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Review: Gold Coast Marathon 2017

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It's been quite a while since I last wrote a race report but since a few people have indicated interest in one, I figured it'd be worthwhile doing. The Gold Coast Marathon has a special place in my heart since it was also the venue of my first ever overseas marathon, and also the race that secured my BQ timing that led to that memorable Boston race back in 2014. (race report here) For people who haven't read it, my original race report for the Gold Coast Marathon 2013 was posted as a Facebook note here.
This year, I was originally scheduled to race Dubai in January, and then have a stab at a PB by racing at Berlin again in September. See here for my 2014 Berlin Marathon race report. However, we found out my wife was pregnant with a due date in the third weekend of September, and so we settled on doing the Gold Coast Marathon instead, it gave me a good 4-5 months of preparation and it was pretty much as late as my wife could travel on the plane in July.
Having done the Gold…

Review: Kalenji Kiprun SD

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Disclaimer: The Kalenji Kiprun SD was provided to me by Decathlon Sports Singapore for the purposes of a review
I first became aware of Decathlon’s Kalenji shoe line in 2015. At the time people were making comparisons of one of the Kalenji trainers to the popular Brooks Launch v1. However, even though Decathlon opened stores in Singapore some time back, I never got round to visiting them to check out the shoes. Notwithstanding the allusion to Kenya’s world-famous Kalenjin tribe, Decathlon actually has its roots in Europe; they originate from Lille, France back in 1976. They pride themselves on doing things in-house, getting rid of the middlemen, in order to sell their products at remarkably low prices. Indeed, you will notice that the shoes do not even come in cardboard boxes, in a bid to reduce production costs.
The current Kalenji line has 3 basic models: the Kiprun LD      - their heavy duty cushioned trainer the Kiprun SD      - their tempo trainer the Kiprun Race   - their racing fl…

REVIEW: Hoka One One Arahi

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Disclaimer:
This pair of shoes was provided by World of Sports Singapore for the purposes of a shoe review. 

Hoka One One has been known primarily for its maximalist highly cushioned neutral running shoes, but it has dipped its feet in the stability market once or twice before. Previous stability models by Hoka One One include the Hoka Constant v1 and v2, and Infinite. This year, Hoka discontinued the Infinite, and replaced it with two new stability models - the Arahi and the Gaviota.

The Arahi is positioned as the "responsive" stability shoe, with a slightly lower claimed weight, and the Gaviota is the "cushioned" stability shoe. The Arahi is in fact the first stability shoe from Hoka I've had the pleasure of trying, and indeed one of the (very) few stability shoes I've worn in the past few years.

Let's start with the basic specs.
Heel stack: 34mm Forefoot stack: 29mm Drop: 5mm Weight: 9.88oz (280g) (US9.5) Note: advertised weight is 9.5oz (269g) for US…

REVIEW: ASICS Gel Tartherzeal 5 Wide

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Disclaimer: these shoes were provided by ASICS Singapore for the purposes of a shoe review

I have had the ASICS Tartherzeal 5 in my hands for quite a few months now, but the review has taken longer than usual, primarily because this is a racing flat, and it's just harder to chalk up the miles in these bad boys. It may come as a surprise to some people, but this is in fact the only pair of Tartherzeals I have ever owned. Previous versions always felt a little too firm and minimal for my taste when I tried them on in the shops.

What's different about version 5? They put FlyteFoam in the midsole. I've become a huge convert to the vibration dampening properties of FlyteFoam ever since they hit it out of the park with the Noosa FF. The version i received is the "wide" version, which is a common size option in the Japanese shoe market. It's not strictly speaking a 2E width shoe, but marries a 2E-ish toe-box with a standard D width heel and mid-foot. The resultant p…

REVIEW: Reebok Floatride Run

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Disclaimer: The Reebok Floatride was provided to me by Reebok Singapore for the purposes of a review.
Reebok isn't a brand one would associate with running shoes these days. That hasn't always been the case, but in the last couple of years, their focus seemed to be more on cross-fit and obstacle racing. That focus seems to have shifted this year with a host of new running shoes that have caused quite a stir among running circles. Earlier this year, Reebok gave us a taster of things to come when they released the Reebok Harmony Road, sporting their first foray into a TPU-based midsole - KooshRide (which seems to behave similarly to Adidas's Boost foam). And now, representing Reebok's first foray into the increasing popular knitted-upper retail space, we have the Reebok Floatride Run.
Let's start with the basic specs.
Heel stack: 26mm Forefoot stack: 18mm Drop: 8mm Weight: 9.17oz (260g) (US9.5) Note: advertised weight is 8.2oz (233g) for US9

One of the first things I…

First Impressions: ASICS Gel Quantum 360 Knit

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Over the past 2 weeks I've had the opportunity to try out the new ASICS Gel Quantum 360 Knit. This is arguably ASICS's first formal foray into the now fairly crowded knit-upper marketspace. First introduced by Nike in 2012 in the Flyknit racer, the knitted upper is now being used in various forms in the following brands in no particular order: Adidas, Altra, Hoka, Brooks, Reebok, Skechers, Under Armour, and now of course ASICS as well. The Gel Quantum 360 itself is not a new shoe, and came out (IIRC) around the end of 2015, utilizing a thin midsole of Solyte sitting on a large and heavily segmented wedge of Gel. 
So what's new about this version? Of course that would be the knit upper. I must confess I never tried the original Gel Quantum 360, so i can't really provide any sort of comparison of the knit upper to its predecessor.


What ASICS says:
"With 360 degrees of GEL-Cushioning, the GEL-QUANTUM 360 KNIT is the ideal running shoe to meet the active urbanite’s de…