Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Skechers GOrun Ultra 2: Initial Review

The original Skechers GOrun Ultra was the 'heavyweight' among all the GOrun Series. It was specifically designed to give the maximum cushioning between all the GOrun series. A shoe that works well for those extremely long runs where you need just that much more cushioning or even for your recovery runs.


I wasn't really expecting to see the Skechers GOrun Ultra 2 (GRU2) in Malaysia so soon, especially so when I just read about it online just a day or two before getting a pair from Skechers Malaysia to review. Now, don't get me wrong, the Ultra model isn't my most favourite of the series, I love the GR4 best, but I was still excited about the chance to put it to the test.


After all, I ran my first 'ultra' so to speak in the original GRU for the TITI 50K way back in February 2014 and it served real well. It was nicely cushioned and spared my feet all that much less agony. So, I was a little excited to see what the new update to the GRU2 would entail.

The new updated GOrun Ultra 2 is as cushy as ever with tons of cushioning. Not much has really changed with the GRU2 save for a new upper that still looks pretty identical to the original GRU with just some slight cosmetic changes.


The new look upper has been changed to be a lot more inline with the current GOseries, a huge S-Logo adorns the sides with a similar looking synthetic mesh fabric upper and synthetic overlays that now starts from the midfoot and goes around the back of the heel to the instep for added stability coupled with a 4 way stretch mesh for added comfort. A soft lining along the insides for a supposedly sock free run though I can 't confirm that cos I never run sockless.

The midsole and outsole remains the exact duplicate of the original GRU with no change whatsoever to it. The same enhanced Resalyte cushioning with its unique combination of the softer Resalyte™ midsole and the more rigid and tougher Resagrip outsole is still present for support and cushioning. The evenly distributed triangular shaped lugs provide a smooth, cushioned and natural feel while running. They aggressively provide good traction and superior control on most terrains, be it road, gravel or trail.


The weight though has gone up slightly making this a slightly heavier version than its predecessor. The original GRU weighed in at 8.7 oz for a men's size 9 while the GRU2 weighs in at 9.3 oz for the same size. I'm guessing the overlays has something to do with the increase in weight though it's still pretty lightweight for a 'bulky' looking shoe.

The GRU2 comes with a removeable insole that you can remove to give it a much lower drop. I normally remove all my insoles for all my Skechers GOseries shoes but I had to keep them on with the GRU2 cos removing them made the shoe really loose and my feet were sliding too much in them. Even thicker socks didn't help. An additional pair of shoelaces were also provided.


I really wouldn't call the GRU2 an update per se, more of a facelift is what I would categorize it as. Aside from its newer look, it handles exactly the same as its older brother. But it's still no doubt a great choice of shoe for one who needs all that much more cushioning and support under them compared to the usual Skechers fare. A good shoe for those really, really long hours out on the roads.


If you liked the original GRU than you'll no doubt like the Skechers GOrun Ultra 2 as well. The GRU2 is also a great alternative, price wise compared to the other brands of the same class out there. While it's not my most favourite of the series, it serves me just nice as a recovery shoe on days after a race or a particularly tough and long training run.


I've already run a couple of times in them so far with each session clocking in at 10km. I really didn't have the time or chance to take them out longer just yet. I've the GOrun 4 for my tempo's, the GOrun Ride for my easy runs, the GOmeb Speed 3 for my interval and speed sessions and the GOrun Ultra 2 fits in nicely as my recovery or really long run shoe.

The Skechers GOrun Ultra 2 is available in stores locally with a price of RM419 for the men's and RM399 for the women's version. If you're looking for a reasonably priced maximum cushioned shoe, then look no further than the Skechers GOrun Ultra 2.


The pair of Skechers GOrun Ultra 2 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, January 21, 2015

A New Chapter

With the new year slowly settling in, it's time to start hitting the drawing board and making up a new training programme. With my main race for the year, the Gold Coast Airport Marathon, all paid and accounted for, all that needs to be done now is train for it.

While it's still slightly over 6 months away but some kind of training plan needs to be started now to slowly ease into things. That's where the problem lies though. I don't have a proper training plan, at least not one that makes a semblance of sense. 

The 'training' currently has been get up, lace my shoes and just run. No method to it. There are days when I do easy runs, days when I feel like pushing myself, days when I question my sanity or even days when I just feel like going to the nearby shop, have a nice roti bawang and just screw the run.

It's really been hard to get back to a proper training phase. I had a decent time goal planned for GCAM this year but with the recent unexpected results in Chiangmai, I need to revise those time goals a little and in doing so, a proper training plan matters a lot. 

I'm trying to recreate my training, which was really non-existent, for Chiangmai and tweak it for GCAM. I must have done something right with that plan so in theory, if I keep doing what I did then, that should be enough, right? In theory anyway. 

The only positives are that I have encouragement from the wife who believes in my limited abilities and a group of equally running mad friends that I can count on to help better my goals and push me out of my comfort zone at times.

Where do I go from here?
I don't intend to sign up for many races this year safe for a few key ones that will aid in my marathon preps. I'm still identifying those races. My only spur of the moment race which I'm regretting signing for is the Nuang Ultra Challenge in March, something that I will just have to do with the least possible whining. Serves me right for signing up!

But there is a HUGE possibility I will DNS the event, what with the recent cementing, yes cementing of the trail path leading up. Whose bright idea it was to come up with that hare brained scheme needs a hard knock on the head!

Training will take precedence over all else though. Once I finalize what I'm going to need to do to achieve the time goals I've set for myself, things will shift into a higher gear. At my age though, I've just got to train smart and avoid injuries at all cost. This old body and legs take all that much longer to heal these days.

Emphasis will specifically be placed on honing the speed and building up the endurance but above all else, I'll need to keep the training consistent. With life and work to also be content with, that might be a stretch.

That said, I'll be looking forward to my morning runs that will alternate daily between solo runs and runs with the wife and also the longer weekend group runs with the gang. Here's to a good running year ahead!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Limited Access to Padang Merbuk for MPIB Run 2015

I've always considered the Multi-Purpose Insurance Run (MPIB) as the first race of the year even though it had to be postponed from the 4th of January to the 11th January 2015 with regards to the KL Car Free day. The postponement was a little perplexing though since the actual race location and route hardly goes anywhere near the closed KL car free zones.

Anyways, in conjunction with the race this weekend, certain roads will have limited access to accommodate the event. Please refer the the press release below for more info. To those running the MPIB run this weekend, all the best and have loads of fun. As for me, I'll be giving something back to the running community as a volunteer for the event.

Please also do note that there will be a final collection for Project Good Deeds of your pre-loved sports shoes and tees that will be donated to the Orang Asli community, so dig up your closet and donate generously.


Limited Access to the Padang Merbuk for MPIB Run 2015

Kuala Lumpur, 7 January 2015 – Multi-Purpose Insurans Bhd (“MPIB”) wishes to inform of the limited access to the roads leading to the Padang Merbuk on 11  January 2015 on account of the general insurer’s annual community Run. The roads leading to the venue such as Jalan Parlimen will be less accessible to vehicles from 6.50 a.m. to 9.30 a.m. to ensure a safer and smoother Race for the participants.

Participants will be running within the coned zone and following the directions of traffic police who are entrusted with the road traffic management. Route marshals are also on duty to assist the traffic police on that day and they are available at every junction and turning of the route. Project Leader Ms. Jayne Liew stresses, “We strive to ensure as safe a Race as we can so that the only thing runners need to concentrate on is running.”

For further information, please contact: 
Multi-Purpose Insurans Berhad Jayne Liew, Marketing & Corporate Communications
+6018 201 8818 | +603 2034 9859 | jayne_liew@mpib.com.my 

MPIB Run technical information / assistance please contact: 
Wan Yew Leong, Runners Malaysia 
+6019 35609031 | wanyewleong@gmail.com

For more information on the MPIB Run 2015, please refer to: http://www.mpibrun.com.my/ and http://www.facebook.com/MPIBRun.


About Multi-Purpose Insurans Bhd 
Multi-Purpose Insurans Bhd, a Malaysian general insurance company (“MPIB”), is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Multi-Purpose Capital Holdings Bhd, which in turn is a wholly-owned subsidiary of MPHB Capital Berhad (“MPHB Capital”), a public listed company. MPHB Capital was incorporated in 2012 and listed on the Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad on 28 June 2013. MPIB obtained its licence from Bank Negara Malaysia under the Insurance Act 1996 and provides innovative general insurance products and services customized to individuals and corporate customers. MPIB has a network of 12 branches strategically located in major towns in East and West Malaysia.

About MPIB Run

Back for the 4 January 2015. This annual community run will once again take place at the Padang Merbuk, Jalan Parlimen.

MPIB is proud to position itself as the pioneer general insurer in organising a community based public run in Malaysia in 2012. The inaugural event successfully gathered 3,750 runners, and for the 2nd and 3rd years in 2013 and 2014 respectively, 5,000 runners participated – an increase of 33% from 2012 inaugural run. MPIB hopes this is reflective of a growing community adopting a healthy lifestyle and, hence, the event is themed “Healthy Lifestyle – Work Life Balance”, aiming to suit the community from all walks of life.

During the weeks leading up to the Run, MPIB has scheduled 8 “My First Run Clinic” sessions for new and interested runners taking baby steps in the world of running. The sessions also include health and fitness related talks to furnish runners with fitness knowledge and to prepare them for the Run on Sunday, 11 January 2015.

MPIB Run 2015 is made possible through the support of sponsors and partners New Balance, Revive Isotonic, Running Malaysia, Pacific Regency Hotel Group and Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur; as well as Affin Hwang Capital, BP Healthcare Group, Mamee, Magnum, Nestlé Fitnesse, Nestlé Milo, Pilatique, Pinang Medical Supplies, KT Tape, Leong Adjustment Sdn. Bhd., Safeguards G4S, Simply Juice, Massimo and Penyelarasan Angkasa Sdn Bhd.