Category Archives: Team GORE-TEX

Get Your GORE-TEX® Running Shoes On! #OwnTheRun

“We are helping people accomplish their dreams.” – Kirk Christensen, GORE-TEX® Running Footwear Global Leader

I’m looking forward to lacing up my Saucony Ride 8 GTXs and running for Team GORE-TEX® again this year in the GORE-TEX® Philadelphia Half Marathon. I’ve been training in the Ride 8 GTXs for over a month now and I can’t wait to hit the streets of Philly on November 22nd.

Running with Ride 8 GTXs

Splashing through a puddle and staying dry in my GORE-TEX® Saucony Ride 8 GTXs (Photo by Lindsay)

If you want to put GORE-TEX® Running Shoes to the test, stand in the water pool like I did last year with Kirk Christensen at the 2014 GORE-TEX® Philadelphia Marathon Expo. You won’t believe you’re standing in a pool of water and that your feet are completely dry.

With Kirk in Mini-Pool

Standing in the pool with Kirk Christensen at last year’s GORE-TEX® Philadelphia Marathon Expo

Here’s Kirk talking about the Expo, the water pool, and raising awareness of what it’s like to have GORE-TEX® inside your running shoes:

Last year I trained through freezing cold, wind, rain, snow, and slush to run the GORE-TEX® Philly Half last November, a Boston Qualifier in March, and my first ultra in April, the GORE-TEX® ECSDC 50-Miler. The great thing was that I never experienced that frozen-foot, soggy-sock feeling.

CVT in Snow

Splashing through another freezing puddle last winter in my GORE-TEX® Saucony Ride 7 GTXs (Photo by Natalie)

I’ll stay off the treadmill again this winter in my light and comfortable Camo Ride 8 GTXs while I’m training for Philly and Boston 2016.Ride 8 GTX

Gore works closely with shoe companies to custom-design GORE-TEX® into each shoe and they have partnered with some of the leading shoe brands to put GORE-TEX® into many of the most popular models.  Check them out here: http://www.gore-tex.com/running

Gore Associate Kirk Christensen

Kirk in the GORE-TEX® Footwear Test Labs

Gore also conducts extensive testing on new shoe designs and then requires shoe companies to test their GORE-TEX® shoes according to strict Gore requirements once the shoes are in production.

Every year there are new innovations in GORE-TEX® Running Footwear that continue to push the envelope to provide breathable, comfortable running shoes that will keep you running outside.

In this clip, Kirk talks about how great it is to be able to run outside even in the worst conditions:

 

See you in Philly! #OwnTheRun

(Photo by Charlene)

(Photo by Charlene)

Welcome to the Club! Running My First Ultra at The North Face ECSDC GORE-TEX® 50 Mile

header3

 Saturday Morning, April 18th, 2015

We ran single-file over rocks and roots as we climbed the hilly dirt trail along the Potomac River at daybreak. There were hundreds of us and we had been running since five o’clock that morning. Now we were strung out along this trail that skirted the lush dew-soaked fairways of the Trump National Golf Course before careening off into the woods, taking us high above the river as the sun broke through the early-morning haze.trail pic

We crossed a few creeks, rock-hopping across one, doing a balancing act on a branch across another. I was caked in mud after having fallen into a boggy quagmire in the darkness during the early miles, but I felt great.

“I can’t wait to see what 26.3 feels like,” I said to the guy in the orange singlet running just ahead of me on the trail.

“You’ve never run farther than a marathon?”

“No.” I replied.

He complimented me on taking on a 50-miler for my first ultra and asked me about my running and training. I told him how I had just qualified for Boston at the Tobacco Road Marathon, and we talked some more before I dialed back my pace as he cruised ahead.

Another thing I remember about my conversation with the guy in the orange singlet is that he said he liked running with first-time ultra runners because it allowed him to experience the race through a new set of eyes. I remember the conversation so well because that guy in the orange singlet was none other than the legendary Dean Karnazes.

Can you think of a better way to experience your first ultra than to log a few miles with the Ultramarathon Man himself? You gotta hear the rest of this story, but first let’s back up to the night before the race.

Friday Evening, April 17th, 2015

Gore Associate Cynthia Amon and I were having pre-race pasta dinner at Macaroni Grill in the Dulles Town Center. Several months back Cynthia had invited me to run The North Face ECSDC GORE-TEX® 50 Mile Race as a guest of GORE-TEX®.

I would train and race in Merrell Ascend Glove GORE-TEX® Trail Running Shoes and Gore Running Wear®. I ran the GORE-TEX® Philadelphia Half Marathon as a member of team GORE-TEX® and loved running and staying dry in my Saucony Ride 7 GTX® shoes all winter.  I was excited to be running in some new GORE-TEX® trail shoes.

“As soon as I got your email inviting me to run the race, I called you right away to say YES!”

“Had you thought of doing an ultra before?”

“I had been toying with the idea of running my first ultra this year. I was thinking maybe a 50K. But when you asked, it seemed like it was meant to be.”

I went on to tell Cynthia how I had been listening to Dean Karnazes’ book, Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner, during the three-hour drive from my home outside of Philadelphia. The book was great motivation, but Dean’s description of his first 50-miler also gave me a very healthy respect for the distance. If you’ve read the book, you know what I mean. I gleaned every bit of advice that I could and told myself I would “run with my heart” when things got tough.

I had already logged a sixty-five mile week this year and was averaging over fifty miles-per-week, so I was ready to run long. Could I keep running for fifty miles?

The Race Start

At two-thirty a.m. my iPhone buzzed and the hotel phone rang. I was already awake. I got up, got dressed, drove to the shuttle bus pick-up, and I was off to the starting area at the Algonkian Regional Park. I checked my drop bag and downed a few cups of coffee.race startJust before the race started we heard an announcement that got the hundreds of assembled runners cheering: Dean Karnazes was running the 50-miler with us!

My GORE-TEX® Shoes & Gore Running Wear®

I started training in my GORE-TEX® Trail Running Shoes, the Merrell Ascend Glove GORE-TEX®, as soon as I received them.  My peak mileage week, two weeks out from the race, was seventy-six miles. I ran in wet and muddy conditions and my feet stayed dry and comfortable.

gtx shoeSee the GORE-TEX® logo on the front of the shoe? It’s not just there to look pretty. Through my experience visiting the Gore plants and racking up over seven hundred miles in GORE-TEX® shoes, I’ve learned exactly what it means when you see that logo on a shoe.

First, the shoe is both waterproof and breathable. The GORE-TEX® membrane keeps water out and allows sweat vapor to escape. Gore works with the top shoe manufacturers to not only integrate the GORE-TEX® lining that keeps your foot dry and comfortable, but to help design the entire shoe to be waterproof and breathable. And they do this for a good reason: even though the end-product is not made by Gore, they still 100% lifetime guarantee the shoe to be waterproof, windproof, and breathable.

GORE-TEX® is in the most popular shoes from top brands including Asics, Brooks, inov-8, La Sportiva, New Balance, Salomon, Saucony, Scott, and The North Face.

The rest of my race kit was from Gore Running Wear®: the X-Running 2.0 Zip Shirt, X-Running 2.0 Shorts, and a Gore Running Wear® Running Cap.

me pre-race

The Race

After my time running with Dean, I continued to enjoy the beautiful views while running up and down the successive three-hundred foot hills along the Potomac Heritage Trail. My pace stayed mostly in the nines for the first fifteen miles, sometimes the high nines, and I hit ten and eleven going up the steep hills. Mile ten was my fastest of the day at eight fifty-five. Little did I know I wouldn’t come close to those paces running back to the finish on this same trail many hours later.

My TomTom graphic below shows the course and the elevation profile. When we arrived at Great Falls Park, we did three seven-mile loops before returning on the Potomac Heritage Trail. You can see those three loops in the center of the elevation graph below:

tomtom The Great Falls Aid Station was at the entrance to the three loops. Our drop bags had been transported to Great Falls and we passed through that aid station a total of four times at miles 15.3, 22.2, 29.1, and 36.0. This picture shows me as I’m approaching Great Falls for the first time, still wearing my headlamp:

RACE PIC 2

I was cranking out close to a nine minute mile at this point. The picture below shows me on my second pass through the Great Falls Aid Station:

great falls aid station

Somewhere during the second loop, after I took this picture, I had run farther than I had ever run in my entire life. I didn’t hit a wall or feel drastically different, my legs just got more tired as the miles built up. I hurt, but the experience was still amazing. Here are a few views from the Great Falls loops:

river view 1

There was a little rock-hopping required.

river view 2

This picture is from the third loop, approaching thirty-six miles, and I smiled for the camera:

RACE PIC 1

I drank Gatorade from the beginning, carrying a bottle with me. I refilled it with electrolyte replacement drink throughout the entire race. I ditched the bottle in my drop bag for two of the Great Falls loops. I also drank plenty of Coke, Mountain Dew and water. I ate four Salted Caramel GUs, a pack of Cliff Blocks, a few bananas, a few bags of potato chips, some Skittles, and part of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It was harder to eat after thirty-six miles; after forty-one, I stopped eating but kept drinking.

The trek back up the Potomac Heritage Trail was hard. I focused on “turning it over.” I walked up the steep hills and drank a lot at the aid stations. Each mile took forever.

I fell hard with about two miles to go and slammed headfirst into a bank full of scrub, scraping up my knee and attaching myself to some more mud and dirt. It was time to just grind it out.

Then all of a sudden I was crossing the parking lot and turning into the chute, finishing with a wave of kids from the Karno Kids’ Race. How cool. The last mile went by in a speedy ten thirty-five as the old horse smelled the barn and was determined to fight off a trip to the glue factory.

finish pic

When I finished I felt a combination of euphoria and exhaustion and it was a good feeling. There was also a letdown, the kind you feel after being close to a group when it’s time to say goodbye. Everyone encouraged each other out there. Former infantry officer Brandon stopped to help me out of the mud when I fell in the darkness. Veteran ultra runner Eric encouraged me during the tough miles in Great Falls, and then found me to congratulate me after the race even though he had finished well over an hour before I did. Ben got me back on course when I made a wrong turn. There were people saying, “Good work,” and “How you doin’ brother?” throughout the entire race.

These GORE-TEX® Shoes Were Made for this Race

This was the perfect race for the Merrell Ascend Glove GORE-TEX® shoes. Or maybe the shoes were perfect for this race. Or maybe both. I was ankle-deep in mud and water many times during the race, and we ran the first part of the race through grass that was saturated in dew. My feet might have been soaked for the entire fifty miles if I was not wearing shoes with GORE-TEX® in them.

At the aid stations, I saw people sitting on the ground taking their shoes and socks off, draining blisters, changing socks, changing shoes. I didn’t need to do any of that. My footwear was not an issue. My double-knotted laces stayed that way from three a.m. until I got back to my hotel room later that evening long after the race was over. The outside of the shoes looked like they had gone through a tough fifty-miles, by my feet were dry and comfortable the entire day.

shoe comparison

A few more shots of what fifty miles of comfort looked like:

fifty miles of comfort

I’ve run in GORE-TEX® shoes since last fall and have been running outside all winter in snow, slush, rain, wind, and a lot of times in sub-zero conditions. In sharp contrast, last winter, when I did not have my GORE-TEX® shoes and Gore Running Wear®, I ran outside exactly once. That really says it all.

Welcome to the Club!

Cynthia met me after I finished, congratulated me, and helped steer me into some shade and into a seat. I would not have been able to do that by myself at that point.

sitting down

After a brief rest, we went to the awards tent and I picked up my Hoo Rag, the prize for my age-group win. My finishing time was ten hours and eleven minutes. Next I picked up the shirt that instantly became my favorite race shirt ever:

race shirt

Then we met up with Dean again. I told him how much I enjoyed meeting him and running with him. He congratulated me on my first ultra and said he hoped to see me in Boston in 2016. I thought that was pretty cool that he remembered our early-morning conversation, even after he ran with so many different people throughout the day.

dean k and me post-race

When I recovered enough to operate my iPhone later the next day, I didn’t waste any time tweeting my thanks to all involved for a GR8 first ultra. The first reply I received was from that guy in the orange singlet:

welcome to the club

My GORE-TEX® Philadelphia Marathon Race Recap!!!

A Rollicking Running Tale Starring Tom Wolf, Tweet-Ups, and Kandy-Kolored, Tangerine-Flake, Streamline GORE-TEX®, Baby!!!

Center-City Philadelphia, Saturday November 22, Mid-Afternoon.  I MASHED the brakes and SWERVED into a tight parking spot on Level 5 as echoes of HONKING HORNS and SQUEALING TIRES cascaded up and down the endless BLIND-TURN concrete ramps in the JAM-PACKED parking garage at the corner of Broad and Race!!! I threw off my seat belt and joined in with THOUSANDS of RUNNERS as we SPRUNG from our CAGES and RAN like ENDORPHIN-FUELED CARBO-LOADED MANIACS down Broad Street!!!

WE BUSTLED down the TEEMING SIDEWALKS pressing on TOWARD the Pennsylvania Convention Center which was ALREADY OVERFLOWING WITH FLEET-FOOTED FITNESS FANATICS HAILING FROM FIFTY STATES AND FORTY-THREE COUNTRIES!!!!!! WELCOME TO RACE WEEKEND at the 2014 GORE-TEX® Philadelphia Marathon!!!!

Expo Entrance

And what to my WONDERING EYES should appear? BOSTON BILLY amidst ACRES of RUNNING GEAR!!!

Bill Rodgers

After snapping that pic of the GREAT Bill Rodgers, my first stop was bib pick-up, then I changed my starting corral from BLUE to BLACK. With a TORN MENISCUS and a HURTIN’ HAMMY, I had NO IDEA how close I might come to the 1:41:25 HALF-MARATHON finish time predicted by my Run SMART Project Jack Daniels Training Plan, but I was definitely going to run faster than THREE HOURS!!! The bib pick-up and corral change were quick and easy, an indication of the OUTSTANDING job that I saw from EVERY race worker and volunteer I encountered all weekend!Bib Pickup

Next stop GORE-TEX® EXHIBIT! If you ever need a HEAPING HELPING of ENERGY, POSITIVITY, MOTIVATION, and COMMITMENT to MAKING A DIFFERENCE in the WORLD through RUNNING, spend some time with Scott Crossin, Executive Director of Back on My Feet (BOMF) Philadelphia. BOMF Philly was the charity partner of GORE-TEX®, official title sponsor of the Philadelphia Marathon since 2013.  I was a BOMF fundraiser AND a member of Team GORE-TEX® for this year’s race, and I was TOTALLY STOKED that I had a chance to meet up with Scott at the Expo!!! Scott and Me

Scott told me about several AMAZING BOMF Residential Members who had gone from HOMELESSNESS to running the FULL MARATHON!!!!! And many more were running the HALF-MARATHON!!! Scott himself ROCKED the full 26.2 on RACE DAY!!!

BOMF is showing us how RUNNING has much deeper roots than just notching a PR, that RUNNING has a transformational effect on ALL HUMAN BEINGS in building self-worth through HARD WORK and SWEAT. Since September 2008, 230 BOMF Residential Members have gone from homelessness to obtaining employment.  Since 2009, BOMF Residential Members have collectively logged over 63,000 miles and boast an 81% attendance rate at their weekday early-morning runs!!!

After talking with Scott, I filled out one of the running-shoe-cut-out notes wishing BOMF runners well (see picture below).  For each of the thousand-plus notes that runners wrote, GORE-TEX® donated a dollar to BOMF Philly!! WIN-WIN-WIN…..TIMES A THOUSAND!!!!!!

GORE-TEX BOMF Promotion

I drifted over to the shoe display of the GORE-TEX® exhibit to visit one of the FEW PEOPLE who can match Scott’s INCREDIBLE ENERGY LEVEL and DEDICATION…DRUM-ROLL!!!…Kirk Christensen!!! Kirk, GORE-TEX® Running Footwear’s Global Leader, asked me if I had ever been part of something so spectacular as THIRTY-THOUSAND PEOPLE ALL GOING AFTER THEIR GOAL AT THE SAME TIME!!!! WOW!! NOW THAT YOU PUT IT THAT WAY KIRK, IT IS PRETTY COOL!!! How are the GORE-TEX® shoes selling? They’re flying off the shelves!!! GORE-TEX® is in A LOT of the MOST POPULAR RUNNING SHOE MAKES AND MODELS!!! Gore also outfitted BOMF members with Saucony Ride 7 GTX® footwear for the race!!!

Kirk & Shoe Display

As a member of Team GORE-TEX®, I had over 300 Miles on my Saucony Ride 7 GTX® shoes going into the race!! GORE-TEX® adds less than an ounce, is just as flexible as non-water proof shoes, and will protect your feet in the worst conditions!!! MAGIC!! Kirk and I jumped into the mini-pool just to feel the EXHILARATION of standing in ankle deep water with DRY FEET!!!! Go GORE-TEX®!!! Innovations currently in the pipeline are taking GORE-TEX® Shoes from 3-Seasons to 4-Seasons!!! OPTIMUM CLIMATE COMFORT!!! See my post, These are not your Father’s GORE-TEX® Running Shoes!, for more on the WONDER that is GTX® Running Shoes!!!

With Kirk in Mini-Pool

Kirk told me he would look for me at the finish line as he hung out with with Philadelphia Mayor Nutter and Pennsylvania Governor-Elect Tom Wolf (OK, not…that…Tom Wolfe!!!) in their attempt to HIGH-FIVE every last finisher!!

Now it was time to check out the Gore Running Wear® exhibit where I found Gore Running Wear® SUPER EXPERT and Sales and Marketing Associate Cindy Woods, whom I first met, along with Kirk, during my visit to Gore Headquarters back in September!!

I KNEW I could count on Cindy for a GREAT recommendation on which of my Kandy-Kolored Streamline Gore Running Wear® items to wear on Race Day!  Cindy recommended the Mythos 2.0 WINDSTOPPER® Soft Shell Zip Off Light Jacket, which has detachable Zip Off sleeves. GREAT CALL CINDY!!! Cindy pointed out that with the Zip Off sleeves, you don’t need any throw-away gear for a cold early-morning race start!!

Cindy

I let Cindy get back to the throngs of runners eager to buy up some COOL Gore Running Wear®.  Then I came upon two MARATHON MEDIA MAVENS, Lauren and Darby!! They are two of the SUPER-FRIENDLY FACES behind the Philadelphia Marathon’s SOCIAL MEDIA presence!!! I realized this was a REAL-LIFE FACE-TO-FACE TWEET-UP!! We had been tweeting and re-tweeting back-and-forth for months leading up to the race and now I got to meet them in person!!!

Lauren & Darby

My last stop at the Expo was a WEIGHTLESS JAUNT on the ANTI-GRAVITY Treadmill!! Running at ten-minute-per-mile pace at 60% of your body weight might look EASY, but you gotta have THE RIGHT STUFF to ride this thing!!!!!Anti-Gravity Treadmill

I left the Expo, checked into the Marriott Downtown as a guest of Gore, then hurried up to my seventh-floor room to get ready for a six o’clock dinner with my GORE-TEX® and Gore Running Wear® teammates at Bliss Restaurant on Broad Street. We met our host, Gore Associate Cynthia Amon, and walked through the City Hall Courtyard and down Broad Street to Bliss. Cynthia gave us each a wrist band for access to the GORE-TEX® tent after the race and a MEDIA PASS for access to the press-only areas around the finish!! COOL!!! The food was SUPERB and the company was COMPELLING!!! Make sure to follow my teammates: @TheGearJunkie, @SaltyRuns, @rhodymomrunner, @KBruning, @rowdy406, @kitfoxnews, @ROJRunning!!!

After dinner I met my wife Charlene, who had taken the train into the city, then we grabbed a couple frappuccinos at Starbucks in the Marriott lobby and went upstairs to lay out my racing gear, pin on my bib, and get some sleep!!!

MY GORE-TEX® and Gore Running Wear® RACING GEAR!!!

I went with Cindy’s pick, the Mythos 2.0 WINDSTOPPER® Soft Shell Zip Off Light Jacket, for SCALABLE COMFORT that turned out to be PERFECT!!! I trained in this one A LOT, so I had a good feeling about wearing it!!!

Mythos 2.0 WINDSTOPPER® Soft Shell Zip Off Light Jacket

Mythos 2.0 WINDSTOPPER® Soft Shell Zip Off Light Jacket

With their LIGHT, SHEER, COMPRESSION FIT, the X-Running 2.0 Shorts were made for RACING LONG!  I TRAINED in these babies a lot too!!!

X-Running 2.0 Shorts

X-Running 2.0 Shorts

I love my Gore Running Wear® SO MUCH I dipped into my own pocket to buy this Mythos 2.0 Neon Beany to COMPLETE THE PERFECT HALF MARATHON RACING KIT!!!  You won’t get lost in the crowd when you’re wearing this LIGHT, BRIGHT, EAR-WARMING GEM on your NOGGIN!!!

Mythos 2.0 Neon Beany

Mythos 2.0 Neon Beany

POST-RACE: I picked the Mythos 2.0 Gore-Tex Active Jacket for after the race.  I’ve trained in this waterproof beauty in the rain, but it’s just as comfortable in dry weather. You’ll see it in some of the post-race pics!!!

Mythos 2.0 Gore-Tex Active Jacket

Mythos 2.0 Gore-Tex Active Jacket

I did all of my training and racing in my Saucony Ride 7 GTX® Shoes with GORE-TEX®!!! They are my new favorite shoes, so wearing them for the race was a NO-BRAINER.  In the picture below they had over 300 miles on them; they have over 400 on them as I write this and they still look and feel brand new after slogging through endless puddles and muddy trails!!!

Ride 7 GTX

Saucony Ride 7 GTX® Shoes

RACE DAY!!!

I didn’t sleep very WELL or very MUCH!! Five-thirty came early!! Charlene wished me luck and said she’d be out there on the course cheering and we’d meet up at the finish! I grabbed coffee, met my teammates, and we walked down the parkway to the start. The corrals were filling up!!! The ADRENALINE started to PUMP!!!!At The Start

The last time I toed the line at the Philly Marathon was for the full 26.2 in 2004.  That’s the day I ran my 2:53:14 Marathon PR back when I was a spry 45-year-old. I’m not in that kind of shape now, but I was still ready to GET AFTER IT!!!

I started STEADY!! I felt GOOD!!! I EASILY unzipped and stowed the ZIP OFF sleeves in my pockets at mile three while keeping up a sub-seven-thirty-per-mile clip!!!  I ran a pretty even race, slowing on the hills and speeding up on the flats!  According to RunKeeper, via my iPhone stored in the Mythos Jacket’s COOL media pocket, I ran 13.48 miles!!! Looks like I didn’t exactly run the tangents!!!

Phill Half RunKeeper

The going got tough in the final miles, rendering every one of my race pictures UN-purchasable due to the ZOMBIE DEATH-MASK EXPRESSION on my face. I did, however, shell out the bargain-price of $4.95 for the video clip of my finish (I’m crossing the line at the 12-second mark):

Charlene found me at the finish for a post-race photo:Finish Pic 2

We went to the GORE-TEX tent and had some coffee and talked about the race with the others gathering in the tent. We checked my finish time…AND…I…WAS……ASTOUNDED!!!!  I ran EXACTLY – DOWN to the SECOND – what my Run SMART Project Jack Daniels Training Plan predicted!!! 1:41:25!!!  A BIG Thank You to Run SMART Project Founder Brian Rosetti!!!  You and Dr. Jack Daniels are so GOOD it’s SCARY!!!

Charlene headed off to catch the train home and I got a free massage!!  Now it was time to use my MEDIA CREDENTIAL!!!! I wanted access to the most deeply-guarded MEDIA areas I could find!!!

The crowds were building and by the time I figured out where the media areas were and worked my way back through the flow of finishers, the winners of the Full Marathon had finished and were already on the podium receiving their awards.  I snapped this picture from afar, still not having reached the inner sanctum of PRESS PRIVILEGE!!!  I had been SCOOPED by the PROS!!!!  You can see Kirk there with Mayor Nutter and Governor-Elect Wolf.Marathon Winners Podium

I finally arrived at a gated area just outside the PRESS TENT!!!

“Can I get into this area with this credential?” I asked two young ladies.

“Why of course! Come right in! Hey, are you The Running Jones?”

“Why Yes, YES I AM!!!”  It turns out I had walked right into another TWEET-UP!!! This time with SUPER-FRIENDLY Gore Media Associates Kate and Toni, who had been re-tweeting all my tweets about GORE-TEX® and Gore Running Wear®!!!Kate & Toni

They took my picture and didn’t waste any time tweeting it!!!Gore Tweet And I re-tweeted it, of course!!!

With my entrance into the inner circle of media insiders, I began to explore my limits. Could I get into that little area in front of the main podium, between the finish lines for the Half and the Full? The PERFECT place for finish line shots? YES!!! RIGHT THIS WAY!!! And just in time to catch Ultra-Running LEGEND Keith Straw, veteran of multiple BADWATER, LEADVILLE, WESTERN STATES, and MANY more ultras and over 300 MARATHONS, as he was finishing the Marathon with a smile on his face!!!  I’m proud to count Keith as a friend, and he has helped me TREMENDOUSLY this year as I’ve gotten back into running!! I was SUPER-HAPPY to be in a prime position to get this shot of Keith in his Trademark Pink Tutu:Keith Straw

Then I saw a familiar face as I went back into the area where the Half Marathon winners were waiting for their awards. It was Lauren!! She pointed me in the direction of another tent and said that Mayor Nutter and Governor-Elect Wolf would be handing out the awards for the Half very soon. THANKS LAUREN!!!

I was burst-snapping away with my iPhone, angling for space with the REAL PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS!!! They treated me well, albeit with a few askance looks and requests to see my PRESS CREDENTIAL!!!! Here are some of the pictures of the Half Marathon award winners waiting for their trip to the podium!!!Half Winners

While I waited for the awards, I continued to meet the OUTSTANDING and EXCEPTIONALLY NICE Race Staff and Volunteers!!! First I spoke with Dawn Roberts, founding partner of KD Communications Group and speaker, media consultant, and event specialist extraordinaire!!!Dawn RobertsThen I talked with volunteers Vera (who gave me some advice on my upcoming torn meniscus surgery) and BJ (who’s a PhD in Psychology):Dr. BJ & Vera

Finally  Mayor Nutter and Governor-Elect Wolf appeared at the podium!! And the HALF MARATHON WINNERS ARE:Half Winners Podium

I made one last stop back into the media tent to grab a cup of coffee for the ride home and it turned into a FINAL TWEET-UP!!!! As I picked through the last of the bagels, two SUPER-NICE young ladies, another DYNAMIC MEDIA DUO!!!, offered to open a new tray of croissants!!! Would I like one? Sure!! And with that very hospitable introduction I met sisters Heather and Colleen who were at the race working media relations for none other than….. BOMF!!! It was a FANTASTIC experience to finally meet so many GREAT TWEEPS in person!!!

Heather & Colleen

I walked the mile back down the parkway, coffee and croissants in hand, and arrived at the parking garage that now seemed like a far distant memory from a previous lifetime!!!

Running with Team GORE-TEX® and fundraising for BOMF was FUN, REWARDING, and a ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME EXPERIENCE I’d do TWICE if I could!!!

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You can read about my visit to Gore Headquarters and my reviews of GORE-TEX® shoes and Gore Running Wear® by following these links to my previous blog posts leading up to race day:

Gearing Up for the GORE-TEX® Philadelphia Marathon! http://therunningjones.com/?p=382

Training for the Gore-Tex® Philadelphia Marathon in Gore Running Wear® http://therunningjones.com/?p=345

A Rainy Thursday in my Mythos 2.0 Gore-Tex® Active Jacket http://therunningjones.com/?p=315

Gearing Up for the GORE-TEX® Philadelphia Marathon!

Covered Bridge 1 JPEG

Photo by Aaron Jones

The GORE-TEX® Philadelphia Marathon and Half Marathon is only three days away and I’m looking forward to running the Half as a member of Team GORE-TEX®!  I’ll be heading down to the Expo at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia on Saturday to check out the GORE-TEX® booth and hang out with the folks from Gore Running Wear®, Team GORE-TEX®, and Back On My Feet (BOMF) Philly.

I’ve been training and racing in the Gore Running Wear® and the Saucony Ride 7 GTX® shoes I received after my visit to the W. L. Gore facilities back in September.  I’ve put a lot of miles on the gear and the shoes and I’ve tried different combinations and layers for different weather conditions.

Gore Running Wear®

This past Sunday I ran on the trails of Valley Forge National Park, including a trek up Mt. Misery.  In the picture below, I’m running on the Valley Creek Trail along the base of Mt. Misery.  I’m wearing the Mythos 2.0 Shirt Long and the Air Windstopper® Tights.

Covered Bridge 3

Photo by Aaron Jones

I’ve run in this combination a lot during early morning runs when it’s dark outside.  The neon colors and reflective features are great for running in places where there are cars and road crossings.

Photo by Aaron Jones

Photo by Aaron Jones

When we took to the hills of Mt. Misery I added the Mythos 2.0 Windstopper® Soft Shell Jacket shown in the video below.  I’m running up the south side of Mt. Misery here:

Video by Aaron Jones

The Mythos 2.0 Windstopper® Soft Shell Jacket is one of those items that becomes an instant favorite.  It has a snug fleece-lined collar and a media pocket with a cable outlet that makes it easy to run with an iPhone and ear buds.  It also has extended sleeves with thumb slots so there’s no gap when wearing gloves.

All my Gore Running Wear® has been extremely comfortable.  It feels light, has well-designed storage pockets, and it wicks away sweat very well.  I am noticeably dryer than I am with other technical running wear.  Overall, the quality is exceptional and I like the styles and the different collections.

I have quickly become a huge fan of Gore Running Wear®, and I’ve even started to purchase more gear from their online store.  Turns out their customer service is first-rate too, but that’s no surprise!

Check them out here: http://www.goreapparel.com/running-wear/grw,default,sc.html

You can read more about my experience with Gore Running Wear here:  Training for the Gore-Tex® Philadelphia Marathon in Gore Running Wear® http://therunningjones.com/?p=345

GORE-TEX® Running Shoes

Ride 7 GTX

Photo by Aaron Jones

Can you believe these GORE-TEX® Saucony Ride 7 GTX® running shoes have over three-hundred miles on them?  The picture above was taken this past Sunday and they still look and feel new!  I’ve run in the rain and through puddles and wet grass and my feet have stayed totally dry.

It seems like GORE-TEX® does more than just protect against wet rainy conditions; it controls moisture all the time, letting sweat and heat escape.  These shoes are very light and super comfortable.  The GORE-TEX® adds very little weight; at 10.6 ounces they are lighter than my old non-GORE-TEX® trainers.

I took my first long run in my Ride 7 GTX® shoes on 20 September, two days after I got them during my visit to the W. L. Gore facilities in Delaware.  I ran with Terry Kelly, Regional Manager with Valley Forge Running Company, and Lisa Hamilton (@ConsciousRunner, ConsciousRunner.com).

21 Sep Morning Run with Lisa & Terry

Me, Terry, and Lisa

Terry and Lisa are a lot speedier than me, but it was an easy-run day for them, so we hung together for about ten miles.  I turned back and logged another three-or-so cool-down miles.  I knew I loved these shoes after that long run.  Fast-forward to today and I have just about three-hundred and twenty-five miles on my Ride 7 GTX® shoes.  These shoes will definitely see me through the winter, but now I’m thinking of running in GORE-TEX® shoes all year-long!

You can read more about my trip to W. L. Gore and my new favorite pair of running shoes here:  These are not your Father’s GORE-TEX® Running Shoes! http://therunningjones.com/?p=255

Race Day!

It looks like we’re going to have good weather on race day.  If rain does creep into the picture, I’ll have several lightweight GORE-TEX® options to keep me dry.  If it doesn’t rain, I’ll wear either my X-Running 2.0 Shorts or my Air 2in1 Shorts along with my X-Running Zip Shirt, and I’m definitely lacing up the Ride 7 GTX® shoes for the race.

If you’re at the Expo on Saturday, don’t forget to stop by the GORE-TEX® Booth and say hello!

New Trail Standing JPEG

Photo by Aaron Jones

Training for the Gore-Tex® Philadelphia Marathon in Gore Running Wear®

Decked out in my Gore Running WearThe Gore-Tex® Philadelphia Marathon is only two weeks away and I’m looking forward to running the Half Marathon as a member of Team Gore-Tex®.  I’m training five or six days a week in my Gore Running Wear® and Saucony Ride 7 GTX® running shoes and loving every warm and dry step I take out there on the roads and trails here in suburban Philly.

The Gore Running Wear® product line uses the same fabrics, including GORE-TEX® and WINDSTOPPER®, that have been long-proven in harsh environments including military, firefighting, mountaineering, and biking applications around the globe under the most extreme conditions.

Two of my favorites are the Mythos 2.0 WINDSTOPPER® Soft Shell Zip Off Light Jacket, which has detachable zip-off sleeves, and the Mythos 2.0 Shirt Long.

I’ve put a lot of mileage on these two, much of it during our weekly five o’clock Friday morning group runs.  Tina took this runfie on a Friday morning in October just before a ten-miler:

The Friday Morning Wegmans Runners

The Friday Morning Wegmans Runners

Standing Out in the Dark with my Mythos 2.0 Shirt Long

It was dark when we started out on the Chester Valley Trail that morning, and there are many road crossings just at the time when suburban Philly rush hour traffic is getting heavy.  It’s important to be seen by cars at the crosswalks and traffic lights.  The Mythos collection, with its 360-degree reflectivity and neon colors, is designed for the urban runner who might be training for a 10K or half marathon, so it suits me well.  On this particular Friday morning I wore the Mythos 2.0 Shirt Long and the AIR 2in1 Shorts.

After a 10-Miler in my Mythos 2.0 Shirt Long and the AIR 2in1 Shorts

After a 10-Miler in my Mythos 2.0 Shirt Long and the AIR 2in1 Shorts

I liked the Mythos Shirt’s long sleeves with the thumb slots, and the pocket on the back of the AIR 2in1 Shorts shorts provided a snug no-bounce fit for my iPhone so I could track my run on RunKeeper®.

AIR 2in1 Shorts

AIR 2in1 Shorts

A Sunny Sunday in my Mythos 2.0 WINDSTOPPER® Soft Shell Zip Off Light Jacket

Two days later, Natalie, Jamie, and I met for a Sunday morning workout, but this time in daylight conditions.  It was sunny with a light breeze and I wore my Mythos 2.0 WINDSTOPPER® Soft Shell Zip Off Light Jacket and Magnitude Compression Tights.

Natalie, Jamie, and Me

Me, Jamie, and Natalie

Mythos 2.0 WINDSTOPPER® Soft Shell Zip Off Light Jacket

Mythos 2.0 WINDSTOPPER® Soft Shell Zip Off Light Jacket

After getting through the warm up miles, I unzipped the sleeves and put them in the side pockets, easily accomplished on-the-run without slowing down.  Natalie was nice enough to take a short video of Jamie and me running along the trail at the end of our run.

The combination of the Mythos Jacket and Magnitude Compression Tights kept me comfortable and dry.  I didn’t feel soaking wet after the run even though we ran twelve miles total, including a 3×2 threshold workout, and I sweated a lot.

Stopping the Wind in my Mythos 2.0 WINDSTOPPER® Soft Shell Zip Off Light Jacket

The following Sunday did not offer the same beautiful weather. We had some high winds and chilly temperatures. This time the group was Natalie, Lisa (@ConsciousRunner, consciousrunner.com), Mark, and me.

Me, Mark, Lisah, and Natalie

Me, Mark, Lisa, and Natalie

We ran just under seventeen miles and I called on the Mythos 2.0 WINDSTOPPER® Soft Shell Zip Off Light Jacket once again, this time with a base layer, combined with the X-RUNNING 2.0 Shorts.  Natalie was again gracious enough to snap a few pics using my iPhone’s burst mode and caught this frame of Lisa and me after we had finished all those miles.

Lisah and Me

Lisa and Me

For this run I used the media pocket of the Mythos 2.0 Jacket for my iPhone, and it provided another bounce-free experience while RunKeeper® worked its magic.  I was able to swipe the iPhone’s screen through the mesh pocket, making it easy to pause and resume RunKeeper®.

Mythos 2.0 Jacket Media Pocket

Mythos 2.0 Jacket Media Pocket

I also removed the zip-off sleeves on-the-run again with no problem.  We averaged 8:41 per mile and dipped under 7:20 for one of the up-tempo miles in the middle of the run, which says a lot about the ease of unzipping and removing those sleeves.  I like the removable sleeves so much because I normally feel warmer once I’m a few miles into any run, and it’s great to be able to adapt on the fly even when I’m picking up the pace.

Mythos 2.0 Jacket Zip Off Sleeves

Mythos 2.0 Jacket Zip Off Sleeves

A Low-Maintenance Long-Term Relationship

I’ve machine-washed and dried all of my Gore Running Wear® items numerous times now and they have come through looking brand new.  That’s no surprise based on my September visit, with fellow run bloggers Jason and Kate, to the W. L. Gore plants in Delaware and Maryland (http://therunningjones.com/?p=255).  As Gore Associate Louise described to us, Gore has over two hundred washing machines that can be run twenty-four hours a day to simulate field-usage and to test for abrasion performance using fabric swatches. A normal wash cycle is a piece of cake for any of the Gore Running Wear® products.  I’m looking forward to a low-maintenance long-term relationship with my Gore Running Wear®.

Me and Louise in the Washing Machine Fabric Testing Lab at Gore

Me and Gore Associate Louise in the Washing Machine Fabric Testing Lab at Gore (photo by Jason)

The Color of Quality

The folks at Gore are not only obsessive about the high performance of their fabrics, they are also fanatical about the colors.  They have a Shade Lab where fabric colors are tested and examined under different light conditions to ensure that the shades are consistent across the wide spectrum of real-world lighting environments.  Gore Associate Brandon regularly undergoes rigorous testing of his own vision to ensure that he is able to see color differences that most human beings cannot distinguish; believe me, he proved that to us when he tested us using a series of his color charts.  He could see slight shade differences in the color patterns that were not discernible to the rest of us.  Think Superman or Bionic Man Steve Austin here.

The Value is in the Details

It’s this kind of attention to detail that we saw in every Gore Associate we met during our visit to W. L. Gore, and it shows in the products that I’ve been using now for nearly two months.  I highly recommend Gore Running Wear®; it looks great, works great, and there are product families and systems for all types of runners, weather conditions, and environments. You can check them out here:

http://www.goreapparel.com/running-wear/grw,default,sc.html

My next post will be on my Saucony Ride 7 GTX® running shoes now that I have several hundred miles on them.  If you missed my previous two posts about our visit to W. L. Gore and my run in the rain with my Mythos 2.0 Gore-Tex® Active Jacket, you can catch up here:

These are not your Father’s GORE-TEX® Running Shoes! http://therunningjones.com/?p=255

A Rainy Thursday in my Mythos 2.0 Gore-Tex® Active Jacket http://therunningjones.com/?p=315

You can check out my fellow run bloggers and Gore Running teammates at:

Jason Saltmarsh
http://saltmarshrunning.com/
@SaltyRuns

Kate McElroy
rowdyrunning.com
@rowdy406

Are you running the Gore-Tex® Philadelphia Marathon or Half Marathon? Leave a comment or follow me on Twitter.

A Rainy Thursday in my Mythos 2.0 Gore-Tex® Active Jacket

This past Thursday morning, there was a chance of rain.  Natalie, Mark, and I met at 5:30 AM and began our 10-mile run with our headlamps cutting through a light mist along the dark and chilly Chester Valley Trail.   That chance of rain reached 100% during the last two miles of our run, and it came down hard.

I was glad I had worn my Gore Running Wear® Mythos 2.0 Gore-Tex® Active Jacket over my X-Running Zip Shirt Long® and X-Running 2.0 Shorts® as the skies opened up during those final miles.  This combination of Gore Running Wear® products from the Mythos and X-Running collections was perfect for the weather conditions.

Mythos 2.0 Gore-Tex Active Jacket

Mythos 2.0 Gore-Tex Active Jacket

After the run I sat in my car nice and dry.  This was a big difference from my normal cold, wet, clammy, ride home after running in the rain.  You can see the rain outside the window in the picture below.  Aside from a few nicely beaded droplets on my shoulder, I don’t look very wet do I?

Me in my Mythos 2.0 Gore-Tex Active Jacket

Me in my Mythos 2.0 Gore-Tex Active Jacket

Since my visit to W. L. Gore plants in Delaware and Maryland last month with fellow run bloggers Jason and Kate (http://therunningjones.com/?p=255), I’ve been running in Gore Running Wear® every day I go out for a run, which is usually five days per week.

Gore provided the Gore Running Wear® products for us to try out as we train for the Gore-Tex® Philadelphia Marathon and Half Marathon as members of Team Gore-Tex® and Team Gore Running Wear®.  I like Gore Running Wear® so much, it has become my new running wardrobe.

During our plant visit, Gore Associate Cindy demonstrated the design features and fabrics used in the various Gore Running Wear® collections.  Later in the day, Gore Associate Louise gave us a first-hand tour of Gore’s rain room, a test facility that delivers up to 22″ of rain per hour to test the waterproof performance of Gore products.  We suited up in our Gore-Tex® and went into the rain room where we stayed dry under a 3″ per hour downpour:

All Gore Running Wear® products go through a rigorous testing process that includes controlled tests like the rain room as well as extensive testing by actual users out in the real world.

My Mythos 2.0 Gore-Tex® Active Jacket performed as advertised: breathable and waterproof, and with so many reflective details Mark said he needed sunglasses as the beam from his headlamp reflected off my jacket.  The Mythos collection is designed for the ambitious urban runner and the Mythos high-visibility reflective features are exactly what every urban runner needs for early-morning high-traffic road crossings in the dark, of which there are many on the Chester Valley Trail in the pre-dawn hours.

The X-Running Zip Shirt Long® and X-Running 2.0 Shorts® were extremely comfortable and both felt like a very sheer second skin.  The tights inside the shorts provide compression and there is a great zipper pocket on the back of the shorts that was a perfect fit for my iPhone.

X-Running Zip Shirt Long

X-Running Zip Shirt Long

X-Running 2.0 Shorts

X-Running 2.0 Shorts

That’s been a common theme with all the Gore Running Wear® products – plenty of storage and pockets.  I have not needed my trusty waist belt since switching to the Gore products.  There are pockets for keys, phones, energy packs, and plenty of other stuff.  The picture below shows the zipper pocket where I stashed my iPhone.

X-Running 2.0 Shorts - Rear

X-Running 2.0 Shorts – Rear

There is also a lot of attention to detail.  The seams are strong but seemingly seamless and the zippers are high-quality and low-profile.  There are “zipper garages” to house the zippers under a fabric flap and zippers are never “stacked.”  What this means is that you don’t notice that there are any zippers at all.

The best feature for me is that the Gore Running Wear® products I’ve tried so far have been light and breathable and remain dry under conditions where other technical fabrics would get saturated with sweat.  I was surprised that many of the items in the Gore Running Wear® catalog can be used all year long under all weather conditions.

The Mythos 2.0 Gore-Tex® Active Jacket is super light and will be my go-to rain jacket for all seasons.  The Gore-Tex® Active fabric technology is designed for extreme breathability in highly aerobic activities and can be found in the Mythos, Air, Essential, and X-Running collections.

Look for more posts on the other Gore Running Wear® products as I continue to train for the Gore-Tex® Philadelphia Half Marathon on 23 November.

 

These are not your Father’s GORE-TEX® Running Shoes!

GORE-TEX® has been in running shoes since the 1970s, but the current generation of GTX® shoes are not your Father’s GORE-TEX® running shoes.  Heck, they’re not even your older cousin’s GORE-TEX® running shoes!  Today’s GORE-TEX® running shoes are light and flexible, provide climate-controlled running comfort under all weather conditions, and are offered in customized designs in some of the most popular running brands and styles including the Saucony Ride, Brooks Ghost, Brooks Adrenaline, ASICS Cumulus, ASICS GT 1000, and Saucony Xodus.  I learned this and a lot more during my recent trip to W. L. Gore and Associates with fellow Run Bloggers Jason and Kate.

The three of us are members of Team GORE-TEX® and Team Gore Running Wear® for the upcoming GORE-TEX® Philadelphia Marathon.  Gore Associate Cynthia hosted us for our visit to W. L. Gore plants in Delaware and Maryland last Friday to learn firsthand about the Gore Running products we’re using to train for the race.

Gore Associate Brandon, Me, Gore Associate Cynthia, Jason, & Kate

Gore Associate Brandon, Me, Gore Associate Cynthia, Jason, & Kate

It was an amazing day and I’m excited to tell you about it.  I’ll talk about GORE-TEX® shoes in this post and I’ll cover Gore Running Wear® in later posts.  Our first stop was the Elk Creek Plant where Gore Associate Kirk showed us how GORE-TEX® is designed into running shoes.  I learned a lot of things I didn’t know about GORE-TEX®.

Gore Associate Kirk Christensen

Gore Associate Kirk

Did You Know How GORE-TEX® Technology Actually Works and Why it is Unique?

GORE-TEX® is unique because it does not allow liquid water to penetrate, but it allows water vapor to escape.  How does GORE-TEX® pull off this magic trick?  The GORE-TEX® membrane has over nine billion pores per square inch.  The pores are 20,000 times smaller than a water droplet, but 700 times larger than a water vapor molecule.  This means that GORE-TEX® running shoes can be designed to push out as much sweat and heat as possible while still providing 100% guaranteed waterproof protection.  GORE-TEX® is unique because it is breathable, yet remains impenetrable by water.

I was surprised when I ran through wet grass in my new Saucony Ride 7 GTX® shoes; I did not get the wet saturated-sock feeling I’m used to after a few strides through thick wet grass.  The grass was very wet, and I saw the water drops on my shoes, but my feet stayed completely dry.  I’m looking forward to running in the rain with these shoes.

Wet Grass, Dry Feet

Wet Grass, Dry Feet

Keeping water out is only half the battle in controlling the micro-climate around our feet.  We were all amazed when we learned exactly how much our feet sweat when we’re running.  Each foot can produce 250 milliliters of sweat during a full day of running.  That means that during a four-hour marathon, our feet alone can produce over eight ounces of sweat!  The unique breathable GORE-TEX® membrane allows our feet to breathe, preventing them from getting too hot, while letting the sweat vapor escape.

GORE-TEX® is in Many of the Most Popular Running Shoe Models

I was impressed by the wide selection of top shoe models that offer a GORE-TEX® option (they have GTX® in the shoe’s name).  The current crop of running shoe brands with GORE-TEX® includes Asics, Brooks, Saucony, New Balance, inov-8, La Sportiva, Salomon, Scott, and The North Face.  Most of these shoemakers offer multiple GTX® models and there are choices in the neutral, stability, and trail running categories.  Check them out at:

www.gore-tex.com/products/footwear/running

Saucony Ride 7 GTX

Saucony Ride 7 GTX

GORE-TEX® Running Shoes are Light and Flexible

The new GORE-TEX® running shoes are lightweight and flexible and still provide the maximum protection we expect from GORE-TEX®.  I had no idea that the addition of GORE-TEX® adds less than an ounce to a shoe.  The picture below shows the GORE-TEX® liner in the Saucony Ride 7 GTX® shoes I’m running in now.  The inside of the shoes are soft and flexible, provide a glove-like feel, and keep my feet nice and dry.

GORE-TEX Inside

GORE-TEX Inside

GORE-TEX® Running Shoes are Custom-Designed for each Application

Kirk explained how Gore works with shoe manufacturers to customize the integration of GORE-TEX® into each shoe’s unique design.  Gore works in collaboration with the shoe companies to ensure that every aspect of making a shoe waterproof is taken into account.  Gore specifies how seams must be sealed, and they require that the laces and threads used in a GORE-TEX® shoe do not wick moisture into the shoe.

One of the most interesting parts of our visit was our trip to the Gore Shoe Lab where we saw how prototype shoes are flex-tested to prove out each new shoe’s design.  Gore Associate Donna is demonstrating the Mechanical Boot Flex Test in the picture below:

Gore Associate Donna Purner

Gore Associate Donna

In this test, shoes are placed on electronically-instrumented foot forms that each contain a dozen sensors to detect leakage into the shoe.  The shoe is immersed in water and flexed repeatedly for up to 200,000 times.  Any leak is immediately detected.  If the shoe leaks, the shoe manufacturer must modify the design and then resubmit the shoe for further testing.  Here’s a video of the test:

To demonstrate how the sensors work, Donna simulated a failure.  Sure enough, the sensor display turned red as you can see in the picture below:

Mechanical Boot Flex Test Simulated Failure

Mechanical Boot Flex Test Simulated Failure

This test ensures that each custom GORE-TEX® shoe design is waterproof and stays that way for the lifetime of the shoe.

All GORE-TEX® Shoes Require the Same Standard Factory Testing from Every Shoe Manufacturer

Once a GORE-TEX® Running Shoe is in production, Gore requires manufacturers to test shoes at the factory using patented Gore test equipment.  The Leak Test Machine is used to test 100% of GORE-TEX® Booties before they are installed in shoes.  The Centrifuge Test is performed on selected samples of finished shoes during production.  During this test, shoes are filled with water and then spun at 30g to check for leaks.

Factory Tests

GORE Doesn’t Make the Shoe but they Still Guarantee the Shoe

You heard it right.  They guarantee other companies’ products.  It goes back to Gore’s commitment to “fitness-for-use.”  Every Gore associate we met during our visit spoke about fitness-for-use.  Gore is not satisfied just to sell a material.  They do not consider a job completed until the end-user is 100% satisfied with the product, even if Gore only provides an ingredient in that product.  And they have been backing up that commitment with their GORE-TEX® “Guaranteed to Keep You Dry” promise since 1989.

The Perfect End to a Great Day

Near the end of the day we stopped at the W. L. Gore Retail Store at the Barksdale Site and checked out all of the cool GORE-TEX® products.  That’s when I got my new pair of Saucony Ride 7 GTX® shoes and I’ve already taken them for a spin or two.  I’ll post again with a report on the shoes once I’ve logged a few miles in the rain.

My New Saucony Ride 7 GTX Shoes

My New Saucony Ride 7 GTX Shoes

We finished with a tour of the Gore Capabilities Center with Gore Associate Paul, who gave us an overview of Gore materials and products including cables, medical implants, guitar strings, filters, military fabrics, fire and safety fabrics, Gore Bike Wear®, and of course, Gore Running Wear®.  Gore products have even been to the moon.  It’s pretty cool to know that there’s over a half-century of science and innovation behind my GORE-TEX® running shoes and I’m looking forward to training and racing in them.

Gore Associate Paul Bielewicz, Kate, Me, & Jason

Gore Associate Paul, Kate, Me, & Jason

You can check out my Gore Running teammates at:

Jason Saltmarsh
http://saltmarshrunning.com/
@SaltyRuns

Kate McElroy
rowdyrunning.com
@rowdy406