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james wilie


Gear Reviews, Shoes
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The Mafate Speed – Hoka’s with traction!  Let’s take a look at the Mafate Speed.


The Mafate Speed fits well, but feels a little narrow.  With a 35mm in the heel and 31mm in the forefoot, they still feel light on the feet.  They came in at 11.45 oz (Men’s Size 9).


The CMEVA midsole provides a nice soft ride.  The RMAT material forms the outsole adding durability and great traction.


I love the overlay with the Monomesh Debris Screen that keeps debris out, but allows for great drainage when wet.



Out of the box, the Mafate Speed worked well on the trails. The speed lacing system kept the foot snug in its place (some may prefer the traditional laces). The heel counter felt a bit firm, but I had no issues with any blisters.

I love the ride of the shoe with the Meta-Rocker giving a quick transition to toe off. The generous midsole swallows-up any jagged obstacles in its path.

The updated traction performed well on soft dirt, packed dirt, rocky surfaces, scree, etc. I couldn’t find any terrain the Mafate Speed couldn’t handle but the muddiest conditions. They performed well!

Weight Table

weight table

Tech Specs

  • Heel: 35 mm
  • Midfoot: 31 mm
  • Offset: 4 mm
  • Gusseted tongue
  • Neutral Shoe
  • No Rock Plate (Thick Midsole)
  • Midsole – EVA
  • Upper – Synthetic
  • Made In – China
  • Women’ Version


The Mafate Speed are for the ultra-runner looking to get into a lightweight maximum cushioned package with great traction and a smooth ride. Another great trail shoe in the Hoka line-up.


james wilie

Outdoor Tech Orcas Wireless Earbuds

Electronics, Gear Reviews
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The Orcas are sweat resistant, superlight (0.45 oz), Bluetooth 4.0 (no tangled messes) ear buds.  They have a built in microphone to answer calls when connected to your smartphone.  They also come with custom fit options – 3 sizes of earpads and 2 sizes of secure fit ear cushions.  The Orcas have approximately 6 hours of running time (I tested it to be around 5 hours and 47 minutes).


When running (and biking) with the Orcas, I preferred the wire to hang in front of my neck versus behind it. They felt more comfortable in this position. I did not use the secure fit “fins”. They fit perfectly out of the box. The ear buds stayed in the ear during fast paced downhill runs or any other high bounce activities (jumping on the home trampoline).  They are worth the money to avoid the no tangled messy wires.  In summary, great fit, comfortable, and in a lightweight and small form factor.

Tech Specs

  • Sweat-proof and splash resistant
  • Bluetooth 4.0 for easy one touch pairing, and automatic reconnect to previously paired devices
  • Built In microphone
  • 3-button inline controls allow you to adjust volume, change tracks, play/pause and answer calls
  • Headset and hands free controls using the A2DP v1.2 and AVRCP v1.4 Bluetooth profiles
  • Sound enhancement with apt X and AAC
  • Rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery
  • Micro USB charge port
  • Play Time: 6 hours
  • Standby Time:150 hours
  • Wireless Range: 32 feet
  • Weight: 0.45 oz
  • Included in box: 3 sizes of earpads, 2 sizes of secure fit ear cushions, USB Charging Cable, Carry Pouch, Stickers and User Manual
james wilie

Lululemon Athletica Apparel Review

Apparel, Gear Reviews
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Founded in Vancouver BC in 1998, Lululemon designs yoga and running apparel.  Let’s take a look at the running line from Lululemon.


Metal Vent Tech Short Sleeve Shirt

Vent Tech SS


The Metal Vent Tech Short Sleeve Shirt is a great all around athletic shirt.  Lululemon’s “anti-stink” feature (Silverescent) keeps the odor at bay.  A great design that is seamless – no chafing experienced on those long 4+ hour training runs. It has a great next to the skin comfort.  I like the fabric in that it does not look worn on the wear spots from using a hydration pack or vest (still looking for a hydration pack or vest that does not wear the tech-shirts in one place or more).  Overall, a great versatile piece of apparel on the run or just hanging out.

Surge Shorts

Surge Shorts

The Surge Shorts come lined with boxer briefs (Luxtreme Liner) which contains the “anti-stink” feature (great addition to the fabric).  The liner is longer than the outer short length. The boxer liners are very comfortable and a great protection from chafing.  There is a small left hip zippered pocket that can hold two GU’s (or keys), but no smartphones.  There is a small inner back pocket that can hold one GU if needed (potential upgrade to the shorts could be a larger outer back pocket(s)).  I did wish for more pockets on the longer training runs.  There is an interesting outer double loop system on the back part of the waistband of the shorts that is designed to hold your shirt.

shorts loop






In summary, chafe-free, comfortable, but wanting more pockets to store running essentials.

Reflect Jacket

Reflect Jacket


The Reflect Jacket is a nice overlay on those cold and windy mornings.  The Reflect jacket is water resistant and sheds away light precipitation.  It has multiple pockets: two zippered hand pockets and one inner zippered chest pocket (can hold a smartphone or items you want to secure).  It has two vent zippers in the front next to the armpits.  Nice collar lining with a no-pinch flap over the top of the zipper.  Reflective piping all around the front and back.  The Reflect jacket is for colder days in the fall/winter that can handle light precipitation in an attractive package for running and just hanging out in town (also a great post-run jacket).


Metal Vent Tech Short Sleeve Shirt

  • Material – 66% nylon/30%polyester/4% x-static silver nylon
  • Fit – Semi-Fitted
  • Number of Pockets – 0
  • Weight – 4.15 oz (Men’s Small)
  • Made in – Sri Lanka

Surge Shorts

  • Outer Material – 86% polyester/14% spandex
  • Lining Material – Coolmax (83% nylon/13% lycra)/4% x-static silver nylon
  • Fit – Athletic
  • Liner – Briefs
  • Number of Pockets – 2
  • Inseam Length – 7 inches
  • Weight – 6.60 oz (Men’s Small)
  • Made in – Vietnam

Reflect Jacket

  • Material –100% polyester
  • Fit – Semi-Fitted
  • Number of Pockets – 3
  • Weight – 11.90 oz (Men’s Small)
  • Made in – Vietnam




Scott Warr

Ian Torrence opens the Grab Bag!

Podcasts, Run 100
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Ian Torrence has been a busy guy this summer participating in 9 races thus far – and winning 3 of them!  He joins us to talk about his recent race, Stagecoach 100, that he directed and had to cancel due to weather threats.  Ian then opens the TRN grab bag for a lively discussion on surprise topics.

You can tap into Ian’s coaching skills at McMillan Running

Take the Tailwind Challenge at: Tailwind Nutrition   

Check out the cool head TORCHES made for trail running at Petzl

Get 20% off your purchase of INJINJI socks and wearbles by typing in the coupon code “TRNation” at check out.

Get $5 off your first purchase at HARRYS by using the promo code “TRN” at check out.

You can listen in ITunes or click the link below: