This morning I ran 5K through Central Park with Olympian Ryan Hall wearing the new ASICS DyntaFlyte (which will be available on July 1 – the shoes, not Ryan).
Let me say that again:
This morning I ran 5K through Central Park with Ryan Hall.
Like, the Ryan Hall. You know, the guy who holds the record for the fastest half marathon in North America? Two time Olympian? The guy who recently retired at the ripe old age of 32? Yeah, him!
Ryan was in NYC to help ASICS launch it’s lightest cushioned shoe on the market and I was invited on a short run with him and a group of editors and then to sit in on a presentation to learn more about ASICS’ newest offering.
While the actual run wasn’t much to talk about (a shortened bottom loop of Central Park at a very easy pace), what was cool was spending a little time with Ryan chatting about what he’s doing now. If you’re aware of Ryan, you probably know that he’s a lot beefier than he was when a professional runner. In fact 20 pounds beefier. It’s not like he’s sitting around the house eating bonbons watching his with Sara run all day long. Nope, he’s spending his time in the gym lifting weights.
Crazy, huh? How many runners do you know that lift? He even cracked a joke about how he used to get a sore shoulder from stirring chile. I feel like I’ve had that injury too.
Anyway, what was cool was spending a few minutes chatting with him about what life is like now as compared to when he ran for a living. He and his wife have four recently adopted daughters so we talked parenthood, what lifting workouts are like as compared to running (interestingly, they both take about the same amount of time and and physical exertion) and how to make time to ensure you’ll get a workout in each day.
Ryan just seems like a nice guy, which is really refreshing in this world of over-egoed sports stars.
But it wasn’t just about Ryan this morning.
The ASICS DynaFlyte is a super light (weighing in at 9.5 ounces), neutral shoe that is really responsive. I like to spend a few hours in my kicks before going out for my first run but I didn’t have that opportunity this morning. I was handed a pair a few minutes before we started the run, turns out they didn’t need any breaking in.
If you’re familiar with the ASICS line, these kicks reminded me a lot of the FuzeX that were recently launched. The toe and midsole were cushioned but not mushy at all, so you could get a little road feel from them and the heel felt cupped and stable – good for me as I heel strike.
The shoe was introduced by members of the brand team including Dr. Tsuyoshi Nishiwaki, Executive Officer, Senior General Manager, ASICS Institute of Sport Science in Kobe Japan. He took us through a fair amount of the R&D that went into developing these kicks (which was pretty substantial). What I found fascinating (again, if you’re familiar with the ASICS line and a shoe geek like me) is that they talked about how this shoe was born out of the MetaRun (the limited edition shoe released last winter) using the same FlyteFoam midsole to cushion the blow from the road. According to ASICS, FlyteFoam isn’t a little bit lighter, it’s remarkably 55% lighter than the industry standard.
Needless to say, I’m a fan and will be logging what I hope will be between 300 – 350 miles in these kicks.