Hoka OneOne v. Coast 2 Kosci PT. 1: Brett Saxon

Hoka OneOne Bondi B by Melbourne ultra legend and race director Brett Saxon

Well where to start?

Is it clever to have never worn a shoe then take it new out of the box and not just for a training 10km run but a race of 240km.
Madness comes to mind really, but it is well documented that ultra runners posess a certain amount of crazy genes, I’m not talking torn up levis here.

240km was the goal, preparation had been minimal, with so many events to organise, ultimately 170km became my finishline or not finishline, depending on your view.

I tried the Hoka OneOne, sockless at the briefing night, first time I had seen them and even then it was in the dark in the carpark, dodgy, it must have looked that way.
They felt so light and spongy, so were easy to to take a pair, though the thought of the mechanical changes they create were of some concern.
So much so my crew refused to let me wear them from the start. But I did get back to camp and put socks on and give them a test drive, they felt even better and the fit was awesome.
I felt bouncy and floaty, just wanted to run really, but had to get sorted for the day tomorrow.

Race morning, my trusty Mizuno’s came out, these too were brand new out of the box, but I have worn this brand for the past 5 years and know I can take a new pair and run 100km in them with no issues.
5:30am left the beach, feeling all excited to be amongst a great group of ultra runners on what has to be the greatest run in Australia.

With no crew for 25km I just enjoyed the rolling hills, I was feeling fantastic, everything was ticking along nicely. Even faster then I expected, especially given the lack of preperation of late.
By 30-40km I was starting to have some tightness in the back, hamstring and calf, which all seemed to radiate around the knee causing some discomfort.
By 50km it was getting a bit to much to grin and bear, so next crew point I changed shoes.
Yep, out came the Hoka One One’s, a bit of a massage and new shoes and I was feeling much better, the road felt soft and springy and I felt a new man, well kind of.

I managed the knee and other leg problems over the next 50-100km and all the time my feet were feeling great, at no stage did I feel my feet were going to cause me any trouble,
The right leg though was a constant battle, I am pretty sure this stems from previous injuries and some poor management, maybe some better pyhsio would have sorted the problem out or at least got me a bit further

Ultimately I ran 100km in the Hoka OneOne’s and felt they got me much further then I would have otherwsie done in other shoes, would things have been different if I started in them, who knows.

I’m excited to have my Hoka OneOne’s, only one week on and I am almost ready to hit the trail for a light 5km run, just to test the knee, it feels better but I don’t want to over do it to soon
The Hoka OneOne’s will be on my feet for the next run, my experience suggests they are a shoe that suits me well, providing comfort and a real spring in your step.
I do worry that on technical trails they may not offer the stability and support and rolling an ankle is a real risk, so I will be treading carefully if I venture to trails with them.
I expect with some track races coming up the Hoka One One’s will get a big work out and I look forward to achieving a PB in the 6hr and 24hr events

One Response to Hoka OneOne v. Coast 2 Kosci PT. 1: Brett Saxon

  1. Whippet says:

    Nice one Brett. Shame you didn’t get to see that summit yet again but nothing that is truly worth it comes without a struggle. I think much of your struggle came before the race in getting enough time on your feet. The Hokas are definitely the shoe of choice for a big road run or even track. I would have like to try them on a road marathon if the ticker hadn’t gone south! I am still keen to try the Combos when they become available as I think they will be my groomed trail shoe of choice. The hill will be there again next year and although you may be a little more weathered by then, you will have more miles under your belt for sure and will no doubt give it your best shot.

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