Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Skechers GOrun Ultra Road: Initial Review

My first impression of the Skechers GOrun Ultra Road (GRUR) was that it was a 'big' shoe. I wasn't really expecting to get a feel for it so soon but when Skechers Malaysia dropped a pair on me, I was as excited as I always am when I get to try out a new pair of shoes.

The GRUR was developed from the basis of the original GOrun Ultra, a decently flexible, light (for all its bulk) and well cushioned hybrid of a shoe that could take on both the trails (less technical ones) and road. But with more runners taking them out on the roads rather than the trails, the outsole wore down pretty fast.

After the second iteration of the GRU, which maintained the same outsole and also wore down pretty fast on the roads, the Skechers GOrun Ultra Road was conceived by adding strategically placed rubber pods in key strike zones for more durability and abrasion resistance. The GRUR is specifically aimed at total road running and with the added extreme cushioning (I'll come to that later) would perform well in long hot weather races such as 100 milers with ease. That's just my observation cos I have no intention of taking them out for 100 milers!

The Skechers GOrun Ultra Road in my opinion is a special beast of a shoe. Though in theory a 4 mm drop shoe but with a stack height of 26 mm forefoot and 30mm heel, this is one extremely cushioned shoe. Weighing in at 10.4 oz. for a men's size 9, it's not too bad for a shoe of its category though I found it to be a little too heavy for me.

The GRUR is a complete revamp of the original GOrun Ultra. The upper of the Skechers GOrun Ultra Road is designed with the Skechers Performance FITKNIT® technology providing a breathable and comfortable fit. A completely knitted upper without any overlays and seams, save for the bonded logo on the lateral side. It's completely runable sockless though I won't vouch for it cos I don't run sockless. Four reflective elements adorn the back of the shoe with two on the front.

While the FITKNIT® upper did all it claimed to do, I found the fabric to be pretty stiff unlike the more stretchy FITKNIT® upper of the Skechers GOrun Bolt, which I simply love by the way. The upper was roomy enough for my toes to splay and had plenty of overhead toe room so the stiffness wasn't too much of a bother but I'd have preferred it to be more stretchy like the GOrun Bolt.

While the knit was a lot more 'closer' in the support area of the GRUR, a much 'looser' knit was apparent in areas where breathability and draining is required. The variable density of the knitting served different purposes of maximizing the airflow over the foot yet providing the necessary structure to keep the foot well supported during your run.

I did have two little issue with the shoe on my first run where I developed a blister on the top of my right small toe and felt the right heel collar rubbing against the back of my ankle. I very rarely get blisters and this was a concern for me. I first put it down to maybe a defect or loose piece of knit around that section but later discovered it was my old, stiff socks that was the culprit for both the issues. A change into a much newer pair of socks quickly cleared up both issues though I thought the heel collar was a tad too high for my liking.

The midsole of the Skechers GOrun Ultra Road is what makes it a lot more different that its older hybrid sibling. The GRUR is made up of two layers, a relatively soft underfoot foam with a thinner layer of the proprietary Resalyte® foam. The dual density Resalyte® provides maximum cushioning for the feet. Too much cushioning for me that it looks almost as thick as the Hoka's out there.

Two drain holes are noticeable on both the lateral and medial sides slightly towards the back of the shoe for unrestricted draining of water should you submerge your feet in a huge deep puddle of water while running. Perforation on the insole also helps with the outflow of water to these drain holes. Aside from draining water out from the shoe they do assist somewhat in providing unrestricted airflow through the shoe.

The outsole of the shoe is a completely different build up from its predecessor. This time around, the outsole looks more in line with the rest of the GOrun series in a sense that it has the firmer and more resilient GOimpulse sensors placed strategically around the outsole for added durability. I've always said the durability of the Skechers GOrun series was a little lacking especially around the lateral side of the shoes but the wear this time around seems to be way better.

The GRUR felt firm underfoot. It wasn't as flexible as the usual Skechers fare but it was as flexible as it could be for a shoe with such thick cushioning. Road feel though was completely non existent as to be expected with the amount of cushion you had on. For someone with a small Asian build and skinny feet like me, the shoe looked humongous on me. They actually weighed heavily on me as I ran in them. I guess I'm so used to running in the much more minimalist shoes. Personally I feel the Skechers GOrun Ultra Road would be perfectly ideal for someone with higher volume feet.

I've done a few runs in them and came away with mixed feelings. Like I said earlier, I'm more accustomed to the more minimalist or racing flats that anything with a higher stack height and tons of cushioning simply don't work all that well for me. I found it clunky, heavy and being a lot 'taller' than my usual lower drop fare, I had to be a lot more careful when I had to make sudden turns during my runs for fear of twisting my ankles. My feet also tired out a lot faster due to the weight.

That said, it's a not a bad shoe really. Someone with a different build from me will be able to carry the shoe just fine. And with the extreme breathability of its knitted upper, running a long hot or wet weather run or even an ultra distance race at a slower pace would be perfectly ideal for the GRUR. For me, they're good as a recovery shoe or on days when I just want to go really slow and easy.

The Skechers GOrun Ultra Road is currently not available locally yet but when it does, it'll be retailing in at RM539.00 for the men's and RM529.00 for the women's. Once I get wind of the release dates, I'll add it to this post.

The pair of Skechers GOrun Ultra Road above was kindly provided by Skechers Malaysia for wear testing. This review is of my own personal experience with the shoe and is in no way influenced by Skechers Malaysia whatsoever.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

BSN Putrajaya Night Marathon 2015 Press Conference

Come 24th October, 12,000 runners will be seen blazing their way across the streets of Putrajaya for the BSN Putrajaya Night Marathon once again.

The BSN-PNM 2015, the city's largest annual night marathom will see its 5th year being sponsored by Bank Simpanan Nasional with a major rebrand introducing a new, refreshed logo identity and adding the 5km Glow Run as one of its offered categories.

The much awaited BSN-PNM was capped at 12,000 participants and saw all its slots taken up within the first week of registration opening. The reason for the cap, according to Nithi Seelan of Twenty First Century Sports was that BSN being a community bank was not at all interested in the numbers game and preferred to keep things smaller and closer to the community.

The new logo that was launched during the press conference saw a more cleaner, minimalist, strong and modern look to it with a bolder font symbolizing the maturity of the event. 'The black, bold font coupled with an icon of a human running are in alignment to show unity, progression and balance', said Mr. Siew Kin Meng, Deputy Chief Executive of BSN.

Siew also said that BSN-PNM is the only marathon that provides all its runners with insurance coverage during the event, offering them protection during the competition until they're safely back home. This insurance coverage is provided by sister company Gibraltar BSN.

The 5km fun run category has also been revamped and is now called the 5km Glow Run where each of its 2,500 participants will receive a glow stick, glow glasses and a pair of glow laces for their shoes to add more color and light into the night.

To make it more exciting for the runners, the entire route of the 5km Glow run will be decorated with glowing lights in the form of LED lighted cones placed along the way. The signature BSN cheerleaders will also be placed along the Jambatan Sri Gemilang urging the runners on to the finish. Don't forget to whip out your cameras for some fun selfies with them.

For the more competitive among you, the 10km, 21km and highlight of the event, the 42km categories are also lined up to put all your training to the test. The routes remain the same with some minor changes and those of you who are familiar with the previous editions of the BSN-PNM, you can be sure of a tough challenge ahead of you.

Aside from the fun run and competitive categories, BSN-PNM 2015 is also set to raise funds for the Department of Paediatrics in four hospitals namely Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Hospital Selayang, Hospital Sungai Buloh and Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah, Klang.

The four beneficiaries for this year's fundraising through the 10km Corporate CSR Run will receive donations from the collection of entry fees in the corporate bodies category. Last year a total of RM100,000 was collected through participation and donated to the Persatuan Dyslexia Malaysia.

So, this coming 24th October 2015, ready or not, go own the night!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Contest Winner : Mizuno Wave Run 2015

Congratulations to the winner (please see video) on winning the complimentary entry for the 10th Anniversary of the Mizuno Wave Run 2015 from World Of Sports Malaysia. Please contact me with your details so I can send them to WOS for further action. Please revert within a week or I'll have to give the complimentary entry to the second person drawn by the wife as a standby.

Thank you to all those who participated, try again next time :D

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Win A Complimentary Entry To The Mizuno Wave Run 2015!

The first time I ran the Mizuno Wave Run was way back in 2010 held in UPM with the wife. I had loads of fun even with the tough and hilly route that had me cursing throughout! 

This year, the Mizuno Wave Run will see its 10th year anniversary with a new category, the Half Marathon being added along with the usual 10km category to commemorate a decade of the run. The race is scheduled for the 27th of September 2015 and will be held in Putrajaya. 

To make the event a fun and successful one, World of Sports Malaysia is giving one lucky person a complimentary entry to run the category of his/her choice. To win the complimentary entry, all you have to do is simply leave a comment for this post and state which category you'd like to run in. Really simple, right? 

To give yourself an even better shot at winning, you can say really nice things about the blog owner ... hahaha! The winner will be picked by my wife in a lucky draw sort of format. Just a note in case you'd like to 'bribe' her or anything. She loves Kipling handbags, just so you know! Ok, ok, I'm just kidding about the Kipling thingy.

The contest starts with immediate effect and the winner will be announced next Saturday, 15th August 2015.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Press Release: Mizuno Wave Run Returns With Its 10th Wave Edition

PUTRAJAYA, MALAYSIA, 7th August, 2015 – Mizuno Wave Run, organized by W.O.S. World of Sports Malaysia and Mizuno is set to return with its 10th inaugural wave edition at Putrajaya on 27th September this year.

Since its inception in 2005, Mizuno Wave Run has been one of the most popular running events in the Klang Valley. This year, to commemorate its 10th wave edition, Mizuno Wave Run is set to deliver a new experience to the runners by introducing a new distance category, which is the 21km Half Marathon alongside with its popular 10km distance category.

“It’s been a great milestone for Mizuno Wave Run since its inception back in 2005. With only 900 odd runners back then, the event has gradually grown to be one of the most anticipated local running platforms amongst runners,” said Senior General Manager of W.O.S. World of Sports Malaysia, Ms. Carol Wong.

“Over the years, we have been receiving positive responses from our regular Mizuno runners and we are thrilled to be back again. This year, we are targeting 4,500 runners and we believe that with the introduction of the new distance category of 21km Half Marathon, we are able to deliver our best commitments to those who have been supporting us over the past 9 years”, Carol further commented.

Putrajaya is chosen again to host the Mizuno Wave Run 2015 due to its perfect landscape infrastructure. “Undeniably, a good location plays a major role in ensuring a comfortable running environment for runners. With the beautiful landscape, safety routes and ample parking space available, we are convinced that choosing Putrajaya as the event location will encourage and entice a promising number of runners this year”, said Senior Sales Manager of W.O.S. World of Sports Malaysia, Mr. Glenny J Da Costa.

Mizuno Wave Run 2015 offers a total of 8 categories for various age groups and winning prizes worth more than RM50, 000 are up for grabs for the Top 10 Finishers in both 21km and 10km distance categories. “We would like to thank our official sponsors; Nestle Fitness Cereal, Perskindol, Ebene and Gatsby for their continuous support in making Mizuno Wave Run a yearly success”, Glenny added.

Runners can register via myraceonline.com and the closing date for registration is on 13th September 2015 or when reaches 4, 500 participants (whichever comes first). Entry fees for 21km and 10km are RM70.00 and RM60.00 respectively, with a scheduled race kit collection on 25th – 26th September 2015 at World of Sports Paradigm Mall. Additionally, the flag-off time slots are 6.30am for all 21km Half Marathon categories and 6.45am for all the 10km categories.

Upon registration, participants are entitled to an exclusive Mizuno Wave Run 2015 Official Running Singlet. Additionally, all finishers will be rewarded with a Finisher Medal and endorsed E-Certification (printed finishing time and position to be downloaded from myraceonline.com).

In conjunction with Mizuno Wave Run, W.O.S. World of Sports Malaysia will be organizing Mizuno Running Clinic Sessions to train runners for the upcoming event. Scheduled to run on 22nd August and 19th September 2015 at Dataran Kemerdekaan Shah Alam, Section 14, lucky registered runners will get the chance to learn hands-on tips on different running elements and strategies from Mizuno Official Ambassadors.

Mizuno Wave Run registered runners will also get to enjoy exclusive discounts on selected Mizuno merchandise, alongside with various contest giveaways. For more information, log on to World of Sports Malaysia Facebook page for latest promotional updates.

About World of Sports Malaysia

WOS World of Sports (M) Sdn Bhd a subsidiary of VGO Corporation Limited based in Singapore, was incorporated in 1992. The World of Sports (WOS) retail outlets provide a comprehensive range of sporting products/equipments and related accessories for a wide range of sports to cater to the growing numbers of sports-lovers and fitness-conscious Malaysians. WOS retail most of the International branded sporting goods, apparels and equipment like Mizuno, Head, Columbia, Hi-Tec, Teva, Salomon, and many other active lifestyle sporting products/ accessories.

About Mizuno Corporation

Mizuno Corporation is a Japanese sports equipment and sportswear company, founded in Osaka in 1906 by Rihachi Mizuno. Today, Mizuno is a global corporation which makes a wide variety of sports equipment and sportswear, for running, golf, football, baseball, volleyball, rugby, skiing athletics etc.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Rhianna Liew
Marketing & Communications Manager
W.O.S. World of Sports (M) Sdn Bhd
Email : rhianna.liew@wos.com.my
H/P : 018 – 2306 662
Office : 03 – 8961 8299

Ruby Chan
Marketing & Communications Executive
W.O.S. World of Sports (M) Sdn Bhd
Email : ruby.chan@wos.com.my
H/P : 012 – 9079 360
Office : 03 – 8961 8299