by Morgan Sauer
The Lone Peak. A significant name for a shoe by far. But when compared to its trail shoe counterparts, like the Superior and Olympus from Altra’s line up, it doesn’t quite ring the same bell of traditional victory. It evokes a different kind of thought. Because what is a “lone peak”?
Well, it’s a physical location for starters. The Lone Peak takes its name from a peak in the Wasatch Range where the original shoe was initially tested on the Wasatch Front 100 Mile in 2010 by one of Altra’s Co-Founders Brian Beckstead.
The Lone Peak was one of the first shoes Altra ever created. It was developed through trials, tribulations, set backs, and let downs. Funny how such things parallel the very people who wear, train, and race in them now.
When I think of a “lone peak” and what meaning that might hold a “pillar of achievement” comes to mind. Never bending. Never breaking. Standing tall. It’s about pushing through to the very end, to the very top, to reach the peak. Alone and mighty, looking back to all that you conquered. Fighting, striving to succeed in whatever way that means to you as we run to the top of our own “lone peaks.”
But enough of the philosophical stuff, onto the mud and grit of which there is a lot. #trailrunning
The Lone Peak is a literal step up from the Superior when it comes to cushion, upper durability, toe space, and versatility. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy the Superior and what it has to offer but the Lone Peak will be able to carry you that extra mile when you need it.
The Lone Peak, like the Superior, features Altra’s Balanced Cushioning™, with equal parts cushioning throughout the whole shoe encouraging better alignment and better form while running. The cushion is soft but not excessive. In the words of Goldilocks the cushion is “just right.” That sweet middle ground where dreams are possible and fears vanish.
The Lone Peak features the original footshape and is the roomiest of the three footshapes from Altra. The original footshape allows extra width throughout the shoe including the forefoot and heel. Due to this, my heel didn’t fit as snuggly into the shoe as it did with Superior, but not so much that it was bothersome. The upper of the Lone Peak is a bit more rigid with some waterproofing qualities, but definitely still flexible. Part of me missed the stretchiness of the toe box upper in the Superior, but the Lone Peak is meant to be more built up than the Superior and that includes the upper.
Good news! I didn’t have a breath of achilles pain while training in the Lone Peak which I’ll chalk up to the additional cushion in this model. This shoe is great for long distance training, hiking, and even being on your feet all day. Every time I put this shoe on all my feet feel is happiness. It is roomy, comfortable, and breathable. Sort of a rarity when it comes to the trail shoe department. Some trail shoes can be stiff and heavy. Neither of those words come to mind when describing the Lone Peak. Definitely an all ‘rounder shoe that can tackle anything from basic miles to race day.
My set of Lone Peaks got put through the ringer this round. Just about every terrain imaginable. We had grass, we had gravel, easy trail, technical trail, pavement, mud, sand, water, all of it.
What helped with that was the course of the Leif Ericson Trail Race put on by the Sioux Falls Area Run Club. Being a flatter course, I was unsure what to expect from myself. I’ve always done better with hills, it forces me to stay alert and keep challenging myself. Meanwhile with flat courses I tend to get lost in it all. That extra challenge of elevation isn’t there to keep me on my toes and keep me focused.
But turns out there was nothing to worry about, mother nature swooped in to save the day by dumping a few buckets of rain on Sioux Falls the night before.
And with rain on any trail race course, that brings mud. Remember me complaining about a course without hills not being “challenging” enough? Yeah. Me too. Mud will make any race interesting. And it certainly did here as well. The single tracks and grass were fine when it came to how wet they were, but the gravel road and trails in Camp Leif Ericson were certainly another story. It gave me just the challenge I was looking for, making the race that much more fun. By the end of it all, I wasn’t even bothering to avoid the mud puddles, too exhausted to waste the extra few steps to go around. Not to mention I was already muddy, what was a little more.
That brings me to another point I wanted to make. It takes a bit for the Lone Peak to get soaked through and even once they do they dry off quickly. An important quality when out on the trails.
The shoes held up exceptionally well. Grass, mud, sharp turns, didn’t matter. The Lone Peak kept me sturdy and confident with plenty of traction. The trail claw lugs on the bottom of the shoe are strategically placed beneath the metatarsals for enhanced grip. In addition there is full rubber coverage keeping the sole of the shoe durable throughout its lifespan.
Overall the route for the race was fantastic. It was creative with little overlap for the whole four miles. If you’re looking for an intro race to trail racing mark your calendars with this baby for next year.
One can understand the lasting impression the Lone Peak has had on the trail community; it’s had a lasting impression on me. It’s a shoe hikers and runners alike can get excited to lace up each time they step out their door. They know that whatever terrain they need to conquer that day, these shoes will get them through it.
You don’t need wide feet to enjoy what Altra shoes have to offer. You just need feet, and not even two of them. I’m looking at you pirates. So, will this shoe work for you? Well ya gotta put it on first. But if you want to trust my opinion, then yes, this shoe will be a comfortable fit for just about anyone.
So you’ve reached the end. Still not sure if the Lone Peak or the Superior are right for you? Well, then stick around for next time when I dig into Altra’s max-cushion trail shoe, the Olympus.
On to the next mountain.
By: Morgan Sauer
Anticipation. A feeling each one of us is familiar with. It follows close behind each step of our day waiting to for its time. A time like running a race on an unknown course. Or in shoes you’ve never raced in before. Or at an appointment with a doctor, you’ve never met. No matter the reason, that electrifying urgency and anxiety leading up to something new or unknown isn’t something we’ll ever gain distance from. No matter how secure our lives may seem.
My success in running has been born more from pure determination than any kind of in-born skill. I was always naturally fast over short distances, but keeping that speed over a long distance wasn’t anything that came easy for me. Which is perhaps why I fell so easily into trail running. There’s ups and downs, areas where speed is necessary, but only in short bursts.
It took a few years after college to uncover the whys of running and the intricacies it had in my life. Racing post-collegiate has had many tribulations to surpass. There was even a time I firmly believed I’d never be able to run again. Not being able to walk will do that to a person. Injury, bodily health, and mental struggles combined like a bad recipe to create setback after setback. And in all honesty, none of that is over just yet. I could list on more than one hand the setbacks I’ve faced with post-collegiate running. But no matter what obstacle reared its ugly mug, I couldn’t turn my back on running.
And isn’t that a big part of trail running? Overcoming obstacles at the right moment and velocity to be able to keep going. And when doing that, it helps to have the right tools to do it.
A lot of the success in a race and in running can be attributed to shoes. In trail standards, the shoes you wear must have enough traction to keep you upright on tight curves and even tighter inclines/declines. They can even be a life saver at times when traversing dangerous terrain where one misstep could mean the end. So yeah. Shoes are important. So that’s why it’s important to find the right shoe for you in trail running. There are lots out there from every brand, all with their specific qualities. But how to know which is right for you?
Well, ya gotta try ‘em on.
Maybe this is redundant coming from a business that sells shoes, but facts are facts, whether you like them or not.
In this blog series, I will be featuring three different Altra trail running shoes: Superior, Lone Peak, and Olympus. Each shoe has its own shining qualities and I’m here to show them to you.
So first off. The Altra Superior 5. A shoe built for speed. Altra’s website will tell you that this shoe has got it all. And . . . they’re not really wrong. The shoe features the Standard Footshape which is slightly narrower than Altra’s Original Footshape. Despite that, you will still find the width you’re looking for when you set out in search for an Altra shoe. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Altra’s shining qualities are the wider, foot-shaped toe-boxes that all of their shoes possess. That, matching up with a zero-drop heel-to-toe offset, sets you up for a more natural way to run, walk, work, whatever you need to do.
Now, I will admit. Training for the Tuthill Trail Race (3 mile) was the first time I ever did serious training and racing in Altra’s, having only used them for some intense and technical hiking on the east coast prior. And boy was I excited. I did feel some Achilles pain while training in these shoes. Although never growing past a dull ache, I made sure to monitor it continuously. Did I mention your body might let you know something’s different? Usually, people feel it in their calves or Achilles and some people feel nothing at all. Lucky ducks. (More about ducks in a moment.)
An important distinction to make with the Superior is that . . . this is not a shoe meant for cushion. Sure, there is cushion there, this isn’t a slab of marble counter top you’re putting on your feet, but if lots of cushion is what you’re looking for in a trail shoe, I urge you to look elsewhere. Additionally, the Superior is solidly a neutral shoe, so for you pronators out there, again, maybe look elsewhere. Or, you can find an insert to put in the shoe that will give you that extra support without sacrificing speed and weight with a more stable shoe.
That’s what I did.
For the first few outings, I ran in the Superior just as is. No rock plate, no inserts. And loved them. But as I increased mileage, I felt that my feet weren’t getting the support they needed so I slipped in a Currex insole and that solved the problem right then and there.
As someone with, there’s no flattering way to say this, duck-shaped feet, as was so generously made known to me by a college professor in the Roman Forum, the overall fit of the Superior is fantastic. It has a narrow heel that slips very little and v’s out into the wide toe box creating such a comfortable fit, my feet had no complaints to put in the suggestion box.
This lightweight shoe had no trouble on rocky, steep, or slippery terrain, holding up quite well no matter what I put them through. Not to mention drying off quickly whenever wet.
If you’re looking to do gravel in these shoes, I’d suggest using the rock plate as it really does catch the rocks and creates another barrier between your feet and the larger rocks under them.
So, would this shoe be right for you?
Maybe. I can’t really say for sure. If a wider toe box is something your feet have been aching for. Give them a shot. If you’re looking for a trail shoe that’s meant for speed. Definitely slip these on. If you’re a duck masquerading as a person. This may be your only hope.
But honestly. Whether or not you’re looking for a speedy trail shoe, be conscious that there are many options out there for running shoes, even in the trail community. And if you choose Altra, your toes will thank you, and maybe give you a raise.
Welcome to Sioux Falls
I am so excited to host you for a week long celebration of running in Sioux Falls. Hello folks, my name is Greg Koch your Race Director. I also co-own and manage 605 Running Company, I'm a certified running coach with the Road Runners Club of America and I time running events professionally for Chronotrack. For the past year I've been focused on how to enhance this event and I've got to say that my team and I have really created some unique experiences only available right here in Sioux Falls.
We are creating a movement within our region. I've spent my entire career dedicated to a holistic approach to health and wellness. I believe the best food is made from scratch, I believe anyone can participate in running events and I'm on a mission to promote family friendly activities within my city that are available to everyone.
This year we have added The Zippy Mile to our event line-up. Our goal was to create a family friendly experience that was hyper-approachable to all skill levels of runners. Think back to your first mile. How did that make you feel? I know that I was nervous that people might be looking at me funny. I know that I felt like I wasn't a "real" runner yet. The running world and the fitness world can be an intimidating place. With The Zippy Mile and the 60.5 Move Expo we want to showcase a community of opportunity, where we break down barriers and prove that health and wellness is for everyone.
From the bottom of my heart thank you for registering for our event. As a small business we have shown how we can contribute to our community on a large scale. The economic impact of race weekend is significant to our city and our region. Many of you are traveling from out of town and out of state to visit us here in Sioux Falls. We know you are going to like it here. I encourage you to enjoy downtown. Explore the shops, play at the Washington Pavilion or Falls Park, enjoy our amazing restaurants and of course run our streets and greenway trails.
Finally, the question I'm always asked. Who or what is the Skedaddle for? The answer is complex. First and foremost this is a running event designed by runners for runners. In our running communities that can often be overlooked. Runners raise a lot of money for a lot of amazing causes. We have several fundraising goals this year with the Skedaddle. Checkout the amazing work we are doing with the Chase for a Cure. Also, Skedaddle week happens during Earth Day. Bring your used running shoes to donate at the 60.5 Move Expo read why here. Finally, get to know the 605 Race Crew for which the Skedaddle is the funding engine that makes all of their amazing work possible.
This is our 5th year hosting a half marathon in Sioux Falls. While I cannot make any guarantees on the weather, I can promise you that my team and I are dedicated to make this experience great for each and every one of you.
Have a great running day.
View the rest of the 1st Official Race Email Here
Prizes and categories announced for the Sioux Falls Skedaddle Half Marathon Road Runners Club of America State Championship
The Sioux Falls Skedaddle Half Marathon presented by the 605 Running Company which was recently selected to be the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) State Championship Event is excited to announce championship categories and prizes.
Open Male/Female Division: This will be the overall winners of the half marathon event. Prizes to include RRCA State Championship medal and $500 prize.
Age 40+ Male/Female Division: This will be the overall winners of the half marathon event. Prizes to include RRCA State Championship medal and $100 prize.
Age 50+ Male/Female Division: This will be the overall winners of the half marathon event. Prizes to include RRCA State Championship medal and $100 prize.
Age 60+ Male/Female Division: This will be the overall winners of the half marathon event. Prizes to include RRCA State Championship medal and $100 prize.
605 Running Company is happy to announce that in partnership with Brooks Running and private donors we will be outfitting all of the South Dakota, Special Olympic Athletes traveling to the USA Games in Orlando, Florida this June with new running shoes.
At the 1st Saturday Group Run on April 2nd, community runners were able to raise over $600 dollars to help offset travel costs for South Dakota, Special Olympics Athletes. While planning the fundraising event at the store Greg received a phone call from his Brooks representative.
“The timing was incredible. What started out as a 1st Saturday Group Run fundraising challenge blossomed into a successful partnership with Brooks. Our community is helping to offset travel expenses and the store is able to outfit South Dakota athletes with great footwear.” Said Greg Koch, Co-Owner of 605 Running Company.
Founded in 2014, the mission of the shop is to enhance the running community as a locally owned and operated running specialty outfitter. No matter what your abilities, pace, or running history the 605 Running Company is inclusive to ALL runners.
Special Olympics is an unprecedented global movement which, through quality sports training and competition, improves the lives of people with intellectual disabilities and, in turn, the lives of everyone they touch.
“Our work isn’t done yet. We set out a goal to raise $1,100, which is estimated travel costs for one athlete to attend the USA Games this June.” Confesses Koch.
Click here to donate: https://www.classy.org/give/398416/#!/donation/checkout