Saturday, February 18, 2012

Asics Gel Trail Attack 7 Review

This is by no means a new shoe but I am taking every chance I get to review shoes so that when I do get the new release shoes I will have more practice to give them a solid review.  Like other shoes that I have acquired recently, I got a sweet deal on these.  I wouldn't usually buy trail shoes seeing as I live in Eastern South Dakota and trails are not all that common around here but- they were an awesome deal and looked great.

Weight: 11.2 oz
Retail Price: $85
Heel Drop: 8mm

Feel: These shoes feel surprisingly light at first feel.  They only weigh in at 11.2 oz which is pretty average for a trainer.  They look much heavier with plenty of grip on the bottom and a sturdy well-constructed upper.  The shoes are a little stiff for my taste seeing as I am typically a Nike Free wearer but that is to be expected in a trail shoe.  I would rather have a stiff shoe then a bruised foot from a giant rock!  A suggestion I would have to Asics would be to make a slightly more minimal trail shoe.  It seems that all of the ones they have are bigger and heavier.  They could probably get away with a thinner midsole, lower heel drop, not as much grip, and a different rock plate.  I haven't had the opportunity to roll my ankle in these shoes yet but it feels like they would be fairly effective and stabilizing the ankle and protecting it from a major sprain.

*I would buy these shoes in a half size up.  10.5 is my typical size and this shoe is a snug fit when it usually is a more relaxed fit at that size.  I would also beware of the toe box- it isn't very accommodating to wide feet so make sure you try these shoes on before buying.

Looks: I really like the looks of these shoes and most Asics trail shoes in general.  The grips not only look sweet but they are very functional.  As you can tell in the picture, they provide traction in all directions.  I also am a big fan of the colorway.  My home high school is the Hutchinson Tigers and these shoes are perfect!  I also really like mid-soles that are not white, black, or gray.  The yellow foam is a nice touch there.

Durability: I think these shoes will last me a very long time, especially due to the fact that I don't run trails very often. The sole is very thick and grippy, I think the mid-sole and upper would wear out long before the grips.

Uses: This is a trail shoe at heart but it can be used for other things too.  If this winter were more snowy and icy I would certainly take them out on morning runs to provide more traction.  I feel they would be especially effective on packed snow.  Like all good trail shoes, these shoes protect your feet pretty well.  They have a fairly sturdy toe so that one stride when you don't get as much leg lift as usual (it happens to everybody) you don't have to break a toe.  The laces and lace loops look pretty rugged and well designed so they shouldn't fall apart or come untied until you want them to.

Other Thoughts:
-Rocks could get stuck in the holes that run from the arch almost to the toe but I haven't had an issue with that.
-Overall, I like these shoes and am excited for more trail running opportunities to use them!

Friday, February 17, 2012

This Day In Running- February 17th

2007- A brand new American, Bernard Lagat, establishes a new American Record in the indoor 3000m run.  Lagat's time of 7:32.43 broke Doug Padilla of Nike's Athletics West record by nearly six seconds.  Padilla's record had stood for 17 years.  Lagat holds the top 5 American times in the 3000 meters and until recently was the American record holder over 2-Miles indoors.

Bernard after Outdoor American Record 3000m

Thursday, February 16, 2012

2012 Nebraska Tune-Up

The Jackrabbit Track teams will compete at the Nebraska Tune-Up and the USD John Dalton Invitational this Friday, February 16th.  This will be the final push heading into the Summit League Conference meet held next weekend in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, hosted by IPFW.  This meet is crucial as a momentum and confidence booster as well as a chance to finalize conference rosters and obtain faster marks for the conference meet.

Jackrabbits to compete at Nebraska:
5000- Katie Boote, Josie Oakland, Laura Bauer
Mile- Brooke Peterson, Molly Kopfmann, Laura Lawton, Tera Potts, Andrew Thies, Drew Kraft, Lars Mattison, Greg Vollmer
400- Gina Fritz, Jessica McDonald
600- Jared Foote
800- Bobbie McLaury, Molly Kopfmann, Erica Meyer, Krista Creager, Lars Mattison, Dom Thielen
1000- Brooke Peterson, Laura Lawton, Drew Kraft
200- Jessica McDonald, Gina Fritz, Jared Foote
3000- Danielle McCann, Alex Suhr, Leah Bolon, Greg Beesley, Andrew Thies, Kyle Schmidt, Brian Brochman
4x4- Women's Team

Nebraska Schedule

Heat Sheets

USD Schedule

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Be Like Nascar

Here are a few ways that NASCAR does things better than Track and Field.  No, I am not saying that I like NASCAR or that I think it is better than running in any way, shape or form.  However, I think we can learn a few lessons from those guys.

1. Advertising.  Yes, I know Nick Symmonds just sold his arm on eBay and that this area might be in reform but we still are far behind.  I think that the shoe company that sponsors an athlete should be like the brand of car a driver uses.  They should be able to have a prominent logo but that's as far as their power goes.  The athlete or their agent or whomever should try and secure other brands to sponsor the athlete.  The athlete can put these logos on their jersey, warm-ups, appear in commercials, talk about them at a press conference, use their products in public, etc.  All of this would bring more money and attention to track and field and that my friends, is a good thing!

2. A more organized competitive schedule.  Something like the Diamond or Golden League comes to mind.  The NASCAR racers have their specific cups and they all attend all the races so they can accumulate points so in the end there is actually a winner.  Yes, I know that track athletes can't go out and race all-out every weekend but they could race a little more.  They could race at times when the conditions aren't perfect.  They don't need to break a record every single time out.
-This past weekend provided a fine example of how Track not having an organized schedule hurt the sport:  Galen Rupp just broke the American Record in the 2-Mile run.  That record was held by Bernard Lagat who just broke the American Record in the 5000m run.  Galen ran at the U of Arkansas in Fayetteville at the Tyson Invitational and Lagat ran at the Millrose Games in New York.  As a track fanatic I have to ask a few questions.  First, who is better, Lagat or Rupp?  Second, why didn't they race each other?  Third, why were these races on the same day?  Wouldn't a lot more interest have been generated if these two had raced each other in the 5000 at Millrose last Saturday and moved the Tyson to another weekend where they could race each other again.  Rivalries are great for this sport!  Look at USA vs the Soviets, Ovett vs Coe.  Those two rivalries drew a lot of attention to track from people who probably didn't even care about track but only cared about the rivalries.

3. NASCAR gets prime TV for every one of their races!  Track gets poor coverage, usually not live, and not at a good time.  I have watched a lot of Diamond League meets in the wee hours of the morning on Universal because that is the only time they were on.  I think this part of the sport would greatly improve with an increase in advertising.

I guess I only have three main points to discuss today but really, track is a like-able sport and as a true track fan I have to worry about the future of the sport.  If NASCAR can promote a bunch of dudes driving cars around in circles for hours on end then we should be able to achieve a similar amount of success with track and field.

Galen broke Lagat's record at Tyson

Lawi Laland, Edward Cheserek, and Bernard Lagat set records at Millrose

This Day In Running... February 15th

2009- Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia set the World Record for the Indoor Pole Vault and became the first woman to crack the 5 meter barrier indoors.  February 15th has been a good day in Yelena's career as she broke the Indoor record twice in 2004 on that date and once more the next year.  Overall, Yelena has broken the Pole Vault world records 27 times!  She has pushed the outdoor mark from 4.82m to 5.06m and the indoor one from 4.81m to her current indoor world record of 5m.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

This Day In Track... Valentine's Day

1999- Haile Gebrselassie ran a then world record of 12:50.38 in the 5000m in Birmingham, UK.  Haile is known as "The Greatest" for his dominance of the track and roads in the last 15 years.  He held world records at 2k, 3k, 5k, 10k, Half-Marathon, 30k, and Marathon.  He has won World Championships at every distance from 1500 to 10000.  Below is a book that I am currently reading and have found to be quite enjoyable.  I will post a review after I finish it.  Thanks for reading!

Iowa State Classic and Fargo Recaps

This past weekend was a record setting one for the Jackrabbit Track and Field Teams.  Here is a few highlights of the meets:

1. Jake Schneller took down Coach Rod DeHaven's Indoor 800m record.  Coach Dehaven had run 1:51.51 and Jake ran 1:51.14.  It was a good run and Jake looks to be one of the favorites for the Summit League 800m title.

2. DMR- Mike Krsnak (2:59), Jared Foote (48.3), Dom Thielen (1:53) and Jake Schneller (4:09) won the meet and took down the school record set just two years ago.  They also barely missed the all-time state record set by USD in 2007.  This relay team sits 18th in Division 1 right now.

3. Gina Fritz ran a #4 All-Time performance in the 200m with a time of 25.25.  She joins the elite company of Heather Wollman, Cameryn Christion, and Brittany Garner and vaults to #6 in the Summit League.  Gina is a true freshman and looks promising for the next few years.

4. Jared Vlastuin continues his long and high jumping success while winning both events and setting a school record in the latter.  Jared jumped over 7 feet for the first time.  He bettered Ben Jasinski's school record, set last year, by just a half inch.  Jared ranks 33rd nationally in the High Jump and 22nd nationally in the Long Jump.

5. The 4x4 relay team of Jake Schneller, Jared Foote, Brandon Priebe, and Chris Curry ran a time of 3:17.08, good for #2 All-Time at SDSU.  The only team they trail is that of last year starring Luke Leischner.

6. Chris Curry ran a PR of 22.33 in the 200.  This run is better than his outdoor PR of last year.  Chris looks to make a big impact at the Summit League meet next weekend in Ft. Wayne.

7. Jared Foote ran an indoor best of 48.72, moving up to #3 All-Time at SDSU.  His run also ranks him 4th in the Summit League.

8. PRs abounded as Dom Thielen also recorded one.  Dom ran 1:52.30 to win his heat in fashion and almost take the 800 title out of the second heat.  This is a PR by over a half second and ranks Dom 6th in the Summit League.  This run also ranks him #5 All-Time at SDSU.

9. Greg Vollmer and Trent Lusignan continue their success over 3000 meters this season.  They both set PRs and ran under 8:30.  Greg cracked the top-10 by only .2 seconds.  Also PRing in the 3k were Brian Brochman and Drew Kraft with times of 8:44 and 8:46.

10. In the 5000m, I broke 15 for the first time and Greg Beesley continues to blaze the comeback trail with a 23 second improvement over last week.

11. Krista Creager is a very consistent 2:17 800m runner.  However, this weekend she ran a near PR and an indoor best of 2:16.9!

12. Courtney Neubert makes a solid debut in the 5000m running an 18:12.  This time ranks her 13th in the Summit League.

13. Andrew Thies has a solid debut in the 3000.  The freshman ran the Mile in 4:34 then came back in the 3000 with a 9:14.

14. Mike Bredeson and Bennett Mercil gear up to score some points in the Heptathlon at the conference meet.  Both men broke 4000 points and look to improve on that in a few weeks.

15. Mary Wirth and Lora Shearer beat rival Toni Tollefson of NDSU in the High Jump.

16. The women's distance crew was full of great performances
a. Josie Oakland and Katie Boote ran 11:03 and 11:06 in the 3000
b. Leah Bolon set another season best in the Mile at 5:24 as did Molly Kopfman and Alex Suhr
c. Molly also ran strong in the 800 with a 2:27

17. McKenzie Johnson captured the women's shot put with a throw of nearly 44 feet.  The freshman is ranked 8th in the Summit in the event.

18. Brooke Garner completed the Throws double, winning the Weight Throw.

Saturday ISU Men's Results

Saturday ISU Women's Results

Friday ISU Men's Results

Friday ISU Women's Results

Monday, February 13, 2012

This Day in Track History- February 13th

1993- Merlene Ottey of Jamaica runs 21.87 seconds in the 200m to claim to World Indoor Record in France. Ottey, who competed collegiality for the University of Nebraska, also has the third fastest time ever in the 200m outdoors.  Ottey had a very long and successful sprint career.  She first went to the Olympics in 1980 and last competed there in 2000.  She won three silver and six bronze medals at the Olympics and added six golds and many more silver and bronze at the World Championships.

Ottey Competing in Athens for Slovenia

1988- Heike Dreschler of East Germany set the World Indoor Record in the Long Jump with a leap of 24 feet, 2.5 inches or 7.37 meters.  Dreschler also held the outdoor long jump record and tied the outdoor 200m world record as well.  Dreschler was always suspected of doping but she never failed a drug test in her whole career. Her career spanned the same time period as Ottey's, rising to prominence in the early 1980s and wrapping it up with a Gold in the Long Jump in Sydney.

Heike Dreschler

Sunday, February 12, 2012

This Day in Running- February 12th

This day in running, February 12th...

1909- James Clark of the United States ran a then-world record of 2:46:52.8 in the Marathon.  Clark set this record in the Brooklyn Marathon, beating the previous record set on January 1st of the same year, by nearly 6 minutes.  Clark's record would prove to be short lived as well.  Clark later became the President of the Long Island Athletic Club.

1997- Hicham El Guerrouj also set the World Indoor record in the Mile at 3:48.45.  "El G" was a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist in the 5k and 1500 in Athens as well as a silver in the 1500 4 years earlier in Sydney.  He also captured 7 World Championship Gold Medals from 1997 to 2003.  El G also holds records indoors and out for the 1500 and the Outdoor Mile and 2000m.

Hicham El Guerrouj Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco celebrates after he finished first and won gold in the men's 5,000 metre final on August 28, 2004 during the Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in the Sports Complex in Athens, Greece.
El G celebrating his second Gold in Athens