about how tight they felt around the top of my foot, but this is probably attributable to the so-called NavBand, a strip of thick, slightly elastic material that attaches to the outside of the sole on each side and goes over the top of the foot.

The first chance I had to wear them “in anger” was a strides session, the day before a race. Running at an easy pace to warm up felt very strange, and I almost wondered if I’d made a mistake. I felt very flat-footed and clumsy…

After a mile or so, it was time to start doing some strides. As I sped up, I experienced a revelation as the shoes started to “work”. Running fast seemed so effortless, heel strike was almost completely eliminated, and it felt so much easier to get my legs moving quickly than I’d previously been used to.

After doing six stride repeats and a warm-down jog back to the office, I could feel that my calves were a bit tight in unusual places. Probably a result of the lower heel forcing a different (hopefully more efficient) running style. I don’t think I’ll be wearing them for any races longer than a 5K for a few weeks yet, but I’ve got great hopes for these shoes once my legs have got used to them.

Let’s see if I’m still as happy with them in a month or two’s time…

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Posted by on Tuesday 3 July 2012 in Running


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