Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Golden Gate Park and UD Blaze Plus

Golden Gate Park and UD Blaze Plus

All last year I ran with the UD Blaze Plus belt, along with either one or two handhelds depending on the length of the run. I was always satisfied, but often wished that the pockets on the Blaze were a tad bit bigger/roomier. The belt contains a nice size pocket on the back, and then a smaller one built into the belt itself. The back pocket can carry a camera and a couple gels, while the side pocket can carry a couple gels or a bar. I ran two ultras and a mountain trail marathon - as well as several big days in the mountains - wearing the Blaze Plus belt and was always happy. However, like I said above, I always found myself wishing that the pockets were a tad bigger so I could go a bit longer. I was not worried about the water (it holds 20oz) because I carry some water purifier tablets, just the ability to carry fuel. So, this year I've been looking for something like the Blaze Plus but with bigger pockets. I tried the Nathan Elite 2V Plus recently, and although I liked it on my recent slow run up at Elk Meadow, I knew it was not the solution - especially for races.

Therefore, today I want out with the Blaze Plus again to see how it stacked up to the Nathan. With the Nathan you don't have to carry a handheld, while with the Blaze I need to carry at least one handheld. After some fun running along the amazing trails of Golden Gate State Park, the Blaze with one handheld is superior in my mind to the Nathan. The Blaze is much, much lighter. You hardly know it is there. To overcome the limited pockets, I've started to carry some gels in my running shorts, along with making some modifications to my handheld. As a result, I was able to carry plenty of fuel, 42oz of water, a camera, and a light windbreaker/rain jacket using the Blaze and one handheld. The two belts are fundamentally different in their approach, but until I find something else, I think I'll continue to use the Blaze for races and long runs, only resorting to the Nathan for really long days (6+ hours) where you need lots and lots of fuel. For me, the Blaze works because:
  • It is very light and is hardly noticeable around the waist
  • Form fitting, doesn't ride up, and seems to breathe well
  • Has enough pocket space for races or medium long days

I've been looking at the new Jurek Endure, as it seems to be a modified Blaze with hopefully slightly bigger pockets. If so, then I think it might be the winner. I'll have to pick one up when they are released.
 Endless meadows to run through...
 Still a few snow bridges on creek crossings....
 Classic rocky trail...
This is "Dude's Fishing Hole"...

No comments:

Post a Comment