Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Testing conditions - Monday 23rd of August, 2010

Having received them the Friday before, it was finally time to take my new Brooks Cascadia 5s out on a run. They looked big and goofy compared to my Asics Speed-machines and the sole was about twice as thick. On my feet, at first they felt like big, heavy boats but by the end of the run I didn't notice it at all. Expect a full report on them after I've laid down a good few kms.

When I left UST it was bright and hot and I was preparing myself for another hot slog.

Down the stairs towards the HKUST beach.

Fungus Humongous.

The beach. A fair bit of rubbish around and no shark nets, not an ideal swimming location.

Along the beach a little and across a little stream (note: the Cascadias are not ideal for rock hopping unless cinched down tight) I scrambled to the start of my seaside, jungle trail.

Oh... this is a bit more overgrown than I remember. At least there's not hundreds of spiders across the trail this time!

Ah, that's the trail, down there!

Trying to watch my feet as the trail was quite rocky and uneven, I was very thankful for my hat which protected my face many a time. Booooom. What was that? Nevermind probably just a boat or something. Man I so wish this dodging and weaving would finish.

And it did. But be careful what you wish for, I found myself in fields of (at least) waist high grass. This is one of the less dense sections. No point looking down now, couldn't see my feet if I wanted to.

Boooooooom! Okay, that one was definitely thunder but it's still bright and sunny here. As I continued on the trail wound around and under many trees, often passing tiki-torches with red cloth tied around them. Bizarre ritual? And I came to a little stream.

Awesome stream... and the perfect place to test my waterproof camera in the field for the first time! Apologies for the blurry middle photo, I'll take another next time I'm down there.

My first few attempts resulted in blurry nothingness but aiming it at the bottom of a rock got me a blurry photo of something. A few photos later and I had a couple of nice shots of these dudes!

Boooooom... BOOOM! Okay, that thunder is really close now. Better get a move on. As I left the little stream, fine rain started to fall, but luckily the trail turned into an awesome semi-covered track complete with stream crossings (rock hopping) and great views.

Uhh. Those clouds don't look super inviting... closer inspection:

Time to mooooooove!

And when I reached the climb back up to UST the rain proper started:

At least the shoes get a good test in super wet conditions as well as hot and dry!

At around 7km, this route is shorter than my normal lunchtime jaunts, but the slow going through the scrub and grass means if anything, it takes a little longer.

Good bit of elevation gain at the end there!

If I can move a little faster along the trail, I'll try to combine this path with the backroad I ran last Wednesday making an all round great trail.

The Cascadias held great on everything except wet tiles as I was walking back to the change rooms, and after tightening the laces more than I do my road shoes, they felt responsive enough on the trails. Only a bit of true distance in them will reveal their weaknesses and strengths.

See you on the trails!

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