Xterra Saipan

Only one and a half week back in Austria after my long trip to South Africa I am already on my way far away. This time I am travelling together with my teammate and racing buddy Markus Benesch. The direction is not south, its east. We are going to Hongkong and further on to the very little island Saipan, in the middle of the Northern Marian islands.

The trip started amazing, we got this very nice business class seats, that means no pain in the ass while sitting for hours in the same position. So we made it to Hongkong, spent some hours there, doing some city run for checking out the new terrain before swimming some lengths in the hotel pool in the 7th floor. It was great.

After a couple of hours relaxing we had to leave to the airport again for keep on flying to Saipan. The fligth was only 5 hours, but it was terrible with lots of very loud passengers and a very old plane. But anyway, we flew over the philippines further on to Saipan. We landed there and it was just perfect. The sun was out, everyone was very relaxed, happy and friendly. We stayed in this very basic hotel, but luckily very close to the best shop on the island, the Himawari. We ate there every day, several times like poki tuna, sushi, fried noodles, soups, fish and sweet chili chicken, it was amazing. After spending 5 or 6 days there training on the course, relaxing on the beach eating at Himawari I almost forgot about the race. With this very relaxed feeling I started into the race.

We swam in the sea, it was very rough, lots of waves and the level was very low because of the tide. All this was very good for me because the good swimmers werent that fast anymore. I managed to swim in a very nice group and we pushed us all together to swim faster. Short before the swim exit I could do lots of dolphine jumps and suddenly there was a little gap between me and the rest of the pack.

I changen very quick onto my bike and came out of transition alone, my legs still a little bit tired from the jumps, but I recovered fast. My biking was really nice again and I rode up to the 5th place. The course was really different to the one in South Africa, it was a mix of everything, there were steep and long climbs on asphalt, then even steeper climbs on grass, loss of singls trails and technical downhills as well as flat and fast sections. So I changed onto the run only 60 seconds behind Markus on the 5th place. I was so focused to catch up with him that I missed a sign, went to the right instead of going left and only realized it after 1400 meter. I was very pissed off about my mistake and tried to give it all out on the run.

There was no chance to catch up again and I only came to the finish line in 10th position. This mistake happened to me for the second time, but I think now its enough for all the future. One thing is for sure, I will come back here for racing again.


Salming T1

Salming T1 or Salming Trail 1

Salmings first trail shoe was a winner from the beginning. The concept was clear, a light shoe, easy to run in, not too much shock absorbing components, but still a comfortable feeling. The sole is pretty slim, which helps you getting the feeling of the trail.

The Trail T1 has an outsole compound that provides great grip on most surfaces and the cushioning properties of the RunLite™ midsole adds a low-profile impact cushioning protection. The RocShield™ protective area provides needed side shielding without interfering with the flex properties. The dynamic outer sole lug design features a high grip non-slip lug pattern that has been very appreciated on hard packed mud trails as well as in off-trail terrain. The shoe upper features a durable ripstop nylon fabric and a fully integrated ExoSkeleton.

When I first slipped into this shoe I was amazed on how it keeps my foot in place, without even closing it. From there on it became my most used training shoe for any kind of trail run. It helps the foot to have an easy run, the foot never gets tired. The sole is completely closed, in one piece which means even some muddy or watery sections are not making your socks wet. Also the profile to the T1 is fantastic, always enough grip, even on stones, and due to its one direction profile it cleans itself, without taking to mud into it.

My training loop is always a bit mixed. It includes gravel road, trail as well as concrete and asphalt. This shoe is an amazing allrounder, as I could feel the speed on some 1k intervals that I did.

More details on Salming




Pictures: Dominik Simon