Category Archives: BRAD’S CORNER

Book and Movie Reviews by Brad Zanetti

BOOK REVIEW – RUNNING WITH THE LEGENDS, By Brad Zanetti

“RUNNING with the LEGENDS”, by, Michael Sandrock, Human Kinetics, Champaign, Illinois. 1996, pp 568

While trying to finish the Dr George Sheehan trilogy (see last  months Newsletter) I finally finished a book that I have been reading May15ZanettiHeadshotfor over a year. “Running with the Legends” is definitely not an easy read. At over 550 pages it is a solid commitment. At 21 chapters in length, basically 21 different short stories (one for each ‘legend’) don’t necessarily lend themselves to a cover to cover read. The legends include Zatopek, Keino, Rodgers, Waitz, Coe and Benoit among many others.  I find reading a chapter or 2 at a time and most likely in a random order the most satisfying. Sometimes not getting back to the book for weeks at time has been the norm. The short story format lends itself to a great experience. Each story has been very well written and very complete. You will get a nice understanding of the running careers of each ‘Legend’ with the welcome addition of their insights and training trips. Each chapter begins with a historical picture of the runner, a birthdate, a nickname and many of their most important running records/awards. At an average of 25 pages per story you will be drawn into the life of each legend. “Running with the Legends”, if in a slightly larger and thinner format. would make an excellent coffee table book for any proud Empire Runner (see Cosmo Kramers idea for a coffee table book about coffee tables :}. Well even if this book doesn’t end up on your coffee table it would be a welcome addition to any runners bookshelf and his or her essential running library list. I would rate “Running with the Legends” a 5/5 and a must have. In addition, the reading of the short stories of each legend may pique your interest to find and read the full length versions where available. Happy reading.

THE HOKA CLIFTON: THE FINAL REPORT OR AN EXCUSE TO GET A NEW SHOE?, By Brad Zanetti

May15ZanettiHeadshotI bought my first Hoka product in October 2014, the Clifton. It soon became a favorite shoe and a dichotomy: cushy and responsive.

I could continue to bore you with facts and figures, stack heights and drops, no sew speedframes and early meta rocker technologies. If you have been purchasing running shoes for at least a year you have probably heard enough taglines and gobbledygook about this or that companies foam: speedfoam, freshfoam, lunarfoam, boost, blah, blah, blah.

After you have listened to the ads, read the company blurb and found yourself cross-eyed as your shoe fitter extols the virtues of the current shoes they are showing you, take a deep breath, lace em up and run out of the store and really concentrate how those shoes feel. Also don’t be afraid to take a couple of days and some short runs at home to make sure your initial choice was correct. The specialty shoe stores will accept a return.

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That all being said, let’s get back to the Hoka. After six months and around 350 miles, this shoe has remained an all-time favorite for me. They aged pretty well and don’t really look any worse for the wear (see picture). The uppers have remained in excellent condition will little obvious wear. The insole that was provided has had some issues, sometimes climbing up the heel which could cause a hotspot or blister if you don’t stop and adjust. What I didn’t realize is that two insoles are provided to adjust fit even further. I have opted to use the second insole with great result. I noted the second insole when I purchased my second pair of Cliftons (red).

You could go back and read the previous review (100mi) and update (220mi), but simply stated, this shoe has been a game changer for my training. It was great out of the box and maintained its feel for over 200 miles. In the last 120 miles or so, it began to lose its resilience but was still adequate for long hilly runs in Annadel, though not quite as responsive as when new and a little less capable on those long rocky downhills.

Would I buy another pair? Yep already have, and my first runs in them have been excellent. Besides the flashy new red color and the insole choices, these are just as I remember my very first run in the original Cliftons — they make me want to lace them up and get out there. They feel great. Think about them, try them on and give them a shot. You might be amazed.

“The Hoka Challenger ATV”

My lastest choice from the Hoka line is the Challenger ATV, a lightweight trail shoe based on the Clifton last. It is now available in better running stores locally ( it was only available locally at REI until March 15).

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Putting on the ATV in the store, it felt much like the Clifton in every way with a slightly stiffer feeling sole. I took them out the very next day for an Annadel 10-plus miler and the shoes were great. My feet and joints were painless after. A complete 100 mile review will be in future issues. Hope we get some rain so I can review the lug pattern.

Challenger ATV Tech:

Stack heights:

Heel: 29mm

Forefoot: 24mm

Drop: 5mm

Weight: 8.5oz

No Sew Speedframe/MetaRocker/Stability Pods/4mm Lugs.