Well, hopefully you have read Part 1 that covers a bit about the race…. now for the bit about the kit….
I was wearing the Brooks Ghost 8 trainers for this race. They were relatively new and I had only run two or three 4 mile runs in them before the half marathon…. They felt really comfortable on the shorter runs and I didn’t have any hot spots on my feet at all. For the last year I have been running in the Inov-8 Roclite 280’s because most of my running is on trails. The Brooks Ghost are meant to be trail shoes and I think on the dry trails on the South Downs they would be fine. As soon as it gets muddy I really don’t think they will have enough grip and I wouldn’t wear them on any mountain based event.
With trainers it is always a bit of a compromise for me…. I like to have a relatively low drop but don’t want it too low in case it causes me problems with my Achilles tendon again. The Brooks Ghost are 12mm and the Inov-8 280’s are 8mm…. and this my friends is what I think caused the problem I had on the half marathon. For the first time in 2 years I’ve ended up with a very purple looking toe nail…. it is the same toenail that I last lost on the Brighton Marathon in 2014 but since then had regrown and was looking quite normal…. It doesn’t seem to matter what make of shoe I run in as soon as the drop increases for some reason this toe ends up just under my big toe and I lose the nail. I have run marathons and numerous half marathons in the Inov-8’s and still kept all my toenails… and not even had slightly sore toes… so I think I will keep the Brooks Ghost trainers for shorter (up to 6 miles) runs and road runs (these are always short for me !) and go back to the Inov-8’s for everything else. this does pose a bit of a problem for me if I get a place in next years London Marathon but I guess I’ll just have to deal with that if it happens..
The other Brooks kit that I was wearing (all new and not previously tested !) was the Fiona bra and the Chaser 5″ shorts. Up until now I have been wearing Shock Absorber Bras and have fairly mixed feelings about them. I’ve never had any real chaffing issues but they have never actually been that comfortable either. The Fiona Bra has to be the most comfortable running bra I have ever worn ! It got to a point where I could forget that I was wearing it, it just felt that good 🙂
I have also fallen in love with the Chaser shorts. Like lots of the Brooks kit they have a very wide elasticated top and no draw string. With other makes I have found the elastic digs in or unless the draw string is pulled quite tight they start to work their way down (never a good look !) but not with these ! They sit just below your belly button (so if you have it pierced it won’t catch 😉 ) and they stayed in place. they are made from a very lightweight soft fabric that really does help to keep you cool.
I’ve never really spent an awful lot of money on running kit… but I have certainly been able to see the difference in the design and fabrics used in the Brooks kit and the “cheap” stuff I normally end up buying !
I have been lucky and Brooks have provided me with this kit free of charge… but I’ve been so impressed with it that I have ordered some more of the shorts and bras to replace some of my aged running kit 🙂 I will make sure I take some photos of it all soon and post them on here as well as some feedback on the other running kit supplied.