|Run N Fun – St Paul, Burnsville
If you were to ask most of the guys I run with, they would say this is the only running store to visit. The Burnsville store just opened last year and their St Paul store was in the news due to a robbery. Their staff is extremely knowledgeable and experienced. The St Paul store, which I’ve been to a few times, covers 3 or 4 store fronts and offers quite a range of merchandise. Like most of the other stores they offer a great discount for local running clubs (I know the MDRA and USATF-MN). They have a Facebook group that shares photos, upcoming events, and information. Finally, Run N’ Fun is the choice of most of the local college teams.
|Marathon Sports – Minneapolis
This is probably the running store I’ve been in the most. The MDRA training groups have had special discounted events there. Most recently I won a gift certificate from the MDRA Annual Party. They are known for having a doctor in the store twice a month. They are also located a block from Lake Harriet. I’ve always been impressed with the staff and the products they offer. The last event hosted there included post-run bagels and drinks plus a special discount (larger than the normal MDRA).
|Running Room – Minneapolis, Burnsville, Woodbury, St Paul, Rochester, and Maple Grove
This is the closest store to our house and I’ve been there a few times. They are the most “corporate” of the specialty stores. Running Room is a chain of stores in Minnesota, Iowa, and Canada. I was not overly impressed with their staff the few times I’ve been there. But they have some amazing sales. One thing that sets the Running Room apart is their marketing machine. It helps to have the large corporate backing (i.e. not being family owned) but they have a monthly newsletter and sales.
|Gear – Edina
I’ve never actually been into this store. Some friends of mine really love it and say it is one of the best running stores. Here is their Facebook Fan Page. It is actually very close to Marathon Sports.
|TC Running Company – Eden Prairie
We visited this store one night for a Team USA-Minnesota event. Nothing really stands out to me about that brief experience. They sponsor a team and have an RV that makes appearances at races. Their Athlinks page has some great info.
Last year I purchased a pair of Brooks running shorts with side velcro pockets, but after my gels fell out during a race I became disappointed in their ability to carry nutrition for the long runs. I needed another option for my upcoming marathon. Blaine Moore recommends the Race Ready short. I personally don’t like how the Long Distance (Race Ready LD) shorts look – if you’ve never seen them they basically look like they have a bunch of mesh pockets hanging off your waist on the back – and the others aren’t really different from other shorts. I guess the mesh pockets are a little better than just pinning a bunch of Gu to you shorts as is often done!
So I was looking at all the various options at Marathon Sports after a MDRA training class and they offered 3 or 4 different shorts that had ample room for nutritional products. One of the other runners recommended the Pearl Izumi Go Shorts and compared to the others they looked the most like a regular short.
They offer 2 velcro closed pockets and 2 other pockets on your back and a key pocket built in the seam. His only comment was to make sure you actually tie the drawstring so that your crack doesn’t show while running! A good point. Being all sweaty and dirty I didn’t try them on but bought my normal medium. Oops, when I got home they were a little tight in areas where they shouldn’t be and that was even before I loaded up the pockets – so back I went to purchase a large – which fit wonderfully.
They do have a little different feel than most of my other shorts, the inner liner fits a little snugger than my other shorts and is made of a different fabric. From the product description:
Pearl Izumi has built its reputation on creating the highest performance technical fabrics in the world. On the Go Short Pearl Izumi Light II Ripstop fabric is made with channeled polyester yarns that quickly wick moisture away from your body for optimum fabric performance. The Ultrasensor float liner adds to this high moisture transfer performance, providing needed support while keeping you cool, dry and abrasion free during long, all-terrain runs.
The lightweight Go Shorts feature two Velcro mesh backed pockets, two open, mesh backed pockets, and an internal key pocket so that you can take essentials with you on the run. The shorts feature a straight hem style, elasticized waist, and laser perforated side panels for additional ventilation.
I’ve worn them for 2 long runs now (1 with Gu and 1 without) and they seem to do a pretty good job. They did dry out during my 14 miler after getting wet from hitting wet foliage! I didn’t really notice the Gu packet during the run either. One thing of note is that the key pocket is a little lower than on any of my other shorts. Most shorts have the pocket sewn into the seam – on the Go Shorts it is about a inch lower and actually hangs a little lower than others too. Not a big deal as it still feels comfortable on the run – its just a little more akward trying to dig the key out afterwards!
So far I have really enjoyed the shorts and would recommend them to you if you are looking for a safe way to carry Gu or other nutrition on a long run.
[tags] Product Review, Pearl Izumi, Go Shorts, Running Shorts [/tags]
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I’m pretty simple in my running.
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Thanks for sharing!