Tuesday morning, I looked at my calendar and decided to do something different this week – not ignore the recurring Tuesday appointment for the 19th Street City Sports Run Club that’s been there since August. I had done a marathon training run 2 days earlier with the Georgetown City Sports store and had a good time, so I decided to make this week’s Tuesday run club a priority.
It turns out October is Saucony month at the 19th Street City Sports Run Club, so runners were welcome to try out some select Saucony gear. I had never been at an event where you were allowed to try out a pair of sneakers for more than 1 minute on a treadmill, so I decided to give a new pair of sneakers a shot. Available to try were the Mirage 3, Kinvara 4, Ride 6, and another one that I can’t remember…I might be wrong on the Ride 6 too. I’ll pay better attention next time.
Although none of the sneakers were great alternatives to my Mizuno Wave Inspire 9’s, I figured I’d try something lighter and more suited for speed over short distances. These types of sneakers generally don’t have the longevity of trainers, so unless you know they’re a good fit, it’s a bit of a risk to purchase. I selected the Mirage 3, which is over an ounce lighter than my Mizunos and had more support than the Kinvara.
Mirage 3 vs. Inspire 9
Weight: 8.7oz vs. 10 oz.
Heel/Toe Drop: 4mm vs. 12mm
We took off on a 4 mile run from City Sports by the Kennedy Center, along the Mount Vernon Trail and back through Georgetown. It was surprisingly warm/humid despite the sun setting during our run.
Pre-run photo: http://instagram.com/p/e8hNsbEXK7/
He said to do a #findyourstrong pose, so naturally I stayed kneeling and went for the Tebow.
For being my first run club event, I had a really good time. It was a more social crowd than last Sunday’s marathon training with the Georgetown City Sports, so that was nice. It was also really nice to not need to use my iPod and instead carry conversations with new people. I completely intend on running with the group again and would recommend others in the DMV check their local City Sports for a run club.
That said, I’m not sure that I’ll be running with them again anytime soon. Toward the end of the run, I twisted my ankle on a crosswalk curb cut and although it felt fine immediately following the injury, it got increasingly bad when I stopped running. My immediate thought – it looks and feels like a fracture.
I started drafting this post intending on covering both the run club and my injury, but it became way too long, so look for the full story of my injury coming up very soon.
Although I did sustain a pretty serious injury while wearing the Saucony Mirage 3, it’s important to note that it really wasn’t the fault of the sneaker. If anything, it probably wasn’t a good choice on my part to experiment with a new sneaker in unfamiliar terrain, during marathon training. Injury aside (because the same thing could have happened in the Inspire 9s), I was very impressed with the Mirage 3.
The biggest thing that I noticed about the Mirage 3 was the feeling of added cushioning under the ball of the foot and the forward roll of the sneaker toward the toes. This motion made it very easy to avoid settling into the heel of the sneaker. Also, in keeping my foot strike predominantly on the ball of my foot, it was easy to pick up speed quickly and efficiently. I never thought that I could run in a pair of sneakers and judge them as “faster” than another pair, but the Mirage 3 definitely felt fast.
I’m not sure that I would wear these as a regular trainer because the materials seemed less sturdy than my Mizuno Inspire 9. After 450 miles, my Inspire 9’s were a mess – I had torn through some of the soft mesh, compressed the foam and cracked parts of the synthetic inlays. The Mirage 3’s didn’t feel like they could take the same beating that I put my last trainers. I’m not sure that they’re really designed for trainer use anyway.
For shorter races on flat surfaces, I would definitely consider the Saucony Mirage 3 because of the responsiveness and general speed that I felt they possessed. I’d probably reserve these for races less than or equal to 8 miles simply because they aren’t a perfect match for my feet. It’s difficult to find a fast/light race-day sneaker that has ample support and stability. Although my experience is pretty limited, the Mirage 3 seems like a great option.
Look for my injury post coming soon.