TREND­ING: ULTRAS AND OB­STA­CLES

Action Asia - - TRAIL -

THE SEARCH FOR SPEED Trail run­ning con­tin­ues to grow but also to di­ver­sify and brands are re­spond­ing by widen­ing their prod­uct ranges to in­clude shoes to suit dif­fer­ent dis­tances and ter­rains.

As the 100k has gone from the ex­cep­tion to (al­most) the every­day, the world of trail run­ning has em­barked on a di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion. Many ultras now fea­ture size­able el­e­va­tion gains à la UTMB, or are stretched out to 200, 300 or even 400km (Ul­tra Trail Gobi) plac­ing ever greater em­pa­sis on light and highly func­tional gear such as Ul­traaspire’s packs and hy­dra­tion so­lu­tions. Some shorter races are stress­ing their ver­ti­cal na­ture too, even us­ing build­ing stair­wells in­stead of trails. Oth­ers are ex­per­i­ment­ing with themes, team and re­lay for­mats. An­other phenom­ena is the rise of ob­sta­cle races (Tough Mud­der, Spar­tan Race) which mimic mil­i­tary cour­ses, rather than re­ly­ing on nat­u­ral chal­lenges. While they are not for run­ning purists, their pop­u­lar­ity is of in­ter­est to or­gan­is­ers of out­door events. Where will all this lead us? Who knows. But clearly the need for chal­lenge burns bright in many, and that can only be a good thing.

Win­ner of a cov­eted Out­door In­dus­try Award, this rugged shoe uses a polyurethane frame to sup­port the up­per as well as in the sole.

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