Wednesday, June 12, 2013

June 12th 2013---New Ultimate Direction Gear (Scott Jurek Collection) In Stock

Now in-store we have some of the most functional lightest gear from Ultimate Direction to help keep you moving in the right direction. Our store employee, Cole has been all over the new Scott Jurek Collection wearing the gear in-store, testing it for the customers of Binghamton. Below, is his detailed review of his many findings on the Scott Jurek Collection from Ultimate Direction.

Ultimate Direction Jurek Grip Bottle
For most runners in the summertime, lakes, streams, park water fountains, sprinkler systems, neighbor's pools become your oasis while logging those long summer miles in the hot summer sun. Famous Ultra-marathoner, Scott Jurek decided that why always have a bottle that is too heavy and creates hand cramps over the long haul.  Why not have the most minimal water-bottle strap on the market that will never loosen over the countless miles.   
***Enter, The Grip; it is a bottle that should encourage proper hydration benefits for those running out in the summertime without all of the added weight seen from other hydration hand-helds. This 20 oz bottle weights in at 3.25 ounces with a full bottle included which is incredibly light weight.  The kicker valve allows for a NO-Spill experience and the handheld strap is made of the same fly-stretch film material as their packs which is super light and durable. Having a Velcro strap, ensures a customizable fit without the hassle of the bottle loosening while out on the run. For $19.95, the price is right for the bottle which is one of the cheaper fancy handheld bottles out there on the market!
My thoughts: This bottle is great for the beginning trail runner, ultra-marathoner, and even the runner just looking to stay fit and hydrated out in the summer heat.  When having less weight, this will be the perfect bottle for those not used to a handheld water bottle but will be pleasantly surprised at how nice it feels in-hand and how functional it can be.  For those serious trail, marathon and ultra-running athletes, pairing the Grip bottle with the Essential fuel belt is the wining combination for long training efforts and for peak performances. 
***Remember, constant hydration leads to optimal performance! One of the best lessons I have learned from my training and racing is that efficient hydration is critical to optimal results and quicker recovery from runs.  I almost always run with a handheld in weather 60's and above and always when near 70 and above.  The more you sweat, the more you need in terms of replenishment and having a bottle can sometimes mean the difference in averting heat stroke or a trip to the hospital. This summer, be safe out there and remember to hydrate!
The Ultimate Direction Scott Jurek Essential Fuel Belt!
Initial Thoughts:  I am a skinny kid and my waist just does not fit any kind of belt system well. I always have to crank the draw-cord all the way to the far-side where the remaining piece of the strap is smacking me in the face for most of a run. This is why I do not like waistbelts.  This belt, is A WINNER!!!!!  You have to BUY ONE!!!! I was so excited to see one of these belts and truly was impressed with the whole package.  The name for the belt fits perfectly, "Essential". This belt not only is essential but it can easily fit all of the running essentials without all of the crazy weight of most belts.  You can hold more than ever expected. You can hold a cell phone, car keys, salt caps, multiple gels,  multiple GU Chomps, all in a light-weight belt. It is really amazing how much you can hold!  This belt can be used for summer training, winter, spring and fall. Whatever the time of year, the Essential will work wonders.  
Breakdown: 1 water resistant pocket--Great for the car keys or the cell phone, and credit card
1 Stretch Mesh Pocket-Great for gels, chomps, all energy food and even some cash.
1 Pill-Pocket--Great for Salt Caps or Nuun Tablets
Combined with the Jurek Grip, you have the lightest weight products imaginable and an insane amount of carrying capacity.
Overall Thoughts: The Essential is what the name dictates, its essential.  Used for training, running errands, marathons and longer races that may require you to carry nutrition products such as gels or chomps. This belt is the BEST OUT THERE!!! For $29.95 this belt is worth every single penny!!!!!! Check it out! At 2oz this belt weighs next to nothing!

Ultimate Direction Scott Jurek Endure Belt
Thoughts: These belts follow the same styling as the Essential belt but have deeper pockets for a higher carrying capacity and two 10 oz bottles that provide hydration when needed. Not to mention a ribstop cord for holding a light wind-shell jacket or an extra shirt.  The main pocket can hold energy food to more substantial items such as a camping pot for cooking.  It retails at $39.95 and weighs in at 8.5 oz with full bottles.  For those that like hydration on the waist, this belt is so light but has so much function to it!

The Overall Scott Jurek Collection from Ultimate Direction: Closing Thoughts~ The lightest collection available for all your hydration and nutrition needs. Ultimate Direction did such a great job. For all your summer needs as you train for you fall half or full marathon, come check out this new gear, it will surely surprise you the way it has surprised me.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Employee Profile--Cole Crosby---The man behind the Products at Confluence!!!

      (Check out my Blog:  

Or with a Google Search----Type in "Cresting the Summit"

Who is Cole Crosby???

Well, my journey begins with me growing up near Princeton University up in Princeton, New Jersey.  I ran cross country and track for South Brunswick High School where I began my love for running and competing. In school, I was a solid runner but by no means the best in the state.  The majority of my high school career I had times in the 16-17 minute range.  From New Jersey, I made the switch to college running at the University of Oklahoma as a walk-on. From there, my training really began to take hold.  Under Coach Martin Smith, a legend in his own right, I learned how to train and how to perform, and to recover from hard efforts. But most importantly, I learned how to listen. I learned how to understand the language my body was giving me and how to make myself more efficient and successful.  I went from running 26 minute 8ks to 24 minutes. I went from struggling in a 10k to the 29's.  I also fostered a love for the trails, for hills, for obstacles in running that most would look at attempting such feats as CRAZY though I found posed the proper challenge. 

After college, I had the chance to run for OK Runner, a running store in Norman, OK with a great group of guys.  We ran in the 100 degree summers and even in the windy cold winter days.  I competed in both local road races and began my trail career.  I had many great accolades from the Oklahoma Ultra Runner of the Year with the 24 the Hard Way trail victory, a course record in my first 50k at the White Rock 50k in the mountains of Arkansas, to numerous Oklahoma trail races.  I finished my Oklahoma running career with a 2nd place finish at the Oklahoma City Marathon in 2012 with a 2:36 effort in horrid conditions.  I also ran the Mount Washington Road Race while placing 31st with a fully-cramped calf in the first 3 miles of the race that I endured for the remaining 4.7 miles up.  I also ran up the World's Highest Hill in Poteau, OK at 1,999 feet and inches only one inch shy of 2,000ft the elevation needed for being classified as a mountain in a super fast 37 minute effort.

Where am I headed??????????????

Me and my lovely girlfriend, Ashlee (a true Okie) loaded up our cars, our two cats, a  U-Haul and drove the distance to Cortland, NY where we currently reside.  I am in graduate school for the Park and Recreation department looking into park planning, design, and management of our most beloved outdoor facilities while Ashlee is finishing her BA in Political Science.  I have had the chance to run in Upstate New York and I love it. From the woods to the technical trails, waterfalls in Ithaca, to snowshoeing in winter (made the USA team for 2013--4th place finish). I started as a transplant but have really enjoyed my running here in the Empire State. I love the cooler weather on average, the steep uphills and downhills I crave in training and just the terrain of the towns here in Upstate.  I started working for Ian and the Finger Lakes Running Company in January of 2013 and have loved every second of it. From the reps, to the customers, I love doing my very best to inspire and to educate the local community on something that I love to do. 

My running has taken shape here in New York with top-level sponsors from Karhu/Craft, Dion Snowshoes, Fits Socks, Acidotic Racing, and Mammut outdoor sports (my signed title sponsor).  I can now say I am a professional trail/mountain runner which has been a long time coming for me.

(Winner of A-OK 25k)

****I love the trails, woods, snow, hills, and challenges*******

Where I am going now????????

I hope to make as many National Teams as possible to represent my country in international competition. I hope I can continue to inspire people to get out there and to enjoy the outdoors. I will continue to race trail, ultra, mountain and snowshoe events in New York and potentially around the country. I do road races and marathons every now and then but more for training purposes. I do not know where Ashlee and myself will end up settling down, but for now, New York is home, and we are going to enjoy every moment of it. 

At Confluence---I am your man! I try to read up on what all the companies in running are doing in terms of products so if you ever have any specific questions I would love to sit down and talk with you.  I love to talk about trails and If you have any questions regarding hydration, fueling, trail shoes, Hokas, and trails in Binghamton, or just are curious about my experiences I would love to chat with you.  46 South Washington Street, Binghamton. Oh, and I have a real passion for our socks which I spend my down-time reading up on and can talk an ear off.
Some Sweet Photos::::
(Northeast Qualifier at Highland Forest--1st place in 50 minutes)
Some more pictures of my running journey
Racing Acidotic at Loon Mountain (Climbs of 30-40% grade ski slope!)
(Backwoods 5k in 14:51--Oklahoma Road Race)

(The Final slope of Mount Washington from 800ft above sea level to 6,286 ft)
(Team OK Runner helping me out at the OKC Marathon to my 2:36 finish-I am on Far Left with hat)

White Rock 50k--Winner in Inov8s