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Thursday, 29 December 2011

Digging in

Pink Spade - lomo stylee by ultraBobban
Pink Spade - lomo stylee, a photo by ultraBobban on Flickr.

Not for winter, but just for my 14.5 miles today. A squally wind whipped up every which way I ran this morning. I bimbled down about 4 miles to Eric's in Dulwich and we had a chit-chat for 5 and-a-bit-miles prepping for new year and discussing targets for the short and medium term. Happily Eric and Cheryl are joining us for new year along with 8 others as we sample an around the word gustation as the clock strikes each hour before midnight.

Chinese, Aussie, Greek and French are on the cards so far. We will be ending with mini-Cornish pasties and apple pie with custard.......toasted with high quality cider, for midnight. This will be my last cider for a few months as I link myself into some sort of shape for the arduousness ahead.

As a technocrat of the running fraternity, I welcomed the box that was on the dining room table when I returned from the hilly 14.5. I waded through Dulwich and Sydenham Woods after Brockwell Park, Herne Hill and Dulwich Park (although we forgot to see the Barbara Hepworth missing bronze sculpture stole by metal thieves last week) up Crystal Palace and back home. The box was my Salomon XT S-LAB Hyreation system........

Wearing it, it fits like a glove (albeit a tight one) and running around the lounge and dining room it feels like nothing I have worn before. Comfortable, smooth against the skin, no chafing points. The hydration system is a click-fit quick release. It has built in first aid kit, whistle, velcro removable pockets that will stick anywhere. It also looks shit hot.


There are 4 problems with this.

1. It is slightly too small. I have a 40 inch chest and this would fit well round a 36 inch or smaller frame.

2. The zip pockets around the back are not reachable when wearing it. Why are they there?

3. Now this is my biggest gripe. The straps that stretch across the chest and clip into the body of the system are rubbish. Very small, hard to clip in and fiddly. Fine in the comfort of your own home but imagine on a cold day? Fingers don't work. Imagine in gloves? Too small and fiddly. Imagine in the wet? Too small and slippy. Now imagine the last 30 miles of a 100 mile race. Fingers become stubs that cease too work. Brain ceases to work.......Even for a dexterous king like me, totally unworkable.

This was my ummmmm, arrrrhhhh, do I send it back?

Then the amazing Mrs UB came to look. "you like to carry your bottles on the they fit?" (this is why we are getting married as she Mrs Utility)

Conventional bottles do not fit in the straps. When smaller bottles (Lucozade/Powerade size) then you cannot run unless you hold your arms out at armpit level.

So it's going back. I am gutted as this was the best fitting back I have had since my Salomon Raidlight. I am still using this, despite it being on its last legs. The OMM bag is too small across the shoulders, although for shorter runs I use a Lowe Alpine Waist Pouch. I'm going to mail Salomon the news.

1 comment:

  1. Bad news about the Salomon vest - I also thought this when I tried a preview model at ISPO last year - I assumed they'd have made some changes before general release. Tut tut.