Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Inside the Hoka One One Project Carbon X: World Record Setting 10 x 10 K Race Report and Carbon X Review

Article by Jamie Hershfang

Editor's Note: We are thrilled to bring you Jamie's Carbon X Project insider's look and race report.  Her mixed gender team, made up of retail run store staff from the central part of the US set an unofficial world 10 x 10 K record. Jamie also shares her review of the Carbon X she raced in and now trains in.   

Our multi tester Carbon X Review is here

Jamie's Run Bio: 26 years old. 1:19 half marathon PR. I have run 3 marathons, current PR is 2:49, and training to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials (2:45) will attempt at Grandmas Marathon next month. Typically run 90-100 miles per week and works at Fleet Feet in Chicago.  She trains in the Nike Pegasus Turbo and usually races in the Vaporfly 4%. 

Race Report
On May 4th, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to run in Sacramento, CA as a part of HOKA’s Project Carbon X. I ran on a leg of the 100k relay attempting to break the mixed gender 10x10k world record, and 6 hour barrier, alongside ultramarathon runners attempting to break the individual 100k record. Teams were composed of HOKA athletes, as well as individuals from running retail stores across the country. I was a member of the Central team, competing alongside the East, West, and Coastal, as well as HOKA’s Carbon and X teams. It was a unique opportunity to test out the shoes before they were released.

The race was set up so that each individual ran a 10k loop before passing off the baton to the next runner. The start/finish area was lined with spectators, music, with screens and a live stream of the race.

The course itself was relatively flat, with a few steep underpasses throughout. The race began at 5:50 am, and was approximately 50 degrees at the start. I was the anchor leg of the relay, so I didn’t run until about 11:15, when it read 83 degrees and the sun was directly overhead. It heated up quickly which definitely slowed down the paces, but the ultra runners kept their form. 

My team ran the full 100k relay in 5:54:31, enough to break the world record by 7 minutes and was the 3rd team to finish behind Carbon and X, but the first retail team to finish.

Carbon X Review
My initial impressions of the shoe were mixed. We had the opportunity to run in the shoes the day before the race and get a feel for them. I ran an easy hour, finishing up with some quick strides. Putting the shoe on, it definitely felt spacious enough for my wider toe box. As someone who casually wears the Cavu walking around, it definitely felt accommodating. I typically wear a size 8 in running shoes, and found a half size down in HOKA works well, so a 7.5 fit perfectly. Over the past year, I’ve raced in the original Vaporfly 4% as well as the flyknit version . I would definitely compare the fit of the Carbon X to the original Vaporfly. The upper mesh was very breathable but felt secure around the heel and ankle. 

In terms of running in it, my initial thoughts were that it felt just like a lightweight trainer. After an easy hour of running, it wasn’t until I did some quick strides that I could feel the responsiveness of the shoe. It felt springy off the toebox, and felt like I could turnover well. For those who heel strike, they may find the shoes feeling flat and firm. For the mid to forefoot strikers, they may definitely find a love for the Carbon X. 

I continued training in the shoe after I got home from California. I used them for a long run, some 200s, and a tempo workout. I felt like they felt best for the 200s, when I was able to roll off the top of the shoe and feel the effects of the Carbon plate. They felt rather flat over the course of a 20 mile long run, and a little bit too much shoe for my liking for a tempo workout. I believe this is due to the differences in my form over the longer distances and when running fast. I will probably continue to use them as a lightweight trainer, but still prefer the Vaporfly 4% for my racing shoe.

Jamie is not a Hoka sponsored athlete. Her expenses to race  in California were covered by Hoka One One with the Carbon X provided at no charge.

Our multi tester Carbon X Review is here
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