I bought my first pair of Inov-8 trail shoes in 2009 while in Cumbria in the UK when I ran in the inaugural Commonwealth Ultra Distance and Mountain Running Championships. I was very much a roadie then who dabbled in a bit of trail running for fun. Little did I know where these shoes would take me!
I bought them out of the back of the legendary 'Pete Bland' running shoe van that was at the location after watching the most intense mountain running race (up and down race) the day following my 100k road race. I bought what all the leading competitors where wearing - the X-Talon 212s. I still have this pair and they are still going strong!
The way these champion fell runners were hurtling themselves down the side of the mountain had to be seen to be believed. I could not quite believe that they could throw away self-preservation by running at breakneck speed down the steep, rocky, muddy, mountainside. This is running without a trail to follow, just you and your wits picking the quickest line down to the bottom!
I soon realised that, yes, there was a huge amount of courage involved, but more so it was the shoes that were allowing the runner to reach a new level and have the confidence and security under foot to do such gnarly manoeuvring.
Since then, the mighty inov-8s have been on my feet in all my major trail running races; short and long; technical or firetrail, the inov-8s have a shoe model for all conditions. I've likened the relationship between shoe and runner to that of a business partnership; one assists the other to perform at their best by performing their own role reliably and consistently. No more was this on show than last year during the extremely muddy and technical Great Ocean Walk 100k where I broke the course record in the X-Talon 190s.
I'm extremely honoured to represent a company that put as much commitment into making quality products as the athletes who represent them do in getting the results. I am really looking forward to travelling to Japan and Europe this year and racing for inov-8. I must thank Sally and Max at barefootinc, the Australian distributors of the brand as this is where it started for both Shona and I.
Here is my team's profile page and here is mine and Shona's