Monday, January 31, 2005

My Running Gear Winter 2005

I have been running, hiking, and skiing for over 30 years in all seasons and over all kinds of terrain: rugged White Mountains of NH, Idaho, Swiss Alps, cities. I am crazy about gear!

Jacket: Wool nylon blend Ibex Breakaway.
Truly remarkable stuff. Front doesn't even look like wool as the nylon and wool are woven together so the wool is on the inside. Very windproof. The back where the sweat is greatest is a lighter all wool. Beautifully made and can be worn for many, many days without...stink! Performance wool is coming back strong, especially where it is blended with synthetic fibers.

Long underwear: Craft
Have worn Patagonia capilene and Pearl Izumi Xstatic for years but this year trying Craft Scandanvia which I am finding superior as its slightly furry surface seems to wick and dry remarkably fast.

Shoes: Pearl Izumi Vis IQ
Pearl Izumi is new to running shoes (3d season) but their offerings are highly innovative. Uppers are essentially seamless and without all the extra trim and stitching. The material is woven differentially to support where it needs to. and the claim of fewer blisters is true. Great styling with clean lines.
I can't wait to try their 2005 shoes and especially the Seek, their new trail shoe. Pearl Izumi is demonstrating that a newcomer with a clean sheet of paper and a thirst to innovate can differentiate themselves in what is largely a me too, after Nike is done, industry heavily relying on a few sources of production shared by many competitors.

Apple-#1 Brand, Product, and Execution Champ, with some help from FedEx

Why was Apple voted just recently the #1 Global Brand by 2000 marketing professionals? Well we all know about the cool products. Customer satisfaction and strong financial results don't just depend on cool products. Apple learned the hard way that to truly succeed you have to excel in logistics, bold new channel choices (retail-Apple Store), and the "wow- that's cool" factor.

My recent Apple story is a demonstration they are truly firing on all cylinders.

Dec 16th I ordered an iPod mini for my son from the Apple web site. The first wow: they offered free engraving and free shipping. Making a mass produced product personal builds an even stronger bond between customer and brand.
Dec 19th Nathan's iPod shipped from...Shanghai, China via FedEx
Dec 23d iPod arrives in NH. The tracking shows a trip through the Phillipines, Anchorage, Indianapolis, and Boston. A huge wow, I have told friends the story over and over again.

My take: as Xmas drew near there wasn't enough time to ship into distribution for last orders so they were ready with direct from production line to my door in a week...from China. Truly remarkable logistics and coordination via the web. I am sure these last orders were the surprise in Apple's results and very profitable. And, by partnering with FedEx they compressed time to my door dramatically to capture all the remaining sales momentum in the key season.

Finally, when we took a look at the mini fine print on the clip we noted the very clever "Designed in California USA, Assembled in China", a succinct snapshot of current reality.

A farvorite place-Fort Rock Exeter Newfields NH

While more commonly used for mountain biking I enjoy running in these 2 interconnected town forests. Beautiful single track trails complete with sturdy bridges over swamps. I have been able to go for a 2 hour run without seeing a house. Well, that was 2 years ago and now there is some development encroaching. The good thing is that as so many enjoy these "unofficial" trails a bypass trail was cut before any houses were started and much of the land put into conservation. When people know about a place they speak out and compromises are worked out.

The busted spoke site is a good source of basic directions.

A favorites place- Mt A. York ME

Mt. Agamenticus, Maine is a vast, near wilderness area a few miles from the busy beaches of York Maine and Rte 1. Sensational trails for running, walking, snowshoeing and mountain biking. ATV's etc.. are by permit only as I understand it. Land is made up of water reservoir ponds, conservation, and private lands.

A major effort is underway to conserve thousands of acres of this the largest contiguous forest near the ocean in the Northeast and Mid Atlantic.
My mother is heavily involved in this incredible effort

Trails at the summit of Mt. A are well marked with maps available. Busted spoke has a good description of the trails in the immediate area of the summit.

More expansive and wild and in my view better running are the outlying areas of Mt A between the peak and the York River, in the water district lands. Trails in these outlying are not marked but easy to follow. Best bet is to use the following 1956 topo map:

Turn onto 91 at the Ford dealership on Rte 1 in York. I access the trails from the road just before Payneton on the map. Turn on the dirt road at the white sign Wild Iris Farm and park about 400 yards up on the left. Walk up the dirt road and look for the woods road at the top of the hill, turn right and you are on your way. Note that these trails are not marked and it is very easy to get lost. Have fun exploring!

First Posting

Up here in my home office on the Seacoast of NH. Out the window it is a beautiful sunny day and after last week's storms and cold the landscape is brilliantly white. The cardinals are darting in and out of the bushes, bright red against the snow.

I hope this blog will be a window out to the world and into my world.