Thursday, September 27, 2007

New Balance 800 - Runner's World Editor's Choice

The New Balance 800 trail running shoe has been awarded the prestigious title of Editor's Choice by Runner's World magazine. You can read all about it here (you will have to scroll down a little ways to see the section). The wear testers at Runner's World did some pretty intense analysis on the 800, "Results from the Shoe Lab showed the forefoot to be the most flexible in this guide, which adds to its fast feel." They added, "(this shoe is) Recommended for biomechanically efficient runners who want a fast-paced training or racing shoe."

The 800 has some incredible traction features to keep you stable on rough terrain. Your feet won't stay wet for long with the easy-drying mesh upper. So, if you love to get dirty, splash in the mud, or take on rocky terrain, then the 800 could be your fit. But keep in mind the 800 is ideal for neutral runners.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

New Balance - Gear FAQ

Your most common gear questions...answered on New Balance Connections! Whether you are a new runner or a veteran marathoner, anyone can benefit from this Gear FAQ. There are answers to questions about marathon gear, washing/cleaning tips for shoes and apparel, and tips on how to find the perfect shoe.

You must have account with New Balance Connections to have access to the Gear FAQ. It only takes a few seconds and it's free. Perfect for anyone running The 2007 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon in a few weeks!


Friday, September 21, 2007

New Balance, Lace Up for the Cure and Fox 25 News

For those of you who live in Boston, Massachusetts, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is this Sunday on the University of Massachusetts campus. Check out this clip from Fox 25 News in Massachusetts with Chris Mann, the Integrated Marketing Associate for New Balance. You can click on the first clip, but also see some past news clips about New Balance through this link.

Chris talks about the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and the role New Balance will play this year. 200 New Balance employees will be participating this Sunday! New Balance has been a sponsor of Race for the Cure for 18 years.

You can also see some fun Lace Up! styles from New Balance, they are great pieces for Race Day or just everyday. The Bonita Run skirt is one of my favorites and the Recreational Jacket. Don't miss the 802's (they are must-have) or the adorable Lace Up! socks.

Chris Mann is wearing the Cocona™ Run Jacket made of environmentally friendly Cocona™ fabric.

And you'll also see the Lace Up! New Balance 767, this is the official shoe for the Race for a Cure in 2007.

New Balance donates 15% of all Lace Up! purchases to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Spirit of the Marathon

The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon is only weeks away and the excitement keeps building. In the midst of this anticipation, one of my marathoner co-workers forwarded me this trailer for the documentary Spirit of the Marathon. I watched this ten minute clip at least three times and I get inspired every time I press play. It moved me so much; I had to find out more on the creators and about the mission of this moving documentary. While I’m not a marathoner myself (yet) just your normal everyday runner, I was still was brought to tears as I watched this clip. I think everyone can take something from this film. You can watch the trailer here (see link):

A few weeks ago the director of the film, Jon Dunham, answered some questions I had about the movie, the inspiration, the passion that went into production, and the hard work:

Can you tell us how the idea to make the film came about?

Jon Dunham: I ran my first marathon in Los Angeles in 1993 and was instantly hooked. It was the most challenging thing I had ever done and it gave me an incredible sense of accomplishment. It changed my life! Year after year I continued to run marathons and eventually my filmmaking and my running met. I became totally captivated by the subject. The marathon, its history, and the diversity in people who take part in it became an absolute passion of mine.

The film used to be called Land of the Gods: Legend of the Marathon, and now it is called Spirit of the Marathon, what brought about this change?

Jon Dunham: Land of the Gods was the working title, which we took from the marathon’s homeland - Greece of course. We debated its actual significance to the film throughout post-production and ultimately decided on Spirit of the Marathon as we felt it better conveyed what the film is all about. It also relates very nicely to one of our epilogues at the end.

What hurdles had to be crossed in order to make it?

Jon Dunham: The most challenging aspects to producing Spirit of the Marathon were the actual logistics to filming a major marathon and securing the necessary financing. Both were a long and arduous process; however, we ultimately received generous support from the Chicago Marathon (although there were other reasons for choosing to structure the film around Chicago as well) and over about a five year period we gradually put together enough funds through sponsors, private donors and investors in order to make it all happen.

The film has been described as featuring 6 runners - was it easy choosing those and under what criteria?

Jon Dunham: One of my first impressions of the marathon was how incredibly diverse it was. I was moved by the spirit of camaraderie among people, runners and spectators alike. I always wanted to address this in a film. Furthermore, I wanted to tell the stories of both professional as well as amateur athletes and to explore the similarities and differences in all of these runner’s lives. Deena was the first involved and we first started discussing the project in early 2004 prior to the Athens Olympics. Once she won the Bronze it added a great deal of luster to her story.

As for the amateurs, we started with a mass casting call that went out across North America and there was a full deluge of responses. Finally, we spent a couple of weekends in Chicago and met with maybe 70-80 people and chose our four from there.

I was introduced to Daniel via the Chicago Marathon and his story spanning multiple continents and supreme athletic talent instantly intrigued me.

The filmmakers have extensive marathon running experience do you think this was a necessity in making the film reach its target?

Jon Dunham: Let me put this another way; To a certain degree I think all marathon runners have the potential to be good filmmakers because the marathon is an extremely demanding event and filmmaking is a very challenging career choice. However, like all things that one must work very hard for in life, there lies at the end tremendous reward.

More literally speaking, I think as a filmmaker you have to know your subject inside and out. Who better to make a film on the marathon than people who have run it themselves? That being said, I never wanted to make a film solely for runners as I believe the lessons learned in training for and running a marathon transcend the sport. Keeping this in mind, I often found myself purposefully trying to avoid “runner’s speak” and hard core details about the history of the event because I knew it would probably end up alienating potential audiences.

When will the film get a general release?

Jon Dunham: We’ll be in theaters in the U.S. in late 2007 and early 2008. We plan to also have a release abroad in 2008. We are still finalizing the details around the mass distribution. However, based on the response we’ve received worldwide, we anticipate the film will be widely available this coming year.

Upon completing this film, what advice do you have for new marathoners?

Jon Dunham: Pace yourself and stick to it. Many things truly worthwhile in life require a lot of passion, patience and perseverance.

So there you have it, from the Director himself; everything worthwhile in life is worth the hard work and passion. Take some time out of your day and check out the Spirit of the Marathon movie trailer. It will be showing through the Chicago International Film Festival October 5, 2007; two days prior to The 2007 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Nature vs. New Balance Sweepstakes!

Enter the Nature vs. New Balance Sweepstakes and you could win an all expenses paid trip to The Banff Film Festival November 2-5 in Banff, Canada!

This sweepstakes comes with the introduction of new GORE-TEX® outdoor and multi-sport shoes by New Balance. According to New Balance, the shoes "are the first to combine breathable waterproof technology with multiple widths." You can find GORE-TEX® waterproof technology in the 977, 1091, 1200, and 950 styles by New Balance. All of these styles contain amazing technologies to keep you prepared for anything nature throws at you.

And with fall coming fast, is there a better time to try them out?


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

New Balance and Cocona™

Searching for "greener" fabrics? For fall 2007, New Balance released a new fabric called Cocona™ which is constructed with "coconut shells salvaged from food industry waste." It is created through excessive heating that transforms the shells into activated carbon, which is then fused into polyester fibers. Pretty neat, huh?

This revolutionary fabric uses natural technology to provide evaporative cooling, odor resistance and UV protection.

The men's and women's Cocona Run Zip Neck and men's Cocona Reversible are two styles this fall that feature this cool new fabric.


Thursday, September 6, 2007

New Balance 720 - It's Time to Talk Shoes

About 5 weeks ago, I bought a new pair of New Balance running shoes. Since I've been taking my mileage up a notch in the past weeks, I decided it was about time for a new addition. After a week or so of searching our site, I decided to go with the New Balance 720.

When I first started running, I was a strict neutral cushioning wearer. I thought I could wear anything and everything. Then I tried supportive cushioning shoes, and my world changed. It was awesome. My knees felt better, my feet were more comfortable as I ran, and they were just an overall better fit. I decided to try something new but still in the supportive cushioning realm with the 720, and they did not disappoint. I liked the responsive ride and comfortable fit of the shoe. Not to mention they looked great with just about any of my running outfits (what can I say? I'm a girl!). And priced at under $80, they are at a great price point.

I would recommend the 720's to medium frame runners with a neutral arch type or low arch type. And to runners who typically stick to paved roads, indoor/outdoor tracks, or moderate terrain trails.


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

NB Web Express - Runner's Express

There is a section on our website created specifically for runners called "Runner's Express." That might not a be huge surprise that a New Balance website carries "running" information, but this section is a little different. Right now we post motivational stories, quotes, foot guides, personal testimonials, pace calculators, and shoe recommendations based on activity. After all, a marathoner needs a certain shoe while a sprinter may need another. But, our Runner's Express section is growing. We have some plans on the horizon to make it an even better resource for runners.

Each and every runner has their own specific needs. What information do you find yourself searching for? For me it has got to be juggling training, work, and family. When you crave time with your family, love your job and love to do you keep it all in check?

So, what running information interests you? Is it personal stories? Straight facts? A little of both? How about all of those pacing tools and timing calculators? Are those handy...?