Monday, 23 January 2017

On point with Sam Clark

This man has quite a skillset. He is a sturdy runner, an impressive cyclist, a fantastic swimmer, a steadfast kayaker and overall a pretty fine fella. Not only because of last years remarkable Coast-to-Coast victory people in the endurance world should know about him. He raised eyebrows in SwimRun and Triathlon racing and is very popular when it comes to Multisport and Adventure racing. In a few days he tries to defend his Coast-to-Coast title. But before that he took some time to rest and reply to several questions about what’s up and coming.

Runssel: February the 10th is approaching fast. You are planning to defend your title at the iconic Coast-to-Coast one-day competition. What did you learn at last years race and what does an athlete need to cross the New Brighton Beach finish line first?

Sam Clark: The one day event is known as "The longest day" and for good reason, the winning time is often over eleven hours. I have learned from previous races is to never stop pushing. “Coast” is a test of your mental endurance as well as your physical, and the winner will have a good balance of both.

Last year Sam had to wait 58 Minutes at the Coast-to-Coast finish line for second place finisher Bob McLachlan. He won the iconic race in a time of 11 hours, 37 minutes and 7 seconds. This year he tries to defend this well-earned trophy.

Runssel: The competition is ramping up and with highly decorated Australian triathlete Courtney Atkinson in the contest there will be added opposition. Who do you think will be your main contenders in this year’s race?

Sam Clark: The competition has stepped up over previous years and there are some seriously talented and experienced athletes racing in 2017. Braden Currie has gone from strength to strength in the past two years and Courtney Atkinson will be very quick over the run, as will Daniel Jones and Alex Hunt.

Runssel: Do you train on the Coast to Coast course often? If yes, how would a key workout look in preparation for the big day look like?

Sam Clark: I live in the North Island, so it can be a bit of a mission to get down South to spend time on course. I like to spend the 10 days before the race re-familiarizing with the course, and discovering the subtle course changes, which naturally occur from year to year.

It was the punishing 33 kilometre mountain run where Sam increased the gap to the rest of the field at the 2016 version of Coast to Coast.
Runssel: A long and challenging race like the Coast to Coast includes a lot of equipment organisation. What are your weapons of choice for the big day?

Sam Clark: My shoes on the day will be La Sportiva Helios, I'll ride my Merida Warp TT bike and paddle a Ruahine F1 kayak.

Runssel: Keith Murray’s 1994 course-record still stands with a time of 10 hours, 34 minutes and 37 seconds. When and how is that record going to fall?

Sam Clark: The record time was set over a slightly different course, Richard Ussher came very close a few years ago but it will take a very quick athlete and perfect conditions for the course record to fall.

Runssel: Last year you based yourself in Sweden for the European summer season. How did this come about and will you go back there again this year? 

Sam Clark: For the past two years I have been racing as part of the Thule Adventure team, which gave me the opportunity to base myself in Sweden and experience some European style racing, I plan on returning to Europe this year too.

Once you live in Sweden there is no way around SwimRun dashing. Not only because of his exceptional clothing style Sam left quite an impression to the local endurance scene.
Runssel: Do you already have a race schedule set up for the rest of the 2017 season?

Sam Clark: The early part of this year is already full up with Coast to Coast, Ironman New Zealand and then some team racing in China. I am currently seeking out some long distance triathlons to aim for later in the year.

Together with Kristin Larsson Sam led the early stages of last years Rockman SwimRun. Nevertheless the mixed team came in as the second crew overall - Remarkable!

Runssel: You race all sorts of endurance races. From road, off-road triathlons to multiday events, what does motivate you and why don’t you specify on one single event?

Sam Clark: Being a Multisporter opens up a lot of opportunities to race, travel and have a broad range of experiences. I have thought about specializing, but I enjoy the variety that competing in multiple disciplines offers.

Runssel: What record do you listen to at the moment?

Sam Clark: I listen to an eclectic range of music; lately it has been a lot of Rolling Stones, Ice Cube and Metallica.

Sam is sponsored by Suzuki New Zealand, Merida Bikes, Thule Adventure Team, Skybright Natural Health and Foot Traffic Coaching

Make sure to follow Sam via Facebook and Instagram

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Checked: REZLO

While stylish, smart and high-class outfits are pretty much wide spread around the cycling world, goods that are aimed to fill that exclusive niche are not the norm in the running business. The keen chaps from Rezlo want to please these desires and have a small but thought-out assortment of running clothing on offer.
Made in USA - Although Rezlo get their fabrics from around the world, the shirts and shorts are man-made in sunshiny Miami, Florida.
I had the chance to exam chunks of their up-to-date collection through my everyday training. Pictured is the Euclid shorts and the Dromos singlet. The name refers to a public road in the Roman Empire.
As I was training in the warm temperatures that the sun-drenched La Gomera Island offers, I became an admirer of the Dromos singlet. The micro-mesh material offers a light and breathable running shirt.
Fairly often I have some struggles with the cut of running tops. It appears that the cut is not intended to benefit thin runners and some shirts that might come in with the suitable size are too short or to loose-fitting. The measurements of the Dromos appear to fit perfectly for me - a comfortable slim fit with the accurate length.
The polite detail that can be found on each Rezlo product is a topographic map. It symbolised each runner's very personal challenge. It is the route that a athlete has completed, but also the one that lies ahead.
My personal favourite is the Gradian Jersey. 100% Australian Merino wool generates a fine looking but more essentially a very comfortable running top. Almost to good to drench it in body moisture.
Merino has become one of my preferred base layer fabrics. The breathable and soft Gradian Jersey fits right in this scene and is completed with the brand typical details.
Similar to the singlet the sizing of the top is just perfect. With its characteristic collar design it surely stands out.
A detail photograph that highlights the collar zipper of the shirt.
The Gradian Jersey strikes me with its timeless look and unquestionably makes this shirt a elegant and unique piece of lightweight running gear.
Rezlo’s Euclid 4.5” running short is another simple and stylish part of the product range.
The Euclid short features a nice mixture of well thought out petite pouches. The position and the dimensions are great for a gel and keys. Once they are full they are not in the way of the stride.
Although the fabrics and the cut of the short feels blameless throughout the run it can be scorching and gluey as it is not breathable. I enjoyed the shorts more whilst running it in cooler temperatures. Personally I think the colour range does certainly sticks out to other brands and fulfils  the unique look that Rezlo offers.

Rezlo can be discovered in the WWW, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Tune of the day: IAM - Monnaie de singe

Thursday, 19 January 2017

INSTAssel: Compañeros

Ein von runssel (@runssel) gepostetes Foto am

That was some rad and exploratory morning session. I encouraged my local training compañeros to get a SwimRun/Coasteering tour in. The outcome was La Gomeras inaugural SwimRun meeting, a hell lot of fun, remarkable setting along the coastline and new SwimRun aficionados. Plans are already made for an even lengthier voyage along the harsh coast.

Tune of the day: Eric Lau - Examples

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

On Point with Ryan Sandes

If you are into trail running, this man does not need to be introduced. Hailing from sunlit Cape Town, 34-year-old Ryan Sandes is no stranger in the world of ultra-running. He dominated the challenging 4 Desserts series in record setting manner before becoming a household name on podiums of numerous world-wide mountain running races. Ryan is a busy man running and scrambling around the scenic mountains of his hometown. Last weekend he got his first shot of SwimRun racing. Together with his training partner he finished 3rd at Africas first ever SwimRun race along the picturesque "Mother City" coastline. I catched up with Ryan to find out what he has to say about the competition and SwimRun in general.

Not shy of new challenges - Ryan Sandes looks forward to get some well-known running in as he finishes a choppy swim section. (Picture: Craig Kolesky)
Runssel: You had your first taste of SwimRun racing at the inaugural competition in South Africa, the Torpedo SwimRun this Sunday. How did it all come about?

Ryan Sandes: One of my sponsors Oakley offered me an entry and I was like yeah yes please. I had heard a lot about the SwimRun events in Europe and I grew up in the ocean so I was really intrigued to try the concept out.

Runssel: When was the first time you heard of SwimRun? Genuinely, what did you think?

Ryan Sandes: I read about the ÖtillÖ SwimRun World Championship a few years ago in a Red Bull article and I thought wow this looks really fun. I think it is such a fun event and really different.

Ryno Griesel and Ryan broke the 200km Drakensberg Grand Traverse record in a time of 41 hours and 49 minutes back in 2014. (Picture: Kelvin Trautman)
Runssel: How much time did you spend preparing the contest? Did your companion Kane Reilly and yourself train on the course that leads along the coastline of Cape Town much?

Ryan Sandes: Kane and I are both trail runners and do a bit of surfing now and again so that was our main preparation. We did a bit of a recce on some of the course the weekend before to see what we were in for and as an excuse to go on a bit of an adventure.

Runssel: What type of equipment did you guys choose? What would you do different if you would race again?

Ryan Sandes: I used the Salomon SLAB XA Amphib shoes and a Full Sleeve Huub Swim wetsuit. Kane went for hand paddles. I think if we did it again we would both use the leg floatation bouys and I would definitely use some of those hand paddles. I think I would need to do some training with the hand paddles though.

Kane Reilly leads Ryan out of the water onto another run. (Picture: Craig Kolesky)
Runssel: How do you rate SwimRun as a sport? Can you see the sport growing in South Africa? Any plans for another outing?

Ryan Sandes: Its an awesome concept and I think it will get really popular in South Africa. We have a really big endurance culture in South Africa and because we have such good weather I think the SwimRun events are perfect. Yes I would definitely like to do another one of the events!

Runssel: What is on your running schedule for this season?

Ryan Sandes: My main focus races this year will be Western States 100 and then either CCC or UTMB. I am also working on one or two free running projects.

Ryan prepares for the Antarctica marathon with a training run around the dunes of Silvermine Nature Reserve, near Cape Town. (Picture: Craig Kolesky)
Ryan used Salomon’s latest SwimRun flagship, the SLAB XA Amphib. Review soon on this part of the interweb. (Picture: Kelvin Trautman)
Follow Ryan via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and via his Homepage
Ryan is sponsored by Oakley, Red Bull, Salomon, Suunto, Axis House, Ford and

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

In Pictures: La Gomera (Part 2)

The resident scenery is remarkably mixt for a comparably small Islet. As we trek from San Sebastián towards Playa Santiago we observe the Punta de Juan Gaza from a craggy stone strand.
With 3.718 meter the Tenerife centred Teide peak is clearly visible from the local east coast.
Slogging around the Parque Nacional de Garajonay is something else. From antique stone paths to deep and dark woodlands you will find everything.
La Gomera is not famed for its bathing coastlines. Whereas they are not the easiest to approach they create a pure and raw beauty.
The 40 square kilometres of the Garajonay National Park do include so many attractions. Pretty hard to overlook are a range of colossal rock-pillars. The rocks are former volcanoes shaped by erosion.
Powerful evening light highlights the rock creations.
It is apparent that the isle was shaped by volcanic activities. Deep and lush vales wind the 59 square kilometre landmass.
A reliably striking sundowner just outside of San Sebastián de la Gomera. Catched during an evening run on the local trails.
With its 1,250 meter the pictorial Roque de Agando is often used as a symbol for the island.

Check THIS LINK for my first set of pictures from the island of La Gomera.

Tune of the day: Phace - Beyond Number

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Friday, 6 January 2017

shoeporn: New Balance - 1500 V2 (Team NB Elite edition)

224 grams of running flat beauty – with the second revise of the firstly in 2015 launched 1500 series; prominent Boston based footwear makers New Balance provides an terrific and elegant shoe for wholesome and loose running.
The first issue of the 1500 series received raving reviews. Still New Balance included the athlete response and shaped a shoe that could be described as a perfect distance racing shoe. The 1500 in its second version comes up with light pronation stability as well as just about the right amount of cushioning that a running shoe of this style requires.
The special "Team NB Elite edition" looks extravagant with its "Bright Cherry" colour scheme. Pretty difficult to oversee. Naturally style is matter of personal favour. Personally I like the look of the new 1500 v2. That is how a racing flat should look like.
Sebastian Kienle, 2014 Ironman World Champ, wore the first version of the 1500 when he won the iconic event on Hawaii’s big island. Subsequently he was instrumental in the development of this shoe. Till now this is his racing shoe when it comes to Ironman distance racing.
Getting low - the general drop comes in at 6mm. Other hard facts are a 22mm heel height and 16mm on the forefoot. Proper racing style!
However the crash pad of the outsole still remains the same as seen in the first version, the design got altered a bit by the New Balance designers. Whilst they used tiny rubber cruxes in the previous model there are now some sort of triangular formed lugs. I took the shoe through its paces while running on the roads, gravel and on the track. I like the grip, no changes when it comes to ground control and general feel.
An inside look – The 1500 V2 bids added padding in the middle of the sole to care for runners with pronation troubles. While the shoe is light and meant for racing this could be a bonus for runners that are generally struggling with lightweight racing flats. Still the support is light that the extra “T-Beam” technology offers. The lightweight TPU shaft is built to provide torsional stability arch support through a middle beam design.
 “REVlite” is the title of the foam mixture that is used as the base of the shoe. The lightweight composition bids excellent and springy underfoot cushioning which I really valued.
Besides a tacky design the greatly centred heel-to-toe cavity supports the runner to achieve a straightforward and precise ride as the shoe is stabilised.
More specifics of the firm outsole and the certain lug-designs.
A key factor for the steadfast and supportive ride that this shoe offers is the “REVlite” sole.
Front end – New Balance reorganised the start of the lacing and built-in a petite holder in the centre of the bottom end of the shoe.
Pretty much like his predecessor the V2 comes in with a snug and well-made no-sew layers finish that is called “FantomFit”. A lot of racing flats are designed very narrow in the toe box area. Not so with this one. NB gives the forefoot plenty of space.
The foremost revise to the first version of the 1500 – a sock-like tongue support that keeps everything in check and creates a very comfy and precise feeling while striding.

With the revise of the 1500 NB raised the bar when it comes to running flats. Whilst the latest model supports a direct stride it still has some decent and well located cushioning. Something that hasn’t been seen within such a style of shoes. I really became a fan of this one. Still I don’t know why the up-to-the-minute model is a little bit heavier then the first version?

Tune of the day: Aidan Baker and Tomas Järmyr - Werl I

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Tuesday, 3 January 2017


In my belief there is no replacement to a true track workout. The 400-meter oval tells you exactly where you at. Nothing replaces the clear-cut stress and the hardiness you face while being out there.

I hate the track. I love the track.

Running a workout on your own is even rougher then doing it with a quick crowd. Proper quality time with your inner governor.

Tune of the day: Lord Finesse - S.K.I.T.S.