Last weekend on the Maverick social feeds there was a Maverick Trail division take over as E, Bajan and Spenny took on the Lake District. The three of them were invited up by Inov-8 for a full weekend of trail running related activities. The weekend saw them have some great adventures including; a guided run on the Saturday with Ian Penney from Swift Running Company, followed by product training at Inov-8 HQ from Inov-8’s Sam Green and then a Sunday morning run guided by Inov-8’s very own Bruce Duncan. The weekend was the first time both E and Spenny had ever run in the Lake district and we know that it certainly won’t be their last. With Bajan completing Lakes in a day in 2018 he was the most experienced of the group, although he was quick to mention how everything look rather different when it wasn’t submerged under waist high water (read Bajan’s race review on Lakes in a Day for more details).
On the Saturday the gang met Ian from Swift Running at the Old Dungeon Ghyll car park before setting off on their adventure. Ian briefed them on the weather conditions, informing the team that it would likely be -6 degrees with windchill up on the top ridges, with some fierce 40mph winds. Ian also briefed them on the route, telling us that there would be sections that would be; unstable underfoot, slippery due to the thawing ice from the week before and steep. It is in these conditions that the Inov-8 kit that the team were wearing would come into its own.
Spenny, Bajan and E up in the Lakes.
So what were our team wearing?
AT/C Long Sleeve Merino Base Layer (E, Spenny, Bajan and Ian)
Stormshell Waterproof Jacket (E, Spenny, Bajan and Ian)
Extra Top Layers
Extra Bottom Layer
RacePant Waterproof Trousers (E, Spenny, Bajan and Ian)
Ultimate Direction Adventure Running Vest (Spenny, Bajan and Ian)
Maverick Ciele Cap or Precision Hydration beanie and Inov-8 buff (E, Spenny, Bajan and Ian)
G-Grip 275’s Review - E
As a runner footwear is something I take really seriously. It is where I prioritise my trail running spending, because having comfy, and well supported feet really is crucial. I have calves that are prone to getting extremely tight which agitates an old ankle injury, which in turns leads to massive amounts of paranoia that I am once again injured and may never run again. Yes that sounds dramatic and no that isn’t likely to happen, however by wearing the right footwear for me, it means that I minimise the risks of niggles turning into a larger issue. For that reason I am never going to wear shoes that aren’t right for me, hence why I doubt I will ever run in a pair of X-talon 210’s or even X-talon 230’s as they are too aggressive for me. Also it is why I still run in ASICS on the road and will do so until I can demo some Inov-8 Road-Claws to make a more informed decision.
So, having been running on a lot of road recently in my plush ASICS 2000-6 road trainers with a 10mm drop, I was worried about my calves in Roclite’s which before the 275’s (the trusty 290’s) had a drop of 4mm. However the new G-Grip 275’s have an 8mm drop meaning for someone like me who likes the extra height in the heel (especially on longer runs) they are pretty ideal. As with all Roclite’s before the 275’s they offer uncompromised comfort for a trail shoe that you just don’t get from other shoes that are technically as advanced as the 275’s. I could feel the rockplate that runs through the sole of the shoe returning my energy as I pushed up and over the fells whilst absorbing the impact of running hard with the boys.
The outer of the new 275’s have this awesome hard wearing mesh that protected my feet against some pretty gnarly lake district scrambling. The Graphene grip in the sole meant I was able to take on the slippery terrain with confidence, something that is a big deal for me as I’m a terrible descender and need all the assistance I can get.
I have long been a fan of the Roclite range and they are typically the shoe I recommend to runners who are new to the sport. They are versatile, they are protective and they are a good transition shoe from the plush road trainers many are used to.
For me these G-Grip 275’s are even better than the 290’s because of the additional 4mm in the heel. I would never advocate a shoe that didn’t work for me, because our feet are so crucial to our running and taking care of them is fundamental to both enjoying our sport and being successful in it. Investing in a pair of these will see you through your 2019 trail running season and many more after that. If you love the 290’s you will love these. Happy running.
G-Grip Roclite 275’s ideal for scrambling through the Lakes as well as providing optimal foot support and cushioning on the trails.
Stormshell Waterproof Jacket Review - Bajan
I'm going to guess that whoever said "running is cheap, all you need is a pair of shoes and off you go" or whatever similar phrase was proclaimed a) probably wasn't a runner and b) if they were, didn't have to run during the British winter.
It's a reality that running in the UK, in any month of the year, a running jacket is pretty key to have in your wardrobe to keep you warm and dry. And if you’re running any sort of ultra across Europe they’ll be a specific jacket required on the mandatory kit list. So, to get your cost of running down to anything towards “cheap”, finding something that can meet the rigours of everyday life whilst meeting all the specified requirements of race entry is a great idea.
The Inov-8 Stormshell jacket is just that. At just 165g it is a lightweight workhorse, delivering just what you need and looking great too! The jacket is made from 2.5 layers of Pertex Shield fabric which is soft and comfortable whilst delivering incredible waterproof performance. If you’re into your stats, it provides 20,000mm Hydrostatic Head, double taped seams and 20,000 B-1 breathability. What this means to us lay-people is that you don’t get wet in the rain, don’t end up covered in sweat as if you’re running in a plastic bag and breezes through kit checks at races such as UTMB.
During the winter months I’ve worn this jacket daily and it comes with me everywhere I go; I’ve worn it in the Alps, Peaks, Lakes and on the Downs and it is still looking secure and fresh. It’s comfortable and convenient, packing away into its own pocket for portability. For early morning it gives you just enough warmth to keep off the chill at bay with thumb holes keeping the sleeves in place. The well-fitting hood gives you shelter when the weather gets tough (I hid inside this during hail at Lakes in a Day!) and, crucially, it looks like a respectable jacket so you’re not desperate to take it off as you approach civilisation.
I wouldn’t go as far as classing this jacket as a bargain, with an RRP of £170 it is certainly placed amongst other top-end jackets and would probably be a bit overkill for the odd rainy Parkrun. But it does provide you with a robust, durable every day running jacket that also comes with high levels of performance, ticking the mandatory kit requirements of world-class ultra races. With love and care it will last a good number of years, making it more an investment than an impulse purchase. And until the warmth of summer finally returns, this will be in my pack week in, week out providing some needed protection from the outdoors.
Stormshell Waterproof Jackets keeping E and Bajan protected against the elements.
Notes from the weekend
- Unfortunately Spenny went over on his ankle on the final kilometre of the day whilst up in the lakes. At the moment he is sporting a rather saucy boot to keep his ankle immobilised. He is his usual positive self and will be back running in no time at all. And in typical Spenny style it would take a whole lot more than a chubby cracked ankle to put a dampener on this weekend. Heres too many more adventures and a quick recovery to Spenny the Banana man.
- It was a delight to meet Ian from Swift Running Company. During our run from start to finish he was professional and quickly judged all of our abilities and our strengths. He constantly checked in on all of us, adjusted the route accordingly and taught us about the landscape we were running through. We are looking forward to later in the year where we will have some more adventures with Swift Running company and hopefully take up even more Mavericks to adventure through the lakes.
What a team. What a weekend. Ian (Swift Running Company), Spenny, Bajan and E all Maverick Trail Division