Monday, January 22, 2018

National Running Show Birmingham 2018

Subtitle: Grade score D, Must try harder

Marcus and Agata review here the time spent at the /National Running Show/ 2018 which is here for the first time in Brummyham.

Real Consumers

One of our personal focus' today is sports and Athletics.  We are necessarily and enthusiastic informed consumers in this market segment.

So we were really looking forward to this event.  Marcus even made a shared Google Keep list with Agata for some of the things to pickup.   I thought there might be a wide selection.


Below are the logos of who was presenting

So it might look attractive but on actual entry it became clear that it was full of Particular Race exhibitors (e.g Trail attack race Alcester 26 May 2018) and that nearly every major vendor name I can think of was absent!

No Nike, Addias, Asics or Salomon.   Not a single large retailer, for example Wiggle.

We made the best of it


I spoke with the UK distributor about the likelyhood of the release of a smaller Trekz Air  Like a Mini Trekz Air.  Not in plan so far and we got to talking their Air and Titanium product range.

For those who don't know their range are Bone conduction.  So wearing these wireless your ears are completely open and therefore these are the only headphone type that can possibly (at Race director discretion still) be used in UK competition races.

Trekz Air



Marcus already uses 2XU for running and Wetsuit in Triathlon.  So I asked and got a quick update on the 2XU range which I don't follow too closely.   Was shown 

MCS Running tights
Propel WetSuits

Not the biggest range on display but hey at least 2XU were exhibiting and happy to talk.



Marcus did not yet buy the Furoshiri, wrapping sole shoe, but I really wanted to.

With limited disposable income I need to wait for my existing Sandals to wear out before using these as beach, sand, fast lacing, low volume shoes.

It is basically a Vibram style rubbery sole with some 2 straps with velcro fasteners.

Quite a few colour styles and a range of sizes (though quite basic i.e. S M L XL XXL , not incremental by each EU size number for example)

These shoes retail at about 90 GBP and should NOT BE USED for any sort of distance running.   But they are eye catching and minimalist and would be great say on a sports holiday as you move between hotel room and pool for swim training, or walk to beach for Open Water.  In other words I could use them like fancy sandals or flip flops.  Quite a steep price to pay, so only consider if even at discount ( 75GBP lowest seen) this purchase makes sense.

Vibram Furoshiki

Food Stalls

I counted less than 5 food stalls and only 3 gave me freebies.  And save from Erdinger there was not a single big name.  No SIS, 

Interesting & Innovation

- A variety of speakers at the end of the hall with really motivating and well presented talks.  Acoustics were awful though.

- 3D gait analysis from Run3D, a spinoff from Oxford University

- The 24 hour running race in Alcester, May 26-27.  Interesting because its very close to us here in the UK

- Agata found and liked Taikatea a green organic tea

- An interesting project to try and help you convert race T shirts into memorable blankets.  Here

- ImpactMarathon organising a marathon in countries like Nepal, Kenya at which you also volunteer by giving your time to help with local issues.

(Literally saves the day)

 Without our very positive experience at Saucony the whole show would basically have been pants.

After waiting in line for some time, during which we got to try out some Saucony shoes the idea is that we would do a 1 minute treadmill session.

After the run we got the chance to enter a competition on the condition that we did a Facebook / Instagram Like on Social Media.

And at this point Agata won a decent prize.

A free pair of any Saucony Running Shoes.  Wahoo!   This was a great present as we will both be using Saucony on our next UltraMarathon and we value the brand as a good specialist, true to the sport manufacturer.

Really thanks Saucony, you made our day!

Entrance was 10GBP per person on the day and 12GBP for car parking.   So a couple would face a 34GBP outlay plus the cost of any food and drink bought at the event  (well there were precious little samples being given out!)

A Lot Missing

- More exhibitors
Simply not enough to see.  It was small scale indeed.  Not a single large retailer,  not a since large Shoe manufacturer  (Saucony I count as specialised), no major Food and Nutrition retailers, not a single Sportswatch / GPS manufacturer.   Hmm indeed.

- Better acoustics
Everything was in 1 hall.  Meaning trying to listen to the presentations was between difficult and impossible

- Samples
Only a smattering of Sports Nutrition vendors and most were not even setup to give free samples.  This is the basics people!

- Not Kidding
After leaving this show we literally had to drive to Decathlon Coventry.  No really!  There we were presented with an infinitely larger collection of footwear, running clothing, sportSwatches, nutrition and energy food.  All the things we had hoped to see at the above show :-(

Next Year
Dear Organisers, please read this and and correct.  Next Year it needs to be bigger, a lot bigger.