Thursday, 25 August 2011

Thanks to ….. Brooks

One of the main reasons I made it across the USA without injury was the Brooks running shoes that I wear. They served me well over 874 miles from John O'Groats to Lands End in 2007. This continued this year with a successful 3100 miles across the USA. 2800 of those miles were ran in Brooks Glycerin 8 and when the need for a trail shoe arose, Brooks Cascadia 6 was used. I finished off the last few hundred miles running in Brooks Glycerin 9 (pictured below). 

I bought my own Brooks shoes back in 2007 and was delighted when they agreed to become my official shoe supplier for the run across the USA. Without their support I would have been faced with buying 18 pairs of running shoes over the last 3 years! I wouldn't have worn any other shoe so I'm grateful to Brooks for helping to keep my costs down.

As well as Brooks shoes, I also wore Brooks Equilibrium base layers for the majority of the run. I've been a fan of this product for the last 3 years. It's one of the most comfortable base layers I've worn.

I wrote the following for a magazine last year - "During the Summer of 2007 I ran 874 miles from John O’Groats to Lands End in Brooks trainers, raising £34,108 for St Benedict’s Hospice. Since then, I have clocked up almost 2800 miles wearing out 6 pairs of Brooks shoes.

The thing I like most about my Brooks shoes are how comfortable they are. I remember when I first tried a pair on in Northern Runner in Newcastle. “Wow! They feel like slippers!” I remember thinking. I’ve tried a few different brands that, at the time I found very comfortable. In my experience, Brooks have taken comfort to the next level.

Saying that they are comfortable in the shop is one thing, however. I spent the next 2 months testing them out before deciding to use them to run from John O’Groats to Lands End.

The experts tell me that I’m a neutral runner, so Brooks Glycerin are the model of shoe that I use. In fact, I’m currently running in the Brooks Glycerin 8 model which incorporates Brooks own DNA technology for the first time.

Brooks DNA is “an innovative cushioning material that responds to the unique differences that make each of us who we are as runners.”. In laypersons terms, a special fluid is used in key parts of the shoe, which adapts, in the runner’s favour, to the different forces that are applied to it. I find this particularly useful as my training is made up of various speeds (7:30 - 11:00 minute miles), distances (5 - 37 miles) and terrains (Roads, cycle paths and the treadmill). I’ve also been known to lose and gain 2-3 stone between major events so I reckon Brooks DNA works overtime some days!

On Sunday 19th September, miles 2750 - 2763.1 at the Great North Run were the usual comfortable, blister free experience. This was my first comeback race following an ankle break in May 2010. An ankle break which made the front page of the local newspaper incidentally. I was on a cycle ride along the C2C route with friends who call themselves “The Men Of Steel”. Unfortunately, 120 miles into the ride, I had a puncture in my front tyre on a bend and lost control. My inner ankle bone (Medial Malleolus) was the casualty of the resulting fall. I suspected straight away that it was broken. “Thankfully”, it was a nice clean break. Only 24 hours after the accident I had 2 pins inserted in my ankle at Newcastle General Hospital.

The recovery from the ankle break meant 3 months of missed running time. So with only 2 weeks of training under my belt and going against my physio’s orders, I finished the Great North Run in a time of 02:22:48.

The run provided a massive boost in confidence and served as the first stepping stone to the next major run I’ll be undertaking. For 100 days during the Summer of 2011, I will be continuing to put my faith in Brooks Glycerin shoes when I run 3100 miles across the USA from California to New York. That’s an average of 31 miles per day for 100 days and 3.5 times further than my John O’Groats to Lands End run in 2007.

I’ll be counting on the Brooks DNA technology, in my Glycerin shoes, to adapt to terrain of the Mojave Desert as well as the Rocky Mountains and beyond! This article may read like a sales pitch but it is in fact a plea for all readers to, at least, try a pair of Brooks shoes. I’ve had a lot of comfort and success in them over the last 3 years. It’s imperative that that continues and I get to New York in 1 piece in order to raise the target of £50,000 for 2 local charities; St Benedict’s Hospice (Charity No. 1019410) and The Children’s Foundation (Charity No. 1000013). Thanks to my Brooks Glycerin shoes I stand a very good chance of succeeding.".

Thanks to Brooks for their brilliant support over the last 3 years.