[dropcase]I[/dropcasef shoe development can be described as a footrace, Skechers Performance have been engaging in a sprint, building iterations upon iterations at a furious pace over the past 2 years. The exercise was understandable for the then-fledgling company. They need to change the serious runners’ perceptions of the brand. Having continuously enhanced the core models such as the GORun (GR), GORun Ride (GRR) and GOMeb Speed (GS), the latest versions are their best yet. I reviewed the first version of the GR back in April 2012 and how much have the shoes evolved since then. I’ve taken the latest GR4 and GS3 for a handful of very short runs and my favorite choice is already becoming clear, even at this stage.
Note: I wear a 10, so the weight shown below are that of my size.
The original GORun was Skechers Performance first model back in 2012. Until recently, the GR3 was the best version produced in the series. Now, the GR4 looks set to continue that upward progression. Revamped entirely, the shoe looks unrecognizable. The stretchy upper, which features little chevron motifs, is now made of a single piece construction. Unlike the older versions, there are very prominent reflective strips at the heel section. There are no detectable wayward seams inside the shoe. Thin overlays crisscross the upper, some fulfilling their cosmetic obligations while some reinforce stress areas. Typical of the performance models, 2 sets of elasticated laces are provided and they run through a somewhat tight tab on the moderately padded tongue. The tongue isn’t gusseted. The heel counter is now a touch stiffer towards the back but perhaps the most obvious update is the “Quick-Fit” pull tab at the collar. Replace the stock laces with bungee cords and you have your self a tri shoe.
The Resalye midsole is more sculpted than ever. Deeper grooves sweep diagonally up and backwards lending a fast look to the shoe. The GR4 has a forefoot and heel stack height of 14mm and 18mm respectively for an overall of 4mm drop without the supplied (but optional) sockliner. In terms of softness, it has a 50 durometer midsole which leans more towards the GRR4’s 47 than the GS3’s 57. The higher the number, the firmer the shoe.
On the outsole, the changes are quite obvious too. The pods (now called Power Pillars, instead of Impulse Sensors) are now more prominent and deeper. They should be more durable but we’ll see if they’re pebble magnets. The GR4 weighs in at 7.65oz without the sockliner and 8.25oz with.
I’ve since put on a some miles in them, outdoors and on the treadmill and here’s my preliminary take. The GR4 now feels (and looks) more like a traditional shoe. There’s less sock-like feel of the GR3 and depending on your preference, that may be a good or bad thing. I’ve no particular preference as long as the shoe remains light, flexible yet provides good support and cushioning for the marathon. And the GR4 certainly has those on tap. There’s more structure in the midfoot but amount of flexibility is thankfully retained. The midfoot bump is now almost non-existent and the shoe wears like a traditional performance trainer/racer in the veins of the Lunaracer 3, but without the restrictive toebox of the Nike.
The tongue secures very well and I’ve yet to encounter any slipping and sliding. There’s a little more padding here and there but there’s been no rubbing and hot spots so far. The initial apprehension on the Quick-Fit tab rubbing on the Achilles proved unfounded since I don’t run sockless. Compared to the GR3, the 4 feels a little snug in the midfoot with a tapered front. I’m not sure if it’s just the upper re-tweak or there’s been a change in the platform. I’d strongly suggest trying a half size larger before purchasing just to make sure the tapered front poses no issues.
I’ve been experimenting the shoes with thinner and thicker sockliners and found the thinner ones to work best in providing a nice blend of cushioning and responsiveness. I’ve no complains thus far and the GR4 is following me back to Penang where I’m getting some longer runs in.
The GORun 4 will be available at all local Skechers boutiques in December.
GORun Ride 4
Other than the upper, the GRR4 remains pretty much unchanged in terms of its midsole and outsole. The upper, which has been given more whizz, no longer possess a sterile look with the color gradation providing a decidedly modern feel. As you can see, it’s also given the “Quick-Fit” pull tab at the collar. There are 2 large reflective strips on either side of the tab.
The GRR4 has a forefoot and heel stack heights of 13.5mm and 17.5mm respectively for an overall of 4mm drop without the optional sockliner. While the stack heights are very close to the GR4’s, the GRR4 possesses a softer 47 durometer Resalyte midsole which is felt largely in the heel. In terms of overlays, there really isn’t much going on topside, which is kept very simple – a strip and there, that’s about it.
The GRR4 weighs in at 8.0oz without the sockliner and 8.65oz with. I’ve not run in the GRR4 but they feel roomier than the GRR3 [review here] just walking around in them. That had me wondering a bit until I did a comparison of the 3 and 4. If you look closely, the 4 no longer sports another layer of synthetics in the front lateral and medial areas (where the pinkies are). The reduced structure no longer restricts the further splaying of the foot. I hope that won’t result in the foot sliding around too much, though.
It remains to be seen if the GRR4 has a more involving feel than its predecessor. It will, however, make for a good recovery shoe or one to pull on for a relaxing 10K.
The GORun Ride 4 will be available at all local Skechers boutiques in December.
GOMeb Speed 3
The most responsive shoe among the 3 has to be the GS3. It was the shoe which Meb wore to his 2014 Boston victory. His was obviously customized to his narrower last but in the mass release version, I’m really glad that the latest Performance Fit sports a slightly wider feel than previous versions. The GS3 definitely feels less restrictive as well with a reportedly smaller DuPont Delrin stability plate in the midsole.
Like the GR4, the GS3 also has a seamless interior. I put my hand in and couldn’t feel any rough seams or stitching. As with the other models in the same release, the GS3 has a snazzy upper with added trims and highlights which look outstanding.
The GS3 has the same stack heights as GR4 with a forefoot and heel of 14mm and 18mm respectively for an overall of 4mm. However, at 57 durometer, it’s the firmest of the lot. The GS3 with its non-removable sockliner weighs in at 7.95oz which is means the GR4 sans the sockliner is 0.3oz lighter! Interestingly the GS has grown progressively heavier with each versions: GS1 was 6.75oz and the GS2 was at 6.95oz. The GS3 is a full ounce heavier than version 2! You can read the earlier review here.
Being a racing flat, the GS3 has a narrower fit throughout yet opens up just enough for the toes. There’s even some room for the toes to wiggle around. The heel is securely locked down and the minimally padded tongue doesn’t slide around nor bunch up. In my opinion, it’s the best fitting GOMeb Speed yet.
Compared to the GS2, the GS3 has a palpable softer feel, yet it retains the snappy take off of the older shoe. I suspect the softer foam has something to do with that, a really nice tuning job. Another minor tweak is the positioning of the rubber plugs, where 2 have been moved further back towards the heel. See a trend there?
Unfortunately I’ve yet to take the GS3 on an extended run around. The couple of very short runs I’ve done in them wasn’t that enjoyable due to my current fitness level. The body took a battering from the grueling 56K under the hot sun and has yet to recover. Just couldn’t shake the fatigued feeling off. Regardless, I’ll bide my recovery time and focus on strength work in the gym. Can’t wait to be back on the fast lane!
The GOMeb Speed 3 will be available at all local Skechers boutiques in January 2015, in time for your new racing season!
Disclaimer: The Skechers GORun 4, GORun Ride 4 and GOMeb Speed 3 are media samples kindly provided by Skechers Malaysia. Opinions stated are my own.
How about running a marathon in space? It’s here too and it could probably be the key to my BQ! Finding it hard to incorporate exercise into your daily lives? No problem, check out how Charbonneau inserts strength training while preparing breakfast! In the chapter Volunteer! he said, getting involved as one makes him “more tolerant when there’s a problem in a race I’ve entered.”
Boston (the marathon, not the city) is featured greatly in Idle Feet, which he regularly participates as a runner and a guide. If you love reading about a runner’s experience in this hallowed footrace, you will find it all here. The flow in the narrative and chapter arrangements may not be like a novel’s but this is expected since the book is basically a collection from his past blog postings and contributions in other publications.
A good addition to your running book collection!
About the author:
Ray Charbonneau lives in Arlington, MA with his wife and their two cats. You can often find Ray and Ruth out on the streets running, but Felix and Phoebe stay inside.
Ray is the author of the books “Chasing the Runner’s High: My Sixty Million-Step Program” and “R is for Running“. His stories have appeared in both national dead-tree publications and landfill-saving electronic formats. Find out more about this book and his other works at www.y42k.com.
I was dreadfully over optimistic when I signed up for the 100K category months ago. The intention was to make this my first 100K leading up to next year’s Comrades but a few factors beyond my control scuttled any such thoughts. Wrote in to the organizers to request a downgrade to the 52K category which was promptly given. Halfway through last Saturday’s race, I wished there was an even shorter distance!
Like Nick, I opted for simplicity which meant no compression gear, no additional food other than several Hammer Fizz tablets and 2 handhelds. Even though Putrajaya isn’t that far from home, I still had to wake up at 3:50am just to make sure I secure my parking before collection my race number. My chance I got a space next to Frank. As I feasted on my cup noodles and soy coffee, I had to make some adjustments to my race gear as the SpiBelt decided to snap there and then. It was fortunate then that I brought along the Inov8 Ultra Belt in which I could stash the electrolytes, arm sleeves for sun protection and phone.
Pre-race mood was typically laid back befitting of an ultra event, unlike shorter races. Camaraderie was strong as are many the presence of many familiar faces. I was hardly awake and really should still be napping in the car but I got caught up with catching up with my friends and the many photo ops. Even as the clocked ticked closer to the start time, indications were already clear that the day would be hot. After a short briefing my RD Arman, the insane 100 milers were released. The 52K category folks were let off with just a simple “Go!”
The plan was to run steady and get the training run over with as quickly as we could, this being the longest run this time of the year before Chiangmai and Newton to close off the year. The first few Ks were nothing out of the norm, the route was familiar and runners were still pretty much running in small clusters. Even so, we were somewhere up ahead amongst the 52K folks and were soon passing the 78K, 100K and 100 Milers who naturally had to take the pace down several notches. Much respect to these runners. Mentally I’m not anywhere close to their bravery, not at this gawd-awful spot called Putrajaya.
Everything was dandy and we checked into CP1 (10K) in excellent time. Things started to become drastically worse not long after CP1 when instead of heading straight under the bridge, a bunch of us went up the bridge to cross over to the other side where Herriot-Watt University and Maritime Center were located. There was a municipal truck which blocked the signage at the bottom of the bridge and we followed the only sign visible, which was up. After some deliberating at the top of the bridge between Nick and a few other runners, and spotting some already running along the path fronting the University, we decided that that would be the right way and off we went. Along the way, I asked one of the municipal worker if she saw any runners who had passed earlier and she replied in the affirmative. That assured us somewhat not knowing then that those folks also went the wrong way! It wasn’t until 3K later that a back-tracking runner from the 100K category directed us to head back.
Our hearts sank quicker than rocks in a pond. Every minuscule problem in an ultra is amplified – a wrong turn will cost you buckets in time and distance, not to mention unnecessary precious energy expended.There wasn’t anything else to do but double back the 3K (contributing in an extra 6K) we came from as quickly as possible. When we arrived back at the bridge, we debated if we should just proceed to CP2, bypassing the correct stretch, since we had covered that when we were lost. A handful of seconds were all that we spent on that question. There really wasn’t any other way. In an ultra, you deal with mistakes and problems, and do what’s right. Our conscience won’t allow it, so off we went to make up the missed portion of the route. Incidentally, that was the hardest stretch to run because of the unforgiving surface. Where possible, we ran and walked on the grassy sections. Shanaz pulled away midway through this section and Nick brought up the rear. By the time I got back to CP2, I reckon we had lost 1.5 hours. I was well and truly famished and dug into slices of bread and a cup noodles. Hunger won over the absurdity of eating hot cup noodles in the oven-like conditions. Nick then went off to collect his ice-cold drink from his loyal support crew while I wondered why I signed up . I thought if I should wait out the heat since I had plenty of time but wisely decided to get going and get the dang distance wrapped up.
From there I was pretty much on my own. I don’t analyse my thoughts during these tough moments in an ultra. Even when I was alone in unfamiliar territories in conditions much more miserable (e.g. TNF HK) than that afternoon in Putrajaya, my mind was mostly just set on one thing – keep moving forward and finishing the job. The other thing which helped tremendously then was channeling positive vibes to fellow stragglers and even joking with kids on their way to an Upin & Ipin concert. It’s wonderful what a simple nod, wave or “Keep going!” can do to a fellow runner and your own psyche. Some time later, I finally arrived at CP3. The area was cooling with plenty of trees, so a breather was in order before making the journey back. Because I was smarter by that time, I took a couple of shower breaks along the waterfront near the Pullman Hotel. There were taps at one of the beach and waterfront toilets and I made sure that my head and upper body were thoroughly soaked several times along the stretch. As a result, I was able to string together longer stretches of running and arrived at CP4 without encountering a Fukushima-scale meltdown. By that time it was already noon. I swallowed a few more slices of bread, ditched the smaller bottle and pushed off to cover the same terrible section again. I ran into Shanaz and Nick, both of whom were already on their way back to CP5 but I was quietly egging the skies to open up. Rain clouds were already blowing in in the distant and it was only a matter of time before it rained. When it did, and just like sea monkeys, it was so sweet. I’m one who’s always rejuvenated at the slightest contact with rainwater and when it rained that afternoon, I managed to put in a decent run to get back to CP5, the final one. Stopping just long enough to refill the bottles, I took off again, mostly walking. The brief shower had stopped but the conditions were much more tolerable since.
Fell into stride with Beau Helmi and we walked towards Wisma Putra before I picked up my pace further. I even managed to pass some friends with 5K to go, mainly by walking fast. With 2.5K to the finish, it was all running and quick shuffling. Just as I crossed the line, the watch died. I remembered seeing 56.3K but it didn’t matter. Time recorded was nearly twice that I’d targeted.
Despite the tough conditions, it was great to finish without any injuries, cramps and stomach discomfort. I could’ve eaten more but largely depended on keeping myself well hydrated at all stops except for the section where we went the wrong way. Surprisingly I didn’t find it too troublesome to run with 2 bottles for such a long time/distance. My hats off to all finishers especially those in the 100 miles and 100K categories. They’re from another planet, for sure.
In closing, my thanks go out to the PACat Adventure Team led by Arman, Zul and Zinov along with the merry band of crew. Everyone worked hard and this being a debut year, there were certainly areas for improvement. The event was run as a non-competitive one and depended largely on the integrity of runners. Due to that reason, some key sections weren’t manned which meant runners could run any which way, intentionally or otherwise while in a daze. There were so many photographers who covered P100 that we runners have many fond (and painful) memories to last us several days/weeks/months before many would yet again click on that damn registration button to bring on the next painful adventure!
Onward to the next race, then!
Announcing the Jabra Sport PulseTM Wireless – world’s first stereo earbuds with integrated heart rate monitor and Sport Life App; 2015 CES Innovations Award Honouree
KUALA LUMPUR: November 11, 2014 – Take your training to the next level and get the ultimate wireless workout with Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless earbuds and Sport Life Application.
Award winning Freestyle footballer, Nam the Man proved this point with his energetic performance during the launch of the Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless recently held at the True Fitness Gym, Jaya 33, Petaling Jaya. Nam also wowed crowds when he demoed the Jabra Sport Wireless – performing some thrilling freestyle moves at Radioshack, Mid Valley Megamall.
This all-in-one training solution is a world first, combining an in-ear biometric heart rate monitor, immersive Dolby® sound and real-time voice coaching, to inspire you to achieve the impossible. Cut the clutter and experience true freedom of movement without compromise.
Training the Smart Way
Jabra’s intelligent Sport Life App ensures you get the most out of your Sport Pulse Wireless earbuds with integrated heart rate monitor, helping you to plan, track and evaluate your workout. Test your fitness level and aerobic capacity; adjust your heart rate zone to optimise your training and set goals based on distance, time or calories burnt.
“Jabra has a strong legacy of innovation in hearable technology and Sport Pulse Wireless is no exception. These are world’s first earbuds to have an integrated heart rate monitor, heralding the next generation of intelligent audio solutions for fitness fanatics that allows our customers to maximise & precisely control their fitness programs based on their desired training zone,” said Ann Goh, Sales Director for Central Asia, Consumer Solutions, Jabra.
Free Your Workout with Premium Wireless Sound
Get motivated by listening to your favourite songs the way you want to hear them with a customisable and powerful Dolby® enhanced sound experience that delivers world-class wireless music performance. Personalised audio coaching provides feedback on your workout every step of the way, letting you control your music and your training within a single app.
As Tough As You Are
Focus on your workout without distraction – Sport Pulse Wireless earbuds are built to take a pounding. Tested to the extreme, they are sweat and storm-proof, so there’s no excuse for missing a training session. Ergonomic Audio Response ScienceTM technology ensures a secure, comfortable fit that’s lightweight in a compact design to keep you focused on your training, bringing you one step closer to exceeding your goal.
Track Your Workouts with Medical Accuracy
Jabra commissioned Campbell University in North Carolina, USA to independently verify the performance of the heart rate monitor technology for fitness and active usage. The comprehensive trial included runners on a treadmill and simultaneously tested Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless against a medical electrocardiogram (ECG) machine. The results clearly showed an extraordinary accuracy, proving the advanced nature of the Jabra in-ear heart rate technology.
Part of the Jabra Wireless Sporting Family
Sport Pulse Wireless earbuds continue Jabra’s tradition of world-firsts, building on our solid heritage of superior sound engineering. They enhance our family of wireless audio solutions for people who’re serious about sport, complementing the award-winning Jabra Sport Rox Wireless and Sport Wireless+ earbuds.
Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless will be on sale in stores from November onwards at a price of RM799. The product will be available at all Machines, Connect Store, Radio Shack and Harvey Norman around the country.
Jabra is the brand name of GN Netcom, a subsidiary of GN Store Nord A/S (GN), listed on NASDAQ OMX. Jabra employs approximately 925 people worldwide and, in 2013, produced an annual revenue which amounted to DKK 2,612 million. Jabra is a world leader in the development, manufacturing and marketing of a broad range of communications and audio solutions. With a reputation for innovation, reliability, and ease of use that goes back more than two decades, Jabra’s consumer and business divisions produce corded and wireless headsets, plus mobile and in-office speakerphones that empower individuals and businesses through increased freedom of movement, comfort, and functionality.
This is just a quick post to announce the 5 winners of the Malaysia Military Tag giveaway. And they are…..
Ken Lam, Princess Swan, Cikgu Bernard are the winners for the Single Standard Military Tag while Nick Arthur and Kok Soon will be sporting the Single Logo Identification Tags! Malaysia Military Tag will be in touch with you very soon on how to claim your prizes.
A big thank you, of course, to Malaysia Military Tag for sponsoring this giveaway. These guys have customizable products and premiums for corporations and individuals, so do check them out at the link provided.
Until recently, little did I know that we have a Malaysian company which is in the business of supplying such tags. Calling itself Malaysia Military Tag (MMT), the company specializes in making customized identification tags. Other than the macho military style tags, there are also ultra durable paracord bracelets, emergency bracelets, keychains and personalized windscreen stickers. Because these folks are local, the prices are all lower making it very accessible to everyone.
Ordering is as simple as heading on to their website, select your material, size and color preferences, enter the texts you want embossed (MMT say this makes it more durable than engraving) and upload your personalized image.
MMT is not a new company. In fact, they’ve supplied large quantities to corporations and individuals, and from the reviews, providing good and responsive service shouldn’t be an issue.
For more about the Single Standard Military Tag, head on to the product page [link] Street price: Rm25.00
For more about the Single Logo Identification Tag, head on to the product page [link] Street price: RM29.00
The good people in Malaysia Military Tag have sponsored 3 Single Standard Military tags and 2 Single Logo Identification tags for this blog’s giveaway. The raffle opens Nov 13th 2014 12am (Malaysian time) and ends Nov 16th 12am (Malaysian time). As always, the draw will be randomly determined via Rafflecopter. Here’s how the it works:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer: Malaysia Military Tag is an advertiser on this blog. However, I receive no payment nor commission for the running of this giveaway
I run best when I’m not beset by the knowledge that I’ve to be home by such and such a time and when I ditch the cell phone. My best runs need not necessarily be long nor fast. It’s a state of mind when I let go of all attachments. In that state, my mind can either be thinking about nothing (trust me, that can happen!) or reflecting. I could be thinking of ideas to shoot or write for a blog post, basically constructive and creative things. This state of equanimity doesn’t happen often though but I do try to seek it.
Running with burden, prejudice and pressure completely negate this very thing that we do and love. Heading out for a run then becomes an activity in futility, unless you’re one who thrives on pressure. Many runners I know count seconds and metres in their daily runs. Maybe they have a compelling reason to do so. Maybe 0.5 metres add up to 1 metre after 2 runs, which in turn tally up to their very important weekly mileage target. Maybe that’s not stressful for them. To each his own, if that works for them. But for me, that’s not important anymore. That doesn’t mean I’m no longer competitive. I’ll still go into target races with a racing mindset. I still value the importance and cardinal truths of mileage and training specificity. But I won’t beat myself up over, say, seconds and metres anymore.
Here’s to running free!
Note: This is a re-post from an old entry from July 2010 but the content is still very much relevant to me today.
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