Monday, June 28, 2010

Dirty Half Pics

Check it out if you're interested in some Great Dirty Half Pics

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Montrail and Merrell

I just spent a couple days in Portland seeing some lines and attending a buying show. My trip started off with a beautful run in Forest Park. If I had to live in a heavily populated area again, I think being close to those trails would sure ease the pain.

Next was a visit with the product crew at Montrail. This brand has been a bit of an enigma for me ever since they were acquired by Columbia (OK, even before they were acquired by Columbia). Montrail to this day has some cache as a trail brand despite the fact that they really haven't put out anything all that spectacular for some time. Some would say they never have, but shoes like the Vitesse, Leona Divide and Hardrock were at least so unique and loved enough by some to make Montrail legitimate. The thing Montrail always did was sponsor trail runs and ultra runners before that was popular, thus they will forever be dear to some hearts. So, we've carried Montrail for 14 years but the last 3 have been mighty lean. They're starting to have a little success with a couple shoes but generally, they suffer by comparison to the other trail shoes out there. I wanted to go and meet with them for a couple reasons: 1. They have a tremendous product team in place with lots of guys who really understand the running market and have been involved in executing some great shoes with other companies. 2. So far, I haven't seen that team putting out the caliber of product I would expect.

Well, I found out that there are some shoes coming. Those hoping this will be the Montrail of old can forget about it. These guys don't plan to make any ultra stout, borderline bricks anymore. However, they do have some pretty runable shoes coming for Spring 2011. The new Fairhaven isn't necessarily going to wow anyone but is probably the best fitting, most approachable product from Montrail in years. The upper fits extremely well and the ride is simple and good. This is a fairly typical stability shoe but the ride is really balanced and they didn't mess too much with the midsole/outsole so it seems to transition really well. The Rogue Racer is a shoe they've been working pretty closely with Max King on and it's good (not great). It fits like a track spike and has a simple, fairly low profile platform that again, transitions pretty well. My only complaint is that the platform doesn't marry the upper all that well. It probably should be a little more flexible and pliable. Still, this is a worthy addition. All in all, I'm encouraged that Montrail is heading in the right direction. I'd love to think they could be a viable brand for us again.

Moving on to the show wasn't quite as much fun. It was less running product and more casual brands. Little did I realize I was in for a surprise. I've been wondering who would take a more conventional approach to what Fivefingers has started (ie. make a regular looking shoe that is ultra minimalist). I know Inov-8 has some great product for Spring 2011 but was surpised to find that Merrell is right in the mix. There's a backstory here. Merrell is one of the brands that Vibram approached to manage/distribute FiveFingers but they said no (along with several other companies). Well, Vibram has gone back to them and contributed their minimalist expertise to help Merrell execute some great looking product for Spring 2011. The key product is a seriously minimalist active/running shoe with a great fit and decent look. This product just makes a lot of sense and I can't wait to have it in the shop (See Photo of Men's and Women's style). They're also making a Men's casual/leather style and a women's Mary Jane that are great in different ways. They'll be a nice option for those seeking that minimalist lifestyle who don't want to have to talk about their shoes everytime they go to the grocery store. It was a good trip, I love new product and am glad to see that some new (old) players might soon be in the mix. Cheers-Teague

Monday, June 21, 2010

Weekend Wrap-Up!

A few shout outs this Monday morning--

First off, nice work to all who participated in the Redmond's Dry Canyon run! It sounds like it was a fun event. The results are posted at

We also wanted to congratulate Max King for his performance this past weekend in Gorham, New Hampshire for the USA Mountain Running Championships. Max came in 5th overall in a challenging course which ran 7.6 miles from the base of Mount Washington, the highest peak in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, up an "unrelenting 12 percent grade to the 6,288-foot summit!"

Finally, a great job to Bendites Jeff Browning and Ashley Nordell in completing Wyoming's Bighorn 100 mile race. Jeff was 3rd overall with a time of 20hrs. 34 mins, and Ashley was the 1st female with a time of 23hrs 49 mins. Wow! It gives me a sideache and blisters on my feet just thinking about it!

Monday, June 14, 2010

DH 2010

Just wanted to take a second and thank some folks for helping pull off another great Dirty Half yesterday. Yes the day is for the runners and there were many great accomplishments that were made along side some blistering records set. But everyone who ran yesterday should be aware so some great efforts behind the scenes by very kind and hard working folks that make the day a success.

Lea Hart with her daughter Denali pulled off a great registration process and packet pick up. Lea puts a ton of work into the DH and has made the race better by keeping me largely out of the registration process. She kept everyone in right spots and kept track of over 90 transfers which isn’t easy.

Jason Mattox aka Assbag. For the past 6 years he has been my right hand set up man. Loads the van, unloads the van, marks course, sets up PA, pre rides course, and everything in between. He had some 10+ hour days and never complains.

Lisa Bagwell and her husband Gary from the Deschutes Land Trust did a great job organizing all the volunteers. This is a very important job that made my job easier and the race better since the Land Trust has taken it on.

Drew Holmes the guy has followed all the runners on his bike and picked up course markings for the past two years.

Curt Ringstad and Tonya Littlehales have done stellar jobs organizing aid stations over the years.

My mom and dad for organizing the food tables every year.

Mitch Thompson and his wife Janelle for meeting me out at the start at 5am to help with set up and course pre ride.

Mike Smith who donated his time and sweet 83 Toyota truck to get all the garbage and recycling to the Knott transfer station.

And to all the folks who names I can’t remember but took care of the following jobs
Parking, shuttles start line, finish line, aid stations, bike corral, and beer garden, finish area water, bag drop, clean up, and prize distribution.

Without these people donating time the Dirty Half would not be what it is.

Thank you,

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Good Form

It was a late night at FootZone last night. That's not uncommon for the second Tuesday of the month when Steve Leary is at the shop. He and I often find ourselves chatting long after the last customer has left talking about biomechanics, running form, shoes, injuries, etc. Last night, Steve did a clinic for USAFITBend. A couple months ago, he did a great running form clinic for the entire FootZone staff. We appreciate his knowledge and his time.

I think its fair to say there has been a shift in how runners think about form in the past few years. The pursuit of better form has generally been associated with getting faster. Nowadays, there is unbelievable interest in improved form to reduce injury, increase enjoyment and hopefully allow us more longevity as runners. Surprisingly, there aren't that many resources out there to help improve form. There's lots to read and take in online but as far as nuts and bolts help with making form more efficient, not that many people feel qualified. Coaches know some drills and certainly understand principles of training and how to apply those but generally that's for people who are already pretty efficient in their running. So the question: should you try to mess with a runner's form? There's plenty of debate on this but the convential wisdom has shifted form "probably not" to "probably". You can't take everyone and just make them a midfoot/forefoot striker. However, you can probably apply some very basic ideas and create improvement for most runners.

This is something I'm pretty engaged with these days. People want to run for health and fitness and they want to get better at it. Lot's of folks across the nation have come into running who didn't grow up with it. Some of them didn't grow up with activity at all. The struggle is that to truly improve form you really have to be balanced and have enough strength to engage the core. That can be a struggle for the decades long runner and the new runner alike. Like so many things, there is no magic pill. However, I do think there are some opportunities to improve the information that's available. Stay tuned...Teague