Love this graphic work outside (on the hoarding of) the National Library where work is going on. The troops in the trench almost unnoticed under the Earl are a very nice touch.
So half way through June I saw an fb notice posted by James W (Carnethy) advertising this Salomon marketing ploy where you get to try on some shoes, go a wee run and they give you a goody bag. The forecast was for rain and the start time of my group was 8am so there seemed almost no chance of me attending. However a cup of tea from Mary at 7.15 and a dry start to the day had me pulling on my kit before breakfast and heading through a pleasantly quiet town centre to where Salomon were displaying their snake oil.
And pretty good snake oil it was! James was there as a guide to tell me about the three types of shoe to try: Mantra, X Scream and Fellraiser. The first 2 are trail shoes for road runners and the Fellraisers are proper hill and trail shoes. The first 2 would be an excellent choice for the likes of Musselburgh 10k or the 7 Hills, both light fast shoes with slightly more grip than a road shoe and some cushioning. I did the 3k run in the Fellraisers as I have been looking for a pair of shoes for heathery hill runs. (I have Inov-8 190s for mud and smoother hills but heathery upper-shredders (Baddinsgill Round etc.) require something more robust.) I had tried a pair of my normal size (Fellraisers) on in Run and Become but they were a little snug at the big toe and I was concerned they would rub and blister over the likes of the Skyline. Somehow it didn't occur to me to try on half a size larger until this morning. This was what I ran in and although I might have to wear a woollier sock, they felt very good. So that's the early morning justified right there.
The Salomon test thing was pretty painless. Although they ticked off our names as we arrived it was very informal and I spent the run chatting to Mark H about his recent Ramsay Round. I forgot to notice how good the shoes were other than these are fine. Probably because the event was based at the Meadows instead of Holyrood Pk like last year, no doubt due to Her Maj's goings on there. It would have been nice to run up and down a proper hill. We were not given any hard sell - just a brief intro on the types of shoes. And there wasn't an on site opportunity to buy anything, which was a shame as I had my card with me. Salomon are working well to cut into the Inov-8 market on the hills (with the fellraiser, the Speedcross and other versions similar) and the street / trail market with their other shoes. They are succeeding because they are finally making LIGHT shoes. I had a couple of pairs of XA PRO 3D GTbloominX for camping and outdoors adventure but they are more of a walking and camping than running shoe. The Speedcross was (as far as I was aware) their first light and fast shoe. It's now in it's third generation although I don't know if they have fixed the need for a rockplate in the forefoot issue, it had in the first generation. Could just be me.
Johnny and Craig were there and it was Johnny who said the Suunto watch was worth a look. (Shery had tried one yesterday.) Suunto have snuggled up to Salomon and had a few gps watches to try. Without even a note of one's name they handed Johnny, myself and another dude the £200 watches to try out. I was sorely tempted to do a runner with it after the run. The most impressive thing about it was the speed (about half a second or less) it picked up the satellite signal. I guess this is the technology going forward and holding one arm aloft for garmin reception will soon be as redundant as the audio boing-and-rush of non-broadband internet hook up. Anyway I resisted the urge to steal one and returned the rather lovely timepiece having looked at it only briefly - I think it was in kms rather than minutes per mile and wasn't making a lot of sense in terms of numbers I recognised. But it looked fabulous dahling!
Back into my own shoes and that was that. Note to self to buy Fellraisers, and picked up the goody bag of dvd, sports bar, 10% off leaflet (this is already standard discount at Run-4-It if you are in a club) socks and buff. Unfortunately I didn't seem to get a pair of socks but I did get as compensation 2 cock rings. I have no urgent need for these so if anyone wants them (and they are unused) let me know and I'll pass them on. Unusual line for Salomon but hey, reaching out to the running community...?
I was going to run home then thought I should go for a run since I have my kit on and it's still not raining. I had the forethought to take a bumbag for bumf and buff and so headed to Holyrood and did a few laps of the crags and Hunters Bog. I spent most of the time thinking about my breakfast and wishing I had brought an mp3. (Completely forgot I was carrying the sports bar.) There is a danger that after a long run in spectacular weather, as on Tuesday, that everything else seems a bit dull and boring by comparison. Maybe it was just the shock of an early rise and I was tired. It was an effort to keep going and not just head home. I would tell myself once more round the Bog then home. Only I went via Calton Hill to photobomb the tourists and take the (out-of-house) total time to a minute over 3 hrs before retreating indoors and a very welcome breakfast.
I stopped for a bit to try to catch (with a camera) the swallows zooming over the crags but generally they are too fast and the camera (operator) too slow.
Home by 10.36 and if the sun keeps coming out I shall have to go back out for more. No plans for tomorrow - must plan something good.