Tuesday, November 24, 2020

La Sportiva Jackal GTX review

La Sportiva Jackal GTX is probably the best ultra trail running shoe I've tested. Disclaimer: I'm a member of La Sportiva Team Finland. However, these are my own honest impressions.

I really like the 

  • Gore-Tex membrane with Invisible Fit technology, 
  • wide toe box, 
  • narrow heel, 
  • 7 mm drop, 
  • comfortable fit
  • outsole grip
  • durability
  • stability
  • rock/impact protection 
  • lacing/tongue design
  • braking system 
  • firm midsole with Infinitoo cushioning.

The FriXion Red outsole compound is durable and similar to La Sportiva Akasha. The new braking system with 3 mm aggressive lugs works surprisingly well. Initially I expected the shoe to slide, but it didn't and I almost fell forward. It took some time to get used to, but I got it eventually. You have to learn to trust the incredible performance of this shoe.

The firm cushioning is not too soft, because this shoe is designed for rugged trails and long distances. A soft sneaker might feel better on city streets, but that wouldn't work on tougher trails. 

The weight is about the same as my Akasha, about 360g in size 45. It's typical for shoes designed for ultra-marathons to not be the most lightweight. The Gore-Tex Infinite fit technology will add some weight, but it helps keep Jackal GTX dry and lighter than soaked wet shoes. I also prefer to keep my feet as dry as possible to avoid blisters and chafing issues.

The sizing runs a bit small and short for me, so I tried sizing up. My usual size has often been EUR 44.5, but for Jackal GTX size EUR 45 seems better. Also my previous favorite Akasha seemed to work much better in size 45, so maybe that's my size from now on.

In summary, La Sportiva Jackal GTX is recommended for ultra trail runners with wide forefoot for all race distances from 50K to 200-milers. Rating: Excellent 95/100.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Bodom Night 10K

 Bodom Night 10K is such a fun trail to run. Lots of mud, ponds, rocks, roots. It's almost like an obstacle course race. And it's dark, of course.

The course is well marked. The organization is brilliant. Nuuksio National Park is awesome.

I finished with 1:20:40, a new course PR. In 2018 race I fell in a lake, which slowed me down a bit.

Normally the event would be in May, not October. 2021 Bodom Night is planned for May again. 

I'll be back!

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Solvalla Trail Half-Marathon

I ran Solvalla Trail Half-Marathon in Nuuksio National Park today with my friends Mikki (who beat me) and Kirsi (who ran 10K). It was rainy, muddy and technical - just what we love!