SCOTT Supertrac RC 2 Shoe Review

Scott have progressed year-on-year with the development of their trail running shoes. Notably, the interaction and feedback of their elite/ sponsored athletes have been instrumental in fine tweaking the range of shoes. 

I have been fortunate to work with the brand as a photographer on multiple occasions, often photographing new shoes and apparel before they are released to the general public. It’s important to clarify here that when reviewing shoes/ apparel, I do so impartially.

I started using Scott in 2012, the original Kinabalu was a shoe I loved. Eight years on, the present day Kinabalu has little resemblance to the original, gladly, it has progressed and what was a good shoe years ago, is now, in my opinion, a top-quality trail shoe. Follow here for a review of the new Kinabalu Ultra RC which will be available in late July.

I first witnessed the Supertrac RC in 2016 and wrote a first impressions in November of that year, here.

The black and yellow look then was striking and now, 4-years on, it is still striking and as such, Scott athletes, Scott apparel and Scott shoes are easily identifiable on the trail. It was a smart move by the brand.

As great as the original RC was (is) it was not the perfect shoe for me. I had some issues with how low the lacing came and in the propulsive face, I would some minor irritation. I also found the shoe a little lifeless. The cushioning did not give me the bounce I had hoped for. Despite these points, the shoe was an incredible performer in mountain terrain providing grip, a responsive feel and the seamless upper were all winners! It was designed for skyrunning. 

When Scott asked me to test out the new Supertrac RC 2 I was excited. I was surprised, to be honest, that the new incarnation had been so long coming. I had great expectations and although hopeful that the look/ integrity of the original shoe had not been changed, I had hoped that I would feel a notable difference.

Out of the box, I was happy. Black and yellow and this new shoe looked like the Supertrac I know. It was a great start. Flipping the shoe over, the 6mm lugs of the original were there, but the arrangement was different with a noticeable gap in the midfoot. I also noticed that the toe box was wider. The upper had several bales hanging off it, ‘3XDRY’ and ‘coldblack,’ so, it was apparent that the shoe had had an overhaul.

As a note, the new Kinabalu Ultra RC is being released in July and this, along with the Supertrac RC 2 is significant. The two shoes are very similar, the exception coming with the outsole and a more breathable/ mesh upper on the Kinabalu. In simple terms, the Supertrac RC 2 is for mountain, mud and rough terrain. The Kinabalu Ultra RC is a trail shoe.

Supertrac RC 2 on the top and the Kinabalu Ultra RC below – the difference in upper is significant. But fit/ feel is very similar.

The Kinabalu Ultra RC on top is less aggressive.

THE SHOE

I use an EU44 (UK9.5) for all my test shoes and weirdly, the Supertrac RC 2 although an EU44 says UK9 inside? I was perplexed initially thinking that the shoe would be too small. It’s not. So, if purchasing, just be careful with sizing. I am not sure why there is a discrepancy between EU and UK size.

At 298g for an EU44, this is a lightweight, but not the lightest mountain shoe.

One of the great attributes of the original Supertrac was foothold and here in the Supertrac RC 2 that foothold is equaled and bettered. Surprisingly, there is still no sock-like fit but when you slide the shoe on, you don’t even think about it. The seamless upper, tongue and lacing configuration hold the foot wonderfully tight. So, on technical terrain, there are no worries of one’s foot moving inside the shoe.

Key changes come in the upper with SCHOELLER COLDBLACK® and 3XDRY® which provide more protection and comfort. I was initially worried that the upper looked unbreathable and therefore potentially making the shoe hot, not so. The SCHOELLER COLDBLACK® reduces heat buildup and increases wearing comfort. The 3XDRY® is water and stain resistant and from the inside, it absorbs and distributes moisture.

The heel area is padded, snug and importantly when climbing does not allow for any slipping.

Notably, the toe box is wider allowing a little more toe splay than the original shoe and this is welcome. Toe protection is adequate and what is immediately noticeable is how the outsole rises up placing one lug almost on the toes – perfect for climbing.

Cushioning is notable. I found the original Supertrac lacking life and bounce, not here in the version 2 with the AEROfoam+. The bounce is notable even without running. The drop is 5mm. 

Scott have always used eRide (rocker) to help with technique and cadence. In some models, it has been very noticeable. Here in the Supertrac RC 2 it is less noticeable, and the curvature is reduced.

The outsole has always been a selling point with ‘radial traction.’ The 6mm lugs fit the middle ground off aggressive, but not too aggressive and the lugs now have been spaced differently to help dispel mud and reduce clogging. Particularly noticeable in the middle of the outsole.

If you wanted a shoe just for mud, then a more aggressive outsole would be better. But the Supertrac RC 2 quite rightly wants to provide a great all-rounder that handles mud, technical terrain and can still be comfortable when cruising some single-track.

IN USE

This is Scott’s best shoe so far in my opinion. The changes they have made addressed all my minor niggles from the original Supertrac RC and they have packaged them in a version 2 that is magical to wear.

I have given mine a real battering and in the space of a couple of weeks managed to get well over 100km in them in the mountains of Norway. Mud, trail, rock, wet and dry, at all times the shoes were performing at the highest level.

From 3-hour faster runs to 7-hour+ adventures, at all times, the shoes were comfortable and secure.  

In the previous Supertrac RC, I would only use them for shorter/ faster outings, the v2 is so much more cushioned that even on continually hard and rocky terrain, I had all day comfort.

The outsole performed as expected offering secure grip on rocks both in the dry and wet. I had one issue of slipping continuously on a particular type of rock, however, it became clear that the green slime over it was an issue for any shoe and not just the Scott. Confirmed by a run friend who was in a pair of inov-8.

In mud, I was happy with the grip knowing only too well that if I got in continuous sloppy and deep mud that grip would be compromised a little due to the 6mm lugs. But, the new spacing of the lugs did the job of expelling mud. This was perfect in guaranteeing a more consistent grip for all the time.

When on technical and demanding trail, you need a shoe that holds the foot so you can be 100% sure. Many brands call this ‘precision’ and often one of the downsides of a precision shoe/ fit is that the toe box will be narrower. The Supertrac RC 2 has a wider toe box and it is noticeable. I was therefore worried that some of that firm hold and reassurance may be lost. No! The lacing and fit are so good, that you can adjust and tweak making sure that you have 100% security. Even the insole grips one’s sock.

I ran through a great deal of wet/ muddy and boggy ground and here is maybe one downside of the shoe. I felt drainage was compromised. I always wear Merino socks and so therefore had no issues with cold feet, even when running through a great deal of snow. However, I do feel water retention was more noticeable.

CONCLUSIONS

The Supertrac RC 2 is a great shoe and for anyone who loved the original Supertrac RC, I think now they will have an even bigger smile on their face.

For those who were tempted by the black and yellow shoes previously but decided that the toe box was too narrow, the cushioning compromised, or the feel was a little flat, you should now go back and check these out.

It’s rare I compare shoes to other brands and models, however, for those who have read my reviews, they will know that VJ Sport are my ‘go-to’ shoes for the mountains, be that the XTRM or MAXx models. Now, I firmly believe that Scott have a shoe that can compete. 

I have 98% of good things to say about the Scott Supertrac RC 2 and the only negative is the potential for retaining water… To clarify, it does not stay in the shoe, it does dissipate. It just dissipates slower than I would have liked.

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Jo Meek on RUNULTRA

 

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Jo Meek has illuminated the ultra world in the past 18-months placing 2nd at the 28th edition of Marathon des Sables, winning The Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica, setting a new course record and an outright win at Iznik Ultra and then placed 5th at the iconic Comrades Ultra Marathon in South Africa. But it didn’t end…

I caught up with Jo and wrote an article for RUNULTRA on this rising star of our sport.

Please check it out HERE

run-ultra-logo

Scott T2 Palani (Ladies) Road Shoe Review

Scott T2 Palani_1

Niandi Carmont wanted a special outfit for her 14th Comrades ultra marathon, and why not! If you are going to push the boat out and test yourself (for the 14th time) over just under 90 km’s on the roads from Pietermaritzburg to Durban, you may as well look good, feel good and importantly be comfortable and efficient. Niandi picked up a full running outfit provided by Scott Running and here, Niandi reviews the T2 Palani road shoe.

Niandi Carmont Comrades

Reviews to follow of: Scott eRide Tank, Light Socks and Skort.

Scott is not a brand name widely associated with running but more often than not conjures up images of cycling. Perhaps we need to rethink our preconceived ideas about household brand names. This is the second Scott model I’ve tested although the first road shoe (read the T2 Kinabalu review HERE). The timing was right as I was in pre-Comrades training and looking for a shoe not only for race day but also a shoe to see me through the last couple of months of my race build-up.

Scott T2 Palani_2

The first thing I noticed when I lifted them out of the shoe-box was the weight – at 7.4 oz, this is a lightweight shoe. However it also boasts AeroFoam midsole cushioning which makes it a good compromise in terms of weight and cushioning for the long-distance ultra-runner not seeking to go minimalist. The outsole offers great grip providing great traction on the road, which is a typical Scott shoe feature. Drainage holes on either side of the toe-box keep your feet relatively dry in wet weather conditions. The shoe I tested is a women’s specific fit.

500-meters into my first run I knew that I was going to get on with this shoe. What I like about Scott shoes is the unique patented eRide geometry of their shoes. The rocker shape creates a very stable midstance for a more efficient running style. It might have something to do with the fact that I heel-strike with my right foot and I felt that the shoe helped provide me with a more economical stride. Instead of my heel smacking on the ground, I felt the rocker provided me with more bounce and forefoot lift off. The eRide is a great concept compensating for the lack of sensory feedback and proprioception due to cushioning.

eRide

Scott say about eRide, ‘Get that fleet-footed feeling with our eRide range. The unique rocker shape creates a very stable midstance, promoting the faster and more efficient running style that runners strive for. You`ll be rocking as the miles roll by.’

Basically the unique heel shape causes the foot to roll forward, converting impact energy into forward motion. This is another plus for ultra-runners who irrespective of individual biomechanics will eventually heel strike. Thus the shoe is not only more energy efficient, reducing fatigue through heel striking over long distances but also provides a smoother ride and a more natural midfoot strike.

1. Healthier body position

2. More energy efficient

3. Natural midfoot strike

4. Lower profile heel

5. Smoother ride

6. Minimal and lighter weight

My perceptions of the shoe for this first one-hour training run were thus extremely positive and I subsequently adopted the shoe as my Comrades race shoe. I tested it for every road run over the 2 months preceding Comrades and found that it was a great all-weather road shoe. In very wet road conditions in the UK the drainage holes prevented the shoe from becoming water-logged and in South Africa on the hot tarmac the breathable mesh upper kept my feet relatively cool. Also the grippy outsole on the inside of the arch and the outer side of the toe box provided great grip on wet road.

Scott T2 Palani_3

The toe-box is very roomy even with the narrower female-specific fit and provides ample room for toes to splay or for runners with wider feet. Heel-striking has caused my right arch to collapse slightly. As a result the foot is wider and I often have an issue with chafing as well as a Taylor’s bunion on the outside of my foot which the toe-box accommodated perfectly.

The shoe is neutral with an 11mm drop from heel to forefoot. Cushioning 15mm at the front and 26mm at the rear.

Lastly this shoe is EXTREMELY durable. That is definitely a Scott quality – very little sign of heel wear through heel striking on the outer side of my right foot and this NEVER happens with any other brand of shoe. I’ll definitely get more mileage out of this racing shoe than with other rival products and in the long run (sorry about the pun!) save on my shoe budget!

Scott say, ‘The T2 Palani is a high performance, lightweight neutral trainer and racing shoe for the roads. Unbeatable for anything from short races to marathons as well as all fast training units, it incorporates all essential ingredients of a winning lightweight running shoe.’ 

Tech specs:

Category – Performance

Weight – 210g

Forefoot – 15

Heel – 26

Heel to toe drop -11mm

Technologies

  • eRide
  • eRide flow
  • AeroFoam

Size – US 5-11

Material

  • Upper: Mesh/Synthetic Overlays
  • Lower: EVA/rubber

View the product on Scott Running HERE

Niandi Carmont

Niandi Carmont

Niandi Carmont – Niandi is South African born, a former resident of Paris, she now lives in the UK. A runner for over 20-years; Niandi has completed Comrades Marathon 13-times, Washie 100 2-times and has finished well over 100 marathons and ultras  all over the world. Currently residing in the UK, Niandi splits her work life between the UK and France.

Iznik Ultra (in French) – TEMOIGNAGES D’IZNIK ULTRA LE 19 avril 2014

Post by – Niandi Carmont ©

Niandi Carmont & Benoit Laval

Niandi Carmont & Benoit Laval

“Nous courons, non pas parce que nous pensons que ça nous fait du bien, mais parce que nous aimons ça et que nous ne pouvons pas obtenir ce bien-être autrement … Plus notre société et notre travail restreindront notre liberté, plus il sera nécessaire de trouver une issue à cette soif de liberté. Personne ne peut dire, ‘Vous ne devez pas courir plus vite que cela, ou sauter plus haut que cela. » L’esprit humain est indomptable.”

35ème kilomètre, il en reste sept jusqu’à l’arrivée. Je me sens incroyablement fraîche. Heureuse de courir, aucune douleur, pas de baisse d’énergie. J’entre dans un petit village (Müşküle) et mes yeux se remplissent de larmes, impossible de retenir l’émotion qui me gagne.

Coraline Chapatte, 42km

Copyright ©znikultra

Copyright ©znikultra

Devant chaque porte, dans chaque petite ruelle, des villageois assis et qui applaudissent les coureurs qui passent. Ils sont là depuis des heures mais chaque fois qu’un coureur entre dans le village, c’est le même accueil: applaudissements, encouragements. Mais en plus de cela, ces villageois envoient une énergie particulière. Je vous promets, je ne suis pas quelqu’un qui pleure facilement ou qui suis particulièrement émotive, mais en l’espace de 30 secondes j’ai complètement été gagnée par l’émotion.

Et lorsque les enfants ont commencé à tendre leurs petites mains pour que je leur tape dedans et qu’un peu plus loin d’autres enfants se sont mis à courir avec moi, mon visage s’est couvert de larmes.

Vraiment impossible de décrire par des mots ce que j’ai vécu en traversant ce minuscule village. C’est comme si durant ces 800 mètres, j’étais sous l’effet d’un puissant elixir, un elixir d’authenticité et de chaleur humaine.

Benoît Laval, 42km , deuxième homme

Benoit Laval ©iancorless.com

Benoit Laval ©iancorless.com

J’ai trouvé l’organisation de l’Ultramarathon d’Iznik très pro, et les 800 coureurs sur des distances de 10km à 80km sont très bien accueillis. Caner, l’organisateur, a voulu un but au parcours, et c’est un tracé par les crêtes autour du lac d’Iznik, à gauche des montagnes enneigées, à droite le lac. Le parcours est roulant et très abordable. A deux heures d’Istanbul, c’est un formidable prétexte pour aller faire un joli voyage dans cette ville historique au fin fond de l’Europe et traverser le Bosphore pour aller faire ce trail en Asie.

Pour ma part, j’ai fait le 42km, allant faire l’Annapurna Mandala Trail la semaine suivante.

Ce parcours un peu trop roulant n’était pas à l’avantage de mon entraînement moyen, mais je me suis fait plaisir, et j’ai attrapé la 2ème place, la meilleure place que ma forme me permettait. Je retournerais à Istanbul, je retournerais à Iznik…

Jo Meek, 80km, première au classement général

©iancorless.com.IMG_2979IZNIK2014

L’organisation était irréprochable. On m’a très bien accueillie que ce soit à l’inscription à la course ou les soins médicaux pendant la course ou encore l’arrivée. La communauté locale était très impliquée et tout le monde nous encourageait. Le parcours était super bien balisé et les coureurs ont emprunté des petits chemins ainsi que de la piste pour traverser des fermes, des oliviers et ensuite quelques passages sur route. Le climat exceptionnel était idéal pour faire des performances. Sans oublier le paysage spectaculaire – des pics enneigés, le grand lac ….tout cela nous pousser à aller encore plus vite. 

Gallery by iancorless.com © – all rights reserved

Jo Meek Q&A in trailrunnermag.com

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The eyes tell the story—they look through you. Deep in focus, almost blinkered like a horse, Jo Meek has only one purpose. To run as fast and as efficiently as possible over six days and win the 10th edition of the 2014 The Coastal Challenge (TCC) in Costa Rica.

I had seen this look once before, at the end of stage 1 of the 2013 Marathon des Sables in Morocco. Sitting in a bivouac, Meek, 36, of Fair Oak, New Hampshire, had just excelled on the first day of the race. I, like others, looked around in wonder and asked the question, “Who is Jo Meek?”

By the end of that 28th Marathon des Sables, no more questions needed to be asked. Meek placed second at her first Marathon des Sables behind Trail Runner Contributing Editor Meghan Hicks.

Switching from the dunes of the Sahara to the beaches and rainforest of Costa Rica was always going to be a cathartic moment for Meek, particularly when one considered the slated seasoned competition: Julia Bottger, Veronica Bravo and Anna “Frosty” Frost. Unfortunately, Frosty had to withdraw from the race just days before the start. While disappointed at not having the opportunity to test herself against one of the best female mountain-ultrarunners in the world, Meek was unfazed: “It changes nothing. I am here to race and race hard. I would have loved to have Anna push me but you know what? I can push myself pretty hard.”

Read the full article HERE

Jo Meek trailrunnermag.com

Britton & Meek talk Iznik Ultra

iznik LogoIznik, formerly known as Nicea is situated on a beautiful lake in the province of Bursa some 2.5 hours from Istanbul. An important center for Roman and Byzantine times, Iznik has a rich history.

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The city was once surrounded by a stone wall some 14,520ft in circumference. Although this wall remains it has been punctured to allow road access.

From a tourist perspective Iznik has much to offer; peace, tranquility, an insight into local culture and of course some significant monuments such as the Yenise Gate, St Sophia Cathedral (Orhan Ghazi Mosque) and the Green Mosque (Yesil Camil) named after it’s wonderful green tiles.

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Iznik also has an archaeological museum that contains mostly glass and Roman objects. In addition to this history, Iznik is also famous for tile manufacturer and Olives. Tiles from Iznik have been used to decorate many a mosque, particularly in Istanbul.

Iznik Lake provides a backdrop to the Iznik Ultra series of races. It is appropriate that each race should include such a historically important natural feature. Great courses, demanding terrain, small un-spoilt villages and plenty of climbing (at least in the early stages) makes Iznik a great location for racing and leisure.

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In just two weeks time, runners will travel from around the world and congregate on the shores of the lake for a weekend of competitive racing. I caught up with Robbie Britton (inov-8) and Jo Meek (Scott Running) and asked them a few questions about this journey into the unknown..

Jo Meek, The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica ©iancorless.com

Jo Meek, The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica ©iancorless.com

1. What is the attraction to travelling to Turkey?

RB: Turkey is one of the countries in Europe that has been on my list to visit for a number of years now and running a race is by far the best way to see as much as possible! Turkey’s culture and history, alongside the rugged, mountainous landscape for the Iznik ultra is really attractive to me.

JM: It’s a place that I haven’t been to before so that is really appealing. I feel very fortunate that a passion such as running is providing me with this great opportunity.

2. Are you aware on an ultra scene in Turkey… what do you think the competition will be like?

RB: I’ve met a couple of Turkish ultra runners in the UK but I didn’t know much about the ultra running scene in Turkey. I like competition so I am really looking forward to the opportunity to race on new terrain against new competition.

JM: No, I wasn’t specifically aware of any races held in Turkey but I did not imagine for a moment that it would not have a running scene. I regard to competition, I never underestimate anyone when I race, especially when local runners know the tracks and trails first hand.

Robbie Britton, The English Lakes. ©iancorless.com

Robbie Britton, The English Lakes. ©iancorless.com

3. How is your training, have you been doing anything specific?

RB: Looking at the race profile for the Iznik race has made me add a few extra hills to my training, I have been really working on going up and down! I’m currently training in La Palma so hopefully the hills and the sun here will get me ready!

JM: Since returning from the Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica (which Jo won) I have taken a few weeks off to recover, move house and start a new job. I have been learning new run routes; which always makes for runs longer than planned! I have been very specific lately working on my strength for the hills and speed for the flat.

4. Why race distance did you choose this distance?

RB: I’m racing the marathon distance, a little shorter than usual for me but it looks like a tough event! The ups and downs look very similar to the profile at Transvulcania La Palma so I see it as a good chance to race some tough ascents and fly down some steep downhill! 

JM: I have chosen the 80km route because my main goal will be Comrades Ultra (South Africa) in June. The Iznik race provides me with great distance to race over without encroaching too much into the training that proceeds it with fatigue and depletion. 

Robbie Britton. The English Lakes. ©iancorless.com

Robbie Britton. The English Lakes. ©iancorless.com

5. Do you plan to do a little sight seeing, what interests you?

RB: As someone who studied Archaeology at university, I hope to be able to see some of the fantastic sites that Turkey has to offer. I just hope there isn’t anything on the race route that causes me to stop and forget about the race! I’m also looking forward to travelling through Istanbul as it strikes me as a city with a lot of life and excitement!

JM: I would love to see more of the country whilst given this opportunity to visit but unfortunately my annual leave entitlement is exhausted. I remember being dragged around Ephesus as a small child and secretly being totally impressed by such a place so I know Turkey has a lot to offer but I’m sure I’ll return. 

Jo Meek, The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica. ©iancorless.com

Jo Meek, The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica. ©iancorless.com

6. What’s next on the calendar after Iznik?

RB: A few weeks after Iznik I will be back in the hills for the Transvulcania La Palma 80k Skyrunning race in the island of La Palma. 2014 is the year of the mountains for me!

JM: After Iznik I will continue to train hard and devote myself to Comrades for me and then the Lakeland 50. Two totally different races so a lot of training and adaptation required!

Runners will travel to Turkey on Thursday April 17th and racing starts at midnight Friday 18th for the 131km race. The 80km and classic marathon distance races will commence on Saturday April 19th.

Iznik Profile

Follow the action from the Iznik series of races via:

  • iancorless.com
  • facebook.com/talkultra
  • @talkultra on twitter

If you would like to race this year, it’s not too late… go to www.iznikultra.com and sign up! You wont regret it!

Local knowledge:

Bursa (Turkish pronunciation: [ˈbuɾsa]) is a city in Turkey, located in northwestern Anatolia, within the Marmara Region. It is the fourth most populous city in Turkey and one of the most industrialized metropolitan centers in the country. The city is also the administrative center of Bursa Province.

Bursa was the first capital of the Ottoman State between 1335 and 1413. The city was referred to as Hüdavendigar (meaning “God’s gift”) during the Ottoman period, while a more recent nickname is Yeşil Bursa (meaning “Green Bursa”) in reference to the parks and gardens located across its urban fabric, as well as to the vast and richly varied forests of the surrounding region. The ski resort of Mount Uludağ towers over it. The mountain was called the Mysian Olympus by the Romans who lived there before. Bursa has rather orderly urban growth and borders a fertile plain. The mausoleums of the early Ottoman sultans are located in Bursa and the city’s main landmarks include numerous edifices built throughout the Ottoman period. Bursa also has thermal baths and several museums, including a museum of archaeology.

The shadow play characters Karagöz and Hacivat are based on historic personalities who lived and died in Bursa. Bursa is also home to some of the most famous Turkish dishes such as İskender kebap, specially candied marron glacés, peaches and Turkish Delight. Bursa houses the Uludağ University, and its population can claim one of the highest overall levels of education in Turkey. The historic towns of İznik (Nicaea), Mudanya and Zeytinbağı are all situated in Bursa Province.

Reference ©wikipedia

Top Brits head to Turkey for the Iznik Ultra race series, April 2014

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Now in its third year, the Iznik series of races in Turkey are assembling a strong UK contingent of runners to race over the marathon, 80km or 130km distances, featuring Jo MeekRobbie BrittonTracy DeanStu Air and Marcus Scotney. With several races on offer, Robbie Britton and Stu Air will race the marathon distance, Tracy Dean and Jo Meek the 80km and Marcus Scotney the 130km.

Map

Surrounded by eight countries, Turkey has significant geographical importance as it is at a crossroads with Europe and Asia. The noise and colour from an over populated Istanbul are completely contradicted by the sublime tranquility of Iznik, situated on a beautiful lake. Don’t get me wrong! Istanbul is remarkable; it’s an exciting place and certainly, any journey to this region should at least include one-day sight seeing around the old town. The Fire Tower, the Blue MosqueHippodromeGrand Bazaar and Sultanhamet Square; believe me, there is no shortage of things to do.

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Located in Bursa, on the banks of Lake Iznik, Caner Odabasoglu and his team have worked tirelessly to make the Iznik Races not only the premier event in Turkey but also with the 130km race, they also have the longest single stage race in the whole of the country.

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Running and particularly, Ultra running is not a big sport in this region, to that end, Caner with the help of the Iznik community have continually worked hard to put the races and the local community on the running map.

Profile

Using the Iznik Lake as a backdrop, all the races utilize the local terrain to not only provide a beautiful course but also a challenging course. All the elevation comes in the first 80 km’s, so, the marathon and the shorter ultra are very much about going up and down on trails that vary from single-track to wide rutted farm roads. From the town of Soloz (appx 67km) the course flattens and follows the Iznik Lake in a circular route tracing the perimeter to arrive back at the start some 130 km’s later.

Jo Meek ©iancorless.com

Jo Meek ©iancorless.com

Jo Meek (Scott Running) fresh from a victory at The Coastal Challenge multi-day race in Costa Rica has been eagerly awaiting this trip, I have been to Turkey before but only the touristic bits so travelling to Turkey this time to run through the areas I wouldn’t otherwise see holds a lot of appeal. See the culture as I experience the highs and lows of the countryside is a privilege anywhere but especially as a guest in a foreign country.”

Tracy Dean - inov-8

Tracy Dean – inov-8

Jo is right, racing in Turkey is a great opportunity to combine so many different elements, of course the opportunity to test oneself against new competition but also to see a new place and explore a new culture, Iznik has a wonderful history. The Aphasia Mosque amongst others for example intrigues me and it will be amazing to see the architecture of the Hoffman period. I am interested in seeing the tiles that Iznik has a reputation for producing. The main attraction though… food, ha ha to have Turkish delight and fish kebab will be a real treat, just not both on the same dish.” Explained Tracy Dean (inov-8).

Marcus Scotney - Montane

Marcus Scotney – Montane

Marcus Scotney (Montane) recently won the ‘Challenger’ race at The Spine in the UK, “I wasn’t aware of an ultra scene in Turkey, I hadn’t looked into opportunities until I heard about the Iznik ultra. I’m sure the competition will be very tough, especially from local people who will know the route and what the trails are like.”

Robbie Britton - inov-8

Robbie Britton – inov-8

Robbie Britton (inov-8) backs this up, “I’ve met a couple of Turkish ultra runners in the UK but I didn’t know much about the scene in Turkey itself. I like competition so hopefully there will be a few guys to enjoy the hills with and we can push each other along.“

Robbie has a reputation for running long and fast, he has represented GB at the 24-hour distance, however, in Iznik he will race the shorter (but hillier) marathon race, “I’m racing the marathon distance this time, a little shorter than usual but it looks like a tough event! The ups and downs look very similar to the profile at Transvulcania on the island of La Palma so I see it as a good chance to race some tough ascents and fly down some steep downhill’s!”

Stu Air - Ronda dels Cims

Stu Air – Ronda dels Cims

Stu Air (Scott Running) equally has gained a reputation for racing tough, technical and long events; in 2013 Stu had great results at Ronda dels Cims in Andorra and the tough Tor des Geants. Fresh from a top-10 placing at MSIG50 in Hong Kong, Stu too has chosen the marathon distance race, “I have chosen the Mountain Marathon 42km course, as I feel that this distance will help me focus on my weakness (speed) over some of the longer races. I have several races in 2014 which are 100-miles. Transvulcania (80km) on the island of La Palma is a few weeks after Iznik too, so I thought this race would be perfect to help me in preparation for this longer race.”

Caner and the team

Caner and the team

Caner Odabasoglu and the MCR Racesetter Team are passionate ultra runners and have devoted an incredible amount of time, energy and money in creating a stunning weekend of racing on the shores of Iznik Lake. Dedicated to the cause, the 2013 edition will be bigger, better and potentially faster across all three key race distances… watch this space, the Brits are coming!

Race website: HERE

Follow the race at: iancorless.com and on Twitter @talkultra 

Athlete race calendars 2104: 

  • Jo Meek – Iznik Ultra, Comrades (South Africa) and Lakeland 50 (UK) Trail Running Championships.
  • Tracy Dean – Iznik Ultra and Lakeland 50 (UK) Trail Running Championships.
  • Marcus Scotney – Iznik Ultra, British 100km Championships and Ultra Tour of the Peak District (UK).
  • Robbie Britton – Iznik Ultra and Skyrunning Transvulcania La Palma 80km (La Palma).
  • Stu Air – Iznik Ultra, Skyrunning Transvulcania La Palma 80km (La Palma), Hardrock 100 (USA), Skyrunning Kima Trophy 50km (Italy) and Diagonale des Fous 160km (Reunion Island).

Athlete sponsors:

  • inov-8 – HERE
  • Montane – HERE
  • Scott Running – HERE 

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Stuart Air heads to Honk Kong for the MSIG Sai Kung 50

Stuart Air at Ice Trail Tarentaise ©iancorless.com

Stuart Air at Ice Trail Tarentaise ©iancorless.com

Brit, Stuart Air (Scott Running) heads to Hong Kong this weekend to participate in the MSIG Sai Kung 50. Stuart had an incredible 2013, new to Skyrunning, he performed exceptionally well at the very tough Andorra Ultra Trail, Ronda dels Cims with a 13th place. Stuart then followed this up with a top placing at Ice Trail Tarentaise against world class competition.

Post Ronda dels Cims ≠©iancorless.com

Post Ronda dels Cims ≠©iancorless.com

Not content with two tough races, Stuart placed himself on the start line of Tor des Geants. Placing well overall, Stuart set a fastest time for any Brit at the event.

Stuart’s participation at MSIG Sai Kung 50 starts 2014 on the right foot, arguably, Stuart has an incredible year ahead. Hardrock 100 awaits… yes, Stuart was extremely fortunate to be drawn out of the hat and will now line up against one of the most competitive fields ever assembled at the race.

Stuart very much considers himself an Alpinist; embracing the opportunity to go to the mountains, fast and light, Stuart loves vertical and technical terrain.

Coming from a relatively mild but wet UK winter, Stuart feels prepared for the challenge ahead, ‘Training has gone well in the Lake District and Wales’ Stuart said in an interview by Michael Maddess, ‘I have clocked up 60-70 miles and 4000m of vertical per week. The weather has been a challenge, but strong winds, rain and snow all help with the training.’

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LINKS

Scott Trail Rocket Shoe

Scott Trail Rocket

Following on from the extremely successful and popular T2 Kinabalu (review HERE and ladies review HERE) Scott have produced an out and out trail running race shoe aptly named the Trail Rocket.

Sporting many features from the T2 Kinabalu this new incarnation in principal is a completely different beast. The aggressive outsole from the T2 is gone leaving a shoe (and grip) that will fly along on dry and hard pack trail, however, if mud is your thing on first impressions the T2 will be a far better choice.

Scott Trail Rocket SoleFollowing the trend for low drop shoes, the Trail Rocket now has a 5mm heel to toe drop in comparison to the 11mm drop of the T2. However, don’t look at this as an either/ or option. The T2 and Trail Rocket are worlds apart and as such the appropriate shoe should be chosen depending on many factors. I very much see owners of the T2 purchasing the Trail Rocket for faster and shorter sessions and Trail Rocket owners looking to purchase the T2 for longer days when terrain could be very unpredictable.

Scott Trail Rocket UpperThe upper is very breathable with a wide toe box, snug heel compartment that provides a solid and secure fit and importantly, toe protection is good should you have any unwanted encounters with rocks or obstacles on the trail. The shoe is designed to work well with or without socks, the choice is yours. Sizing is true to size, however, if you are going without socks you may want to check what works for you. Lacing is solid and depending on your preferred lacing method the shoe holds firm to the foot and is extremely comfortable. The laces themselves have stretch and once tied hold firm and don’t come loose. Missing from the front of the shoe is the elastic bungee that could hold and retain excess lace (see T2 review). I don’t understand this? It was a simple addition that added no weight but provided a really practical solution to a problem that exists for all runners unless you use Salomon!

Scott Trail Rocket Pair

They are lightweight and versatile trail shoes designed for maximum performance for racing and fast training and as such they won’t appeal to everyone. The minimalistic design in combination with the eRide™ Technology promotes an efficient, natural and fast running style. Arguably, the eRide™ (rocker) is not required for this model of shoe as a 5mm drop will almost certainly mean that your run form should already be good and mid to forefoot landing is normal. However, should you be transitioning to lower drop shoes the eRide™ will help guide you on your way.

eRide

As you would expect, the shoes weigh in at a light 260g (UK9) which is obviously due to the minimalist design and Aerofoam.

Aerofoam

Forefoot cushioning is 17.5 and rear cushioning 22.5 providing a shoe that still provides good cushioning and protection. How far can you run in them? Well it very much depends on your form, adaptation and technique. Without doubt I think we will see many efficient runners covering 100-miles in this shoe, however, for many it will be a great mountain marathon shoe, 50k or 50-mile race option shoe.

Scott Trail Rocket Side

Importantly, the shoe has no rock plate and that my prove an issue for many?

Slipping the shoe on you have that confirmed comfort feeling inherited from the T2 Kinabalu, so, it’s fair to say that if you are a fan of its beefier brother you are going to like the Trail Rocket.

You zip along feeling very light and although this is considered a more minimalist racing shoe, overall comfort is great.

On road it performs exceptionally well, that is a real bonus for many of us who may need to transition to trail either by connecting roads or maybe you need to access trail with a jog to and from home.

On hard trail and rock you fly along. The Trail Rocket has great response and promotes a faster pace… that may or may not be a good thing? Certainly if you are new to ultra racing or looking to complete rather than compete, the Trail Rocket may not be the shoe for you. I would recommend the T2 and use the Trail Rocket for faster training sessions or shorter trail races.

The lack of a rock plate was noticeable when on continued rocky or gnarly ground. It wasn’t an issue or caused any problems, BUT if I was doing a long race over continually tough and technical terrain then this would become a problem and for sure, my feet would be tired. This is not a fault of the shoe, one just needs to choose the appropriate shoe for the terrain and length of session

Ultimately, the Trail Rocket is a great shoe. It doesn’t replace the T2 in any way, in actual fact it compliments it and I therefore I see Trail Rocket owners having a pair of T2’s and vice versa.

Recommended!

Specs:

  • Drop 5mm
  • Upper – mesh with synthetic overlays
  • Lower – eva/ rubber

Scott Running website HERE