Thursday, 26 April 2012

Inov8 Baregrips (destroyed)?

See through shoes!
So I've had the Baregrips for about a year. I've worn them in 2 races, and a good number of training runs. (I just worked out that I've done about 200km in total in them) I'm not the kind of person that runs 100s of miles a week, and I certainly don't wear the Baregrips every week by any means. The soles still look brand new, literally, if I washed them, they look as if they haven't been worn. 100% total and utter aggressive outsole grip.

The uppers though, are nigh on dead.
This, has, quite frankly, shocked me.

I know that these are lightweight fellshoes. They are 200g per shoe and are made as a grippy barefoot shoe for offroad running. They are lightweight and they are minimalist. From the photo you can see that the wear pattern on them is through bendy bit just at the 1st metatarsal.

A Big Hole. (Medially)
I'm not averse to holey shoes. Let me make that very clear. Holes make excellent bailing devices, water just pours out as you run. (or shoots out if you have enough water in your shoes and there is a small enough hole... the resulting pressure can create quite a stream).

I think the reason I am flabbergasted and annoyed is that I've never actually had a shoe which the upper fails before the grip before.

Yes, there is an argument that the higher performance the item, the better it works in the short term, but long term longevity is sacrificed. Think about Formula 1 tyres. I dare not think how much each tyre costs, but it lasts all of a few laps, but with grip that you can't even begin to believe. If you had some of them on your car, at the right temperature, you'd stick to the road like glue. (an odd analogy, because you have to take aerodynamics, downforce etc into account, but I hope you get my point)
Expensive, high performance stuff lasts for less time than lower performance, low price stuff.

Its like the pair of 5:10 moccasyms I bought for climbing. They were my second pair of climbing shoes ever, and they stuck to the wall like my feet were covered in glue. I climbed in them twice a week and was SHOCKED when I went through the toe in 6 months. My footwork was sloppy, and I dragged my toe everywhere on the wall, ok, it was bound to happen. I was still very much a beginnner.

Still a ridiculous amount of grip
If I was running in these Baregrips twice a week, and tearing through heather, gorse, rough rock and goodness knows what else, then yes, I would fully anticipate that they would probably be trashed beyond recognition within 5 or 6 months. Its what they are made for, yet they are a high performance shoe that is likely to not last so long.

That being said, I feel like I've barely worn them. I looked forward to using them in the clag and mud of the winter, and yes, they were great until it just got too cold. I didn't expect them to stay in pristine condition forever, but I did expect them to not have holes in after less than 10 days of full use.
Am I being a little harsh on them?

Hole on the lateral side of the shoe
I don't know. You may have seen the review on the Roclite 268 that I wrote a while ago, and the destroyed blog as well. It took fully a year or more of constant fellracing and adventure racing, in pretty nasty conditions, to finally begin going through the uppers on them. Yes, they are 68grams heavier, and no they don't have the same kind of grip on them, but that's more like the kind of wear that I would expect.

Inov8. You have some excellent shoes. You have some excellent grips, but you also have some quite fragile shoes.
Is it possible for you to have a look at the Baregrip or the X-talon sole units and put on an upper that doesn't eat itself? Roclites are great, and it seems that when the grip starts going, it really goes, and then the upper begins to go as well. However, in this case, having a shoe with a fantastic sole but an upper that no longer holds your foot, might be a little limiting to running.

Just for the record, I'm still running in these things as the grip is fantastic, I don't think it's going to be long before they completely fall apart on me. Hopefully not somewhere a long way from home. A lot of the upper is still in very good condition, but the weak spots are almost making them un-runnable.

I wonder if there is a way to graft the sole onto another shoe upper? A phantom Frankenstein of a shoe with is indestructible. THAT would be a good shoe.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Kinder Downfall Race Report

Pre-race Kit
Woke up this morning. Rain. Not just ordinary rain. Proper thick and unamusing rain. Nice. Well, at least it'll be cool for the race, I suppose.
Downfall was a race I did not get to do last year as by the time I knew about it, the whole thing was full up. Not wanting that to happen again this year I think my entry was in sometime during February. Despite doing this, and getting to race day, I still wasn't entirely sure about the route. I know it goes up, along and down, but where it starts, and more importantly, where it ends, not entirely sure. I thought I'd work it out as time went on.

We picked up a few of the Glossopdale faithful on the way over to Hayfield, getting there really quite early- not that I mind that at all, I'd rather have time for a natter with people before the race starts. Was surprised to see Pete Blands van there, in the rain, doing a roaring trade of all manner of new shoes and bags and energy gels and stuff. I managed to catch up with a few people before the race that I haven't see in in a while, Fellmonkey was there, IDP, and a load of regulars from Pennine as well whom I don't normally get to say hi to.

The rain began to slacken off as we gathered for the start (having had a quick look at the map before hand, to get a slightly better idea of the route). I had a last minute change of heart, opting to wear a helly under my club vest. If I was cold at the bottom of the hill, I was quite likely to be freezing at the top. We stood around listening to Dave Soles give us the briefing, then worked our way into place on the bridge for the start. I was really quite far back from the front, not the greatest place to be in order to get a good time, but no time to worry about that, as we were off. Round the corner and then I saw the field of runners stretch out ahead of me. Damn. That's going to take a while to get through. The leaders were already quite far ahead, and stretching out the lead, and there must have been a hundred runners or so between me and the front of the pack.
Time to make up some time.

Running up onto the pavement I skirt around a fair few runners, weave in and out a bit, gaining some time, but not going too hard, just getting up the field a bit. Turn left up onto Snake Path and its the same story, weaving in and out, trying to get past the slower runners who were intelligent enough to get further ahead of me at the start. I lose my footing once, saved myself, and carried on.
Cresting the hill I tracked down someone that looked like they were weaving drunkenly through muddy puddles. Giving him a wide berth, I realised it was idp- pleasantries exchanged I carried on.
All of a sudden I saw something in the corner of my eye.
Pete Blands Marvellous travelling shop
Aura. Damn.

The unmistakable beginnings of a migraine. Pretty soon peripheral vision will deteriorate to nothing, vision directly in front of me will go, and I'll just be able to see a small arc of whats going on, with everything around it being a bright flashing aura. This will be followed by a reduction in the aura, then, after a while, a splitting headache.

I contemplated stopping there and then by the White Cabin, but I had no aspirin with me- and faced a walk down the hill to get to the car, and then a long painful wait until everyone got back to the car. Depressing and boring. I might as well carry on, if I fall over excessively because I can't see anything, I'll stop then, but until then, I'll run.

Down from the White Cabin along a lovely springy track I followed closely in the footsteps of another runner. I was aching to go faster, but there was no way to overtake. Acutely aware that the guys at the front were getting further away, but also that my vision was deteriorating, I decided not to chance it by thrashing around this runner in the heather, and just marked him all the way down. To the junction toward the top end of the reservoir and the bridge a lot of runners were taking the path down, a marshal there said take any line we liked, so I ran further up the path before scything down through the heather, leaving the guy I had been following for dust. I had literally no peripheral vision at this point and have no idea how many people I overtook, but it must have been somewhere around 10 or so.
Linking in with the runners on the path neatly at the bottom we pass people and I recognise Carls voice saying well done, I wave, but that's all I'm capable of, and now up William clough, the not so easy bit.

Steady pace, and get stuck behind 2 people, not so bad as I am literally following them step for step, not trusting myself to see where I'm going. Half way up and they are walking, its about 20metres to the next guy so I take a gamble, overtake and head on up to him.
Crikey, I MUST be blind. I only notice its John Hewitt as I nearly trip over his new shoes. Up the hill to the top, following on his coat tails, past Steve C who is taking photos, up past the finger post and onto the final horrible climb up to Kinder Corner. I am overtaken on the run down to the start of the climb, but I manage to take it back, and then some on the climb up. John is pulling away a bit, but in front of him is another GDH vest- its Ali, and only 20 yards ahead. My vision might be coming back a bit. This is good, but don't go too hard.

The Map- you can just about see the route
Up onto Kinder, and the clag is down big time. Running through cloud, with no real distinguishing features, not really able to read a map, or even the ground because of continuing aura, I HAVE to keep a hold on John. Despite his reputation for not being the most reliable navigator in the world, I know he knows his way around this route.
There is a gaggle of 3 or 4 of us, hammering around the edge, no-one giving a quarter, no-one saying a word. We catch up to Ali at the Sandy Heys Kissing gate, but beyond there, they all begin to edge away from me. I'm not tired, my legs are ok, I'm not breathing particularly hard, but I still can't really see. I have to keep up so as not to get lost, and also to work out where the best places to put my feet. A burst of speed gets me back on to them, but in the mist and clag, all of a sudden Ali is gone. No-where to be seen. That boy has a real turn of speed when he needs it!

I remember getting to Kinder Downfall, with Julien standing on the sidelines with Brae, giving us support and cheering us on, past there I manage to tuck in behind John, breaking up him and the other runner. There is no-one to see in front of us as we make the long, long run down toward Red Brook (it just SEEMS like it goes on forever), Kinder MRT were gathered there, but I had no thoughts for them, despite the ongoing sight problems. Then, as we passed Red Brook, my vision began to clear a bit. I could see a bit more, and was able to judge foot placements. Brilliant.
However, this means I don't have too long before the splitting headache and nausea arrives.
Only one remedy. Go faster.

I overtake John, and know he is hard, hard on my heels, we must be speeding up as other runners appear out of the mist, we are gaining on them. 2, 3, maybe 4 of them. I carry on the speed, and coming up to Kinder Low, my vision must be getting a little better as I recognise Fellmonkey, who has been miles ahead of me all race, just cruising along. Time to hit the downhill section. I pass 2 or 3 people before we go down the flags. Horrible, slippy things that you really need to be careful on, not nice. I try and keep to the sides, and manage to stay on my feet. All the way down Swines Back there is Fellmonkey and 2 others in front of me, just before Edale cross I pass one, just after Edale cross I'm hammering behind the other 2, and toward the bottom, one follows a further ahead runner left on the grass, and I make the decision to hit the rocky path with Fellmonkey. Theoretically longer and slower, but we pass the other 2 easily.

Over the stile, and blast along the path, past some DofEers who kindly get out of the way. A fantastic descent and I can no longer hear anyone behind me- I can see Ali in front of me though. Over a step stile, and up, and there is someone behind me again. He pulls up with me- is it John?
Thanks to Chris Jackson (and family for the photo)
A mile from the end with Fellmonkey, just before my legs give out
No, its Fellmonkey.

We blast down the final hill, (thats the pic on the left- thanks to Chris Jackson & family for the photo)! and through the gates and stiles together. Ali has seen us and has responded and we make no ground on him at all. Thrashing through the fields, I feel great, the descent it at just the right pitch for me to let go and run, then we hit the road.
I can feel the energy sap from my legs. I've gone too far too fast. Running to beat the migraine has blown me to pieces and now my legs are paying. Fellmonkey stretches out a bit and expects me to follow, but I have nothing.

At times like this its all I can do to keep myself from walking. I know I have to get to the end, try and find somewhere to lie down, in the quiet and the dark. If I walk, its just going to take longer. There are a whole bunch of people behind me just aching to take back the time I gained on them during that descent.
Must. Keep. Moving.

Fellmonkey heads off in front with what seem like fresh legs- he looks back as if to say, "cmon- we're nearly there"- but I wave him ahead.
The final mile is hell, I am overtaken by only one person, but it takes an ages. I'm not sure where the finish is, and am surprised when it is so soon- had I have known, I still wouldn't have had the energy to get those last 3 places, to get in front of Ali- although Fellmonkey eventually did.

Finish. Jump in river. Rest, Kendal mint cake, BANG. Splitting headache.
I crawl to the car, change and sit there shivering, holding my head. Thankfully I know someone in Hayfield who takes me in, feeds me water and keeps me warm until Lynne finishes.
Shame I couldn't join in any post race banter, or see the film, which I hear was excellent, hopefully I will see you all next time, and we can reminisce over a pint.
As it was it was all I could do to be driven home, have a shower and collapse into a dark room.

I later found out I was 18th, in 1:18:52. That ain't bad.
Again, sorry for lack of photos, if anyone has any of me that they wouldn't mind donating, that'd be great. Maybe I'll just take a camera next time!
Thanks to all the organisers and marshals- sorry I didn't say thanks to you all as I ran through the gates like I normally do, I had other things on my mind. 
And the Results are Here.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Herod Farm Fellrace 2012 race report

I have shamelessly nicked Ians photo. Thanks Ian.
It is a year since we moved to Glossop. Last year, my first fellrace as a local was Herod Farm. I was keen to see how my running has progressed since last year and have very much been looking forward to this years edition!

However, just as an aside from running, for a moment, last year I turned up to the race knowing no-one, not really knowing what was going on, but still had a good time. This year, I am part of the organising club, there were many friendly faces, to say hello to, and others from elsewhere that apparently knew me even though I had no idea who they were.
So socially, fellrunning is a definite tick.

This year, Herod farm was Lynne's first real fellrace- she has done a few navigational races this year, but not a straight through, non nav, hill-tastic leg blast. I'm sure there will be a lovely account on her blog sometime soon.

The weather this year was somewhat different to last, being claggy, wet and horrible for the days leading up to it, and throughout the race as well. The course was muddy and grungy and slippery, but eminently runnable and likely to get churned up if you were far down the field.
After signing in and getting numbers, we jogged up to the start, followed by a quick trip up the first part of the course.
Julien, still with arm in converted sling from crocking his arm at Lads Leap was with me as we came back down the hill to the start- faced with mass ranks of runners- ready to start.

Perfect timing. We slotted in near the front of the pack, and listened to andy's pre-race talk, short and sweet. A rousing cheer was given for Joe Barber, local merchant, race sponser, and this year, participant as well.
All too soon, it was ready, steady, go, and we were off, pounding the path.

I don't know if I am the only one to think about races before I run them- but when I do, I envision myself near the front, running along effortlessly with everyone else, ready to blast out and really put some leg speed in.
Reality is somewhat different.

The lead guys shoot off like gazelles, and I'm trudging up the path, among a crowd of others, struggling to contain my gasping breath, wondering why it feels so hard to run up a slight incline. Barely 200yards into the race I'm out of breath bewildered as to where all my supposed fitness has gone- all illusions of keeping up with the guys at the front, vanished.
I see a few glossopdale vests ahead of me- one of them Julien- who is "taking it easy" on account of his fractured shoulder.

The path steepens and I get into a bit of a stride, Grouse comes passed me and we nod a greeting. Up onto the first part of the mud and grass and the guys in front of me begin to walk. On my recce a week ago I was able to run this quite happily. What's going on that I am now reduced to walking as well?! Walk/run up to the gate where Charlie was standing, (looking very dapper with an umbrella), left up the hill, and again, more walking.
I put in a burst and overtook 3 guys, including Steve in a GDH vest, and then try to keep up with Grouse as we alternately walk and run up the remainder of the hill.

A glorious picture of me at my best. Thanks ShaunP
Hit the top of the section, and julien is in front of us, we give chase up and over the bomb-holed grassy field, over the stile- with someone else in close pursuit. Legs feeling a bit better now, round the high point, with Neil Shuttleworth encouraging us on from the sidelines, and plunge down the first descent. Grouse catches Julien up fast, but I take my time, taking a different line over the stream, to stay in touch with him. Over a stile and into the heather.

Halfway through there is a section where you can end up in a marshy bit if you're not careful, I skirt round it and Grouse goes through it, enabling me to get round and in front of him. Down, through a stile and down the steep slippy hill. The next stile is horrible, especially if approached directly perpendicular to it, I carve out left and circle in to take it at an angle instead of having to slow too much, up, ove... Foot catches in the wire on the top.
Topple forward, but manage to release my foot, scrabble for some kind of balance and realise I'm losing it. Tuck, roll, up and keep running, with grouse saying 'can ye do that again, I missed it'.
We pass Ian marshaling at the corner (credit goes to him for the photo), and Grouse passes me on the path. Over the fields, and he's making good his escape and I know someone else is breathing down my neck. Through bog, mud and a couple of gates, right, through the archway of trees to the bottom of the final hill, trying desperately not to blow my legs up before getting to it.
Up through a quagmire which breaks my stride and I end up walking where I was happily jogging last week. Again. A guy in green shorts overtakes, I try and keep up with him, turning the legs over, yet he gets further away. I figure I'm doing damage to whoever is behind me, but have to drop to a walk.
Julien comes past me. Its inspiring when someone theoretically old enough to be your dad, with a fractured bone in his arm, cruises along by as you're struggling up a hill.

Beryl, marshalling and enjoying the April weather. Thanks again ShaunP
If he can do it. So can I. Back to a jog, and then through the gate. He takes more of a lead and I concentrate on trying to keep the guy behind me, behind me. I can hear rasping breaths, and it sounds like Matt. Just need to keep in front up here and I'll have him on the down hills anyway. Legs. Legs. Legs. Pain and tiredness, but Beryl and Carl are at the top, shouting encouragement to everyone. I try to run the last few steps to the top, and a glance under my arm confirms someone breathing down my neck. But its not Matt. Someone else- an unknown quantity on descents- just go for it then.
Julien is in front, but not desperately far away, catchable as he is 'taking it easy' Grouse is a long way ahead, catchable only if he makes a mistake. Unlikely.

Plunge down the hill, brain off, brakes off, I must be stretching out on the guy behind me, but never bother checking. Over a stile, down a field, jump off the next one, down through heather and catch Julien as we hit the final stretch of road. (The mantra being muttered by both of us now being "Don't fall. Don't fall")

I hammer home, never looking back, but striding out as much as I can, coming in at 28:59, 20th place. 11 better than last year and a minute and a half cut off my time. Nice.
I'm happy with that!
Looking at splits, I was faster in every part of the race in comparison to last year, excellent. Not quite there yet, still a long way to go. But progress has been made.

Apologies for the lack of photos, Lynne and I were both running and didn't really have much of a chance to take any. There were a few guys out there on the course, so as and when I can blag a couple more, they will be posted.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Trigger Point Therapy roller - The Grid - Review

As you may or may not know, I am a fan of foamrollers - for self massage and myo-fascial release. We own a fair few, ranging from the soft to the ridiculously hard.
One of the main players out there on the running and triathlon scene is “Trigger Point Therapy" range which creates not only Foam Rollers, but also other things like a Massage Ball, and some other things called Quadballers and Footballers.

The Trigger Point Foam roller is called The Grid. It is made of a piece of tube (much like a 4inch drainpipe), and covered with a foam rubber like material, which has a number of ridges and bumps on which are meant to feel like a massage therapists fingers, elbows or the flat of the palm- depending on which surface you use.
It is retailing for about £45 or so in the UK (depending on where you buy it from)

Is it any better or any worse than any of the other rollers on the market?

I published my first thoughts on the roller a few months ago, but really wanted to give it a bit of time before giving any solid thoughts on it and how much I have actually used it.

Do the Nobbles and Bobbles work?

The Bobbles and Nobbles.
Once I got it out of the box, and begin to roll on it, it was evident it was a foam roller. 
Not much more, not much less. As advertised, it has a number of little bobbles and nobbles in it, which, as mentioned above are meant to mimic various types of strokes and parts of a massage therapists tools. To begin with I tried experimenting with the different surfaces, trying to find whether it made all that much of a difference or not.
The short answer is no, I don’t think it does.

When rolling down a hamstring or a quad, the length of the muscle is such that you use the entire roller. If you wish to precisely target a particular area of the muscle with a particular part of the pattern you can, but it just isn’t worth it.
Smaller muscles, again, the patterns, although they look pretty, I found no benefit in using the flat bit or the bobbly bit. So the nitty gritty bits- not all that fantastic.

What does it feel like in general?
It is actually quite a nice roller. Not too hard or soft. The hard internal tube covered with soft external foam rubber is good in design terms, because over a long period of use, even if the foam rubber does start getting softer, the roller with retain its rigidity. (A problem with other rollers which are uniformly one material throughout tend to get softer over time with a lot of use).
It is light and wieldy, and despite the reservations I had about its size- being a bit smaller than any other rollers I have had and used in the past, I was surprised and pleased that it was so good. 
Ok, so it is not quite as versatile as a 40 or 50cm long roller, but for the vast majority of things, it works just fine. The compact size, and the fact it is hollow make it pretty useful for travelling with as well. Another plus.

Over the past 3 months it has been the most used roller in the house.
Why is this?
Partially because I wanted to test it, but also, partially because it looks like a toy. It doesn’t have the forbidding quality of the black polystyrene roller of death, nor is it small like the white closed cell foam roller that we first bought. Its more like a Fischer Price toy, more like an Executive Desk Amusement Time Killer than something you use to keep soft tissue healthy. It is that almost psychological advantage of a well presented piece of kit over a tube of foam which makes you want to use it as you walk through a room.

Is it any better at what a foam roller is meant to do?
No. Not really. One foam roller is much the same as another. The hardness, length and diameter of the roller is pretty much dependent on which one you buy. The patterned effect on the Grid, to me, is pretty much a non-starter, so in terms of buying a roller, if you want something that is effective, you really really don’t have to spend anything like this kind of money on one. 

Back when I first got it, I was wondering if it occupied its own niche in terms of hardness/squidginess, or if it would double up as a partially soft, partially hard roller for all occasions. 
I do use it more, but mostly because I barely use the soft roller anymore, it's like I have grown out of it.  TP roller is a good replacement for it without being too hard. I'm looking for excuses to say that I would use it less, but to be honest, it is now the most used roller in the house. 

If you are a little on the roller-shy side, or just have one sitting in the corner which you occasionally look at and think- "yup- that’s a foam roller", maybe- just maybe, spending some more cash on an expensive one might guilt trip you into using it. Maybe the fact it looks kind of cool might make you use it more. If that is the only reason you buy it- then yes, it is worth the money. 
A foam roller that is used is much better than one sitting in the corner, no matter how much you may or may not have spent.

Although this is a very used piece of equipment, I suspect it may be simply because it is the newest, and therefore, least beaten up roller in the house. I don't know if it will get tired and rubbish in the long term, but looking at the construction, I suppose not.  I am wondering if it would be possible to make one with a piece of drainpipe, an old foam camping mat and some superglue, but have not yet started experimenting. 

All in all, its a good bit of kit, well made, well used, but if you are motivated to use a roller no matter what you spend and no matter what it looks like, to be honest, I still wouldn’t spend more than £20 on one.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Suunto Ambit- thoughts on a new watch

Ambit box
Ok, so its a new watch, new tech, and has lots of interesting and exciting features, but there are also a couple of things that it DOESN'T do yet.
I've used the Ambit for a couple of runs now, downloaded it and played around a little, and here are my current thoughts as to Good things and Things I'm surprised it doesn't do. 

I have already passed these comments onto Suunto, and of course they have been "passed on to the relevant team for further processing", which probably means they have been passed onto the waste-paper-bin-shaped file on the desktop.
We shall see.

Good things
Aside from the obvious- its a GPS watch in the shape and size of a "normal" watch (well... a suunto sized watch) with a barometer in it that does everything a Suunto Core does, what else is good about this watch?

When I bought it I wasn't sure if it was going to be able to pair with an old HR monitor that came with a Suunto T4c.
It does. Yay.

It also has a 24 hour barometric trend view. Just like the Core. yay.

It locks onto satellites very quickly indeed. Much faster than any of the Garmins I own, and seems to have just as accurate tracking as them. (and MORE accurate than some other garmins I have known and used).

The amount of data you can view while running is phenomenal- though to be honest, I don't tend to look at the data when Im running. I just run.

Comparison of size Suunto Core, Suunto Ambit, Garmin 305
I like the lock feature when I'm running- flipping heck, if I had a quid for every time I've been for a run and pressed the stop button as I've got something out of my bag, I'd probably have about £20.

It will apparently synch up to our suunto bike pod as well, which is good. The reason I say apparently is because I haven't had a chance to check it out yet. The pod is in a drawer somewhere and is in dire need of a new battery.

Things I am surprised it doesn't do
Despite being able to change what you can see on your watch when you run, the information the watch gives you once you press stop and save is not changable. This is annoying- all that excellent information that I was just able to look at- now I can't see it until I get home and upload it to my computer. If I can edit the screens for when I am running, why can't I have some control over the information I see once I'm finished?!

Comparison of widths- Garmin 305, Suunto Ambit, Suunto Core
When you finish and save what you have just done, only the most recently recorded data is available to see on the watch. You can't go back to look at another track you have done in the past. It seems only possible to do that once you have uploaded onto a computer.
This is slightly concerning, if I go for a weeks running holiday, I'm not sure how much of my weeks running will be saved... will it all be saved for download when I get back, or will some of it be deleted to save more recent runs? Does that mean I have to take a computer with me on every holiday where I intend on using the Ambit?!

It doesn't do multisport- so those of you into tri's and adventure races- you can only record one activity at a time- and then at the end, you won't be able to view it all as one race- you will only see the last section that you recorded, be it the run section or mountainbike- or whatever until you upload to a computer... which seems odd to me.

In Movescout there are a multitude of things to look at, but one of the reasons I bought the ambit was because it gives good ascent data... what is missing from the summaries? The ability to look at ascent speeds in specific sections of your run/walk/cycle. Yes, you can see it on a graph, but I'd prefer it if it was data mined and actually written down, like they have with general ascent, decent, avg speed, top speed, avg HR etc. I'm sure it would be easy to do, if you had access to the actual backroom data.

I'm also surprised there is no functionalilty to change file types to gpx or kml files. I have since found a somewhat round about way of doing it, and have been assured that this is indeed in the pipeline for the Suunto site (though being in the planning phase and actually getting it done are 2 very different things). The way in which I did it was to use Neotrack to convert the Ambit track to GPX and then GPS visualiser to go from GPX to .kml. From what I can see on Google earth, it seems to have worked, mostly.

Doesn't matter what you buy, the cat will still make a nest in the wrapping.
Despite this list of things the Ambit doesn't do (yet) I am still very very very happy with it indeed.