Total Pageviews

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Product review - Haglofs Endo GoreTex Jacket

The rain on the SDW100 hammered it down within 3 miles and I got wet. I purchased an OMM Kamelika 2 years ago and the coating that was so very impressive and waterproof then, sadly after some very wet ultras and marathons and even more wet winter training runs on the mean streets of South London finally gave up the ghost. I got seriously wet.

Then came wedding and honeymoon and I forgot about getting wet to the core until my run from Crystal Palace, up and along the Thames Path, round the Dome/02/North Greenwich Arena (delete as appropriate) and back through Greenwich park and along the Waterlink Way. It wasn't a long run (15 miles) and it wasn't winter....but it got me thinking......I need something better (btw, I was in a vest and shorts)

So, I took the plunge and invested in some good quality Gore-tex. This jacket from Haglofs retails at £230 so was not an impulse purchase.

The OMM Kamelika was £130 so hunting around on the web, I found the only size L (40 chest) in the marvelous Ellis Bingham shop (winter and extreme sports) and it arrived this morning (£172.00 in the sale). They even sent a txt stating it would arrive between 8.31 and 9.31am. Luckily I am school holidays!

So, the road test was a wait for the rain. This afternoon a downpour ensued so I cut off the tags and went out in the rain. Apologies for the crap pics from my phone!

The positives..........So the Haglofs Endo was a good fit. Not as long as the OMM jacket but a snug fit with lots of stretch in the arms and in the torso when turning around. It felt good to wear and after 30 mins of running was dissipating any internal moisture faster than anything I have worn before. The noticeable benefit was the sleeves. The OMM would gather condensation from the arms and the velcro fastenings would gather pools of moisture. This gathered no moisture and also did not pool. The mass of the jacket is 300g so is no heavier than your average winter thermal layer and stows into the size of an apple. Excellent.

Whilst on the arms........

There are thumb loops which offer protection from the wet/wind/snow etc which will no doubt keep the handies warm

Onthe underside, something a little more grippy but this may be discussed in the negatives......

The front is good with an easy access pocket which stayed dry, not only in the rain but in my shower test.....see later. I think this also looks pretty good too.

The hood is really close fitting and breathable. My barnet was dry, from rain and from perspiration. There are 2 drawstrings, around the hood face and around the back which pulls close to your head. This for me was counter intuitive as with the OMM, I had a billowing sail that would rival something off the Round the World Yacht race spinnaker, but I could hear and see. With this I could see and hear and didn't billow or buffet.

The negatives......

probably a crap pic but the drawstring round the base was not a great deal of use as for me with a 6ft 2 frame, the jacket came up perhaps a little short. I want to make sure that the crown jewels are kept in a non-soaked way so that after hours of cold wet rain, they still work.If the jacket was  longer would be great. The next size up would have been too big on the chest though.

Finally, lets get back to those hand grips. Great when it's cold, but an issue here is that to check the Garmin 310XT, is an effort. Unless you have the beeps on, getting a view of the watch is a bit of work and I hope over time does not stretch the fabric and compromise its waterproofness.

So many more positives than negatives and in the rain, this will be in my running kit for the Winter marathons and Ultras.

Finally, the "grey T-Shirt test"

I stood in the shower with this on with a grey t-shirt underneath for about 15 mins.....putting the shower on at  a number of different settings and angles. VERY IMPRESSIVE.

I think I have the upper body kit for quite a few Winter Rounds now. Gore tex appears to be better. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Sinking feeling

Sinking feeling by ultraBobban
Sinking feeling, a photo by ultraBobban on Flickr.

Recoveries are strange things....sometimes they are quick and unexpected. At other times, recovery is slow and there are setbacks along the way. There are not many people who I follow either via blogs, twitter or facebook that can race at their full potential week-in, week-out.

Normally it takes a good run on the North Downs Way to clear my thinking, blast away the cobwebs and set some new goals. Last week Eric and I did a route that I have done a couple of times, starting out at Knockholt Pound, through Otford and Kemsing. I really struggled. Yes, I had run 80km in 4 days but that is not a huge deal usually.

Completing the 100 miler was my ultra mission this year. Completing it in under 24 hours was my next mission. Both of these were achieved so I think the drive and determination are somewhat lacking at the moment and this mental block, as much as the physical is the cause of this malaise.

So, new gear is a way to cheer up and I have purchased a couple of beauties.....

1. A new backpack. The UltrAspire Fastpack. regretably my trusty Salomon Raid zip has finally bust and the stack pockets have holes in. No other pack has been so good so I'm hoping the amazing Fastpack will live up to its reputation. Straight out of the wrapping this morning and it feels very comfortable and fits like a glove. I'll do a report on it soon.

2. A new jacket. My old OMM Kamelika has lasted 2 winters but the coating is coming off and leaving the arms in particular quite damp when it rains hard. I have invested and hope this is a good one: Haglofs Endo. I'll road test it in the rain that is forecast over the next week or so. It is a Goretex triple shell and very lightweight so am quite excited about going out in the bad weather. I'll continue with the OMM on short training runs when the weather gets worse but this fella is for the long training runs and winter rounds that are coming up.

I know Jerry will be proud of this sartorial nonsense so I look forward to strutting it at the next ultra!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

a hotter round

mersea island. on the map by ultraBobban
mersea island. on the map, a photo by ultraBobban on Flickr.
 Sometimes when you don't get up as early as planned, the heat can get to you. Don't get me wrong, I like the heat but yesterday came as a 30 degree surprise. I enjoyed the first 10k up to the hammerhead. Unusually the tide was way out so I ran most of the way along the sand. There were loads of people, something that I haven't experienced before. usually, Xmas day, or a wet November, there will be the odd dog walker.....but there were hundreds on the beach.

Arriving at the hammerhead, Mrs UB, with bottle of juice joined me for the back of the island. Running past the sailing club a huge banner "well done Saskia" a tribute to Mersea's own silver Olympic sailing medalist and back to solitude. Over the Strood and the sun was high in the sky, on a cloudless, windless midday. We quickly quaffed all of the juice and stopped occasionally to admire the vista. Going became slow due in most part to the overgrown-ness of the coastal path, with Mrs UB face high in wildlife. When the oyster fishery fishery comes into view, it is 2 miles away and a further mile from home, always a welcome site.

22km of beach and trail running later, we were hot and sweaty and in need of refreshment. Luckily the kids had a mega-paddling pool set up
In the garden so after little Charlie had attacked me with the hosepipe I dived in and lay in the pool for 10 mins with a cold can of sprite. Sunburnt, tired and warm. Great run though.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Getting ready for the winter season

I've got a few things in mind. i have changed my plans for the autumn and winter season as there are a few things that have cropped up.....weekends away visiting folk and also some further commitments. I'm revising my schedule and have a few different things to run.

1. I can't see myself going through the same challenges as last year (bar say Gatliff, which is a challenge)
2. Familiarity breeds contempt
3. I am going to do some running up North where things are f'ckin 'ard.

So I am reviewing my footwear for the winter season.

Saucony Peregrine 2s...light fast trail shoes.

Vasque 2.0GTX Chillis......erm yellow and Goretex but about as heavy as Salomons. These I might be using for the likes of Gatliff and the wetter muddier courses. I think these might survive a nuclear war.

I don't really like the heavy shoes but having sent back a pair of flimsy Asics Gel Fujis straight out of the box, these look like the sort of chaps that will endure the most difficult of conditions. If I end up sweeping for the Winter100, they may be well used.'s a long time until the rain comes back so I'll be trotting the streets and trails of S. London in something far more suitable for the time being!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

London 2012 Olympics

London 2012 Olympic Triathlon - Team Brownlee for GBLondon 2012 Olympic Triathlon - Brownlee goes for GOLDLondon 2012 Olympic Triathlon - blink and you'll miss it!London 2012 Olympic Triathlon - massive crowds try to catch a glimpse of history in the makingLondon 2012 Olympic Triathlon - France train

London 2012 Olympics, a set on Flickr.

Switching from discussing running to discussing the 2012 Olympics.....What a sight to see the Brownlee brothers take Gold and Bronze in Hyde Park. When the crowd was 50 deep, this was not an exaggeration! There must have been a million people lining the route. Imagine the buzz of winning in front of that many people?! Amazing!