Runners hitting the trails

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita SANTA BARBARA – It was 5 p.m. The gym was loud, crowded and smelled like sweat. With her running shoes laced up and towel draped over her right shoulder, Jaime Eschette tried to be patient. She had already stretched and warmed up, but a quality, stress-free workout was now in question. She had no idea how long she would have to wait for an open machine. Others soon joined the wait. At 27, Eschette, the public-relations director for TEVA – a leading provider of running shoes – is an outdoor junkie. She trains for marathons, exercises habitually and always has loved the outdoors. And crowds at the gym are a major turn-off. “I don’t like running in a gym,” Eschette said. “I think it’s boring. I think it’s flat. I want to feel like I accomplish something, and I don’t feel like I’ve done that after I work out in gym. “The only time I go is if I waited too late, and it’s dark. You are staring at a TV that bounces up and down while you are looking at it. Plus, I think you get a better workout on the trail. To a certain degree, a machine does a lot of work for you. It feels kind of silly to work out in an environment that was made for running, but you are doing it on a machine. Why hop on a machine when you can run on a trail.” Eschette is among hundreds of thousands of runners across the U.S. and around the globe that in the past decade have left the gym and headed for the hills. Trail-running has become a major sport – reports claim a 25 percent growth in U.S. participants since 1998, to 6.49 million – and it’s gaining popularity as time spent outdoors becomes more valuable. Trail-runners – the shoes – are growing in popularity. Nearly every major shoe company has designed a model ideal for running on dirt and through mud, snow, water and over rocks. “People don’t want to run on the streets,” Eschette said. “With the new interest in the outdoors, it’s getting people off the streets and on the trail. It’s easier for your knees as well. Plus, the scenery is great. I love being out in the outdoors. It’s more serene, quiet and peaceful. You definitely feel like you aren’t in the office.” TEVA, Brooks, Asics, Merrell, Asolo, Salomon and nearly every shoe company that designs running shoes, hiking boots and other footwear is catering to trail-runners. “We are focusing on trail running and are really committed to it. It’s something we are really excited about,” Eschette said. “I think people are looking for something different. They are looking to get away from the city. “I ran this weekend, and I had to run eight miles to train for a marathon. Every few miles I have to stop, wait for a car to go by or wait at a light. It’s hard to get into your groove when you do that, but when you are on a trail, you can just go and don’t have all these obstacles.” Traditional running shoes work well on pavement, concrete, some dirt and tracks, but they don’t offer what aids runners on trails. “You are going to be a lot more comfortable in a trail-running shoe, but it does depend on the degree of the trail you are running,” Eschette explained. “There’s a lot of flat, straight and well-groomed trails out there, but as you graduate to tougher trails, you’ll need a better shoe. They have to be made to help you get through the technical spots on the trail, just like climbing gear helps you on your climb.” Is it really necessary for runners to purchase a pair of trail-runners? Mary Schoenborn, product development systems manager for Wolverine World Wide’s Outdoor Group, which includes Merrell and Sebago, says yes. “Trail-running has been a growing category since probably the mid-1990s,” she said. “Now many hikers are using trail-running shoes also to reduce weight, improve foot comfort and move faster on the trails. Trail shoes generally have better traction and stability for running or walking on rough, uneven surfaces. “They are also slightly lower to the ground and may have less cushioning, because the trail surface is not as hard as paved roads. The lower-profile design also gives more stability.” Trail-runners are more valuable than one might think, Asolo’s Jason Stadler says. “Almost all running shoes use an EVA midsole with some pockets for cushioning and shock management,” he said. “However, what they lack for trail running is the necessary protection that is needed while crossing miles of uneven, rock-covered, root-strewn trails. For this reason, trail-running shoes often incorporate a lightweight shank that manages these conditions while still providing proper flex for running. “The shoes also are typically gripped with more aggressive outsoles for varied conditions, whether it be dry/dusty, mud/slop, snow/wet. … Higher-cut trail shoes are also making a presence due to their ability to protect ankle twists.” As with running shoes, water sandals and hiking boots, trail-runners continue to evolve and improve. “I think we approach it the same way we do road-running shoes,” said Trip Allen, vice president of footwear design for Brooks Sports. “Weight is always going to be important. We’ll do whatever we can do shave weight so long as the shoe doesn’t lose its integrity for other needs. “For a number of years, trail-runners were like SUVs for the feet. We wanted to make the shoe more adaptable for the trail. I think, in general, trail-runners want a shoe that’s flexible, but still can provide comfort, so you don’t have the rocks bruising your foot.” Shaving weight yet maintaining stability and comfort is the goal of most trail-running manufacturers. And the rugged, lightweight shoes also double as everyday shoes. “Interestingly, another potential catalyst for the growth in this category was the market’s go-light mentality that started several years back,” Stadler said. “Weekend adventurers and snowshoers, for example, can now use these products because of their design. … They can, and do, serve as multipurpose footwear.” Chris Shaffer covers the outdoors for the Daily News. He can be reached at cshaffer@californiawaterfalls.com. last_img read more

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North West 10K gets a new chairperson

first_imgThe Northwest 10k Charity Run & Walk Committee has elected Neil Martin as its new Chairperson following the organisation’s 21st AGM in the Mount Errigal last night.The change of chief comes after the decision of James Boyle to step down from the position.Another long serving member Grace Boyle is also retiring along with Patsy and Bridgeen Doherty who had been ever present since the North West 10k committee was formed in 1996. The organization is also seeking a new PRO with Declan Kerr not seeking election for another term in the post. The new committee has now set the wheels in motion to recruit new members and would hope to complete that process in the short term as work on the 21st charity event gets underway next month.Succeeding Neil Martin as new Vice-Chairperson is Nancy McNamee while the remainder of the executive is unchanged with Anne Condon (Treasurer), Brendan McDaid (Assistant-Treasurer and Race Director) and Bernie Brennan and Rosemary Foy (Joint-Secretaries). Re-elected as committee members were Gerry Davenport, Paddy Bond, Neily McDaid, Gerard McGinley, Charlie Kerr and Norman Spratt. The Honorary President is Charlie Kelly.In his address outgoing Chairperson James Boyle said he had enjoyed his time as head of the organization but added it was now time for new members to give the North West 10k a fresh impetus.“There comes a time to allow new blood in and I have every confidence that the North West 10k committee can move forward successfully” Mr Boyle said. New Chairperson Neil Martin paid tribute to the work of those not seeking re-election.“I would like to thank Patsy and Bridgeen Doherty who had been committee members from the start 20 years ago and Grace Boyle who came on board in the early years for their long and distinguished voluntary service which has helped raised nearly €750,000 for 31 very worthy charities. I also want to acknowledge the very good work done by James Boyle as Chairperson and PRO Declan Kerr who are also stepping down tonight” Mr Martin said.In her report to the AGM Treasurer Anne Condon said that since 1996 the North West 10k has raised €744,474 for 31 charities. Last year two charities the Irish Pilgrimage Trust and the Spina Bifida organisation each received €8,627 from the charity race and walk.Applications will open early in the New Year for charities wishing to be beneficiaries from the 21st North West 10k Charity Run & Walk which takes place on Sunday the 30th of April in Letterkenny.North West 10K gets a new chairperson was last modified: December 15th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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