Inc. magazine on Newton Running

In the business magazine Inc. this week writer Robert Andrew Powell profiles the Boulder, Colo., company Newton Running, a Gear Junkie Top 10 pick in 2007. It’s a nice article (click here: “Keep Running”) with some background on the innovative business and its unlikely trajectory to success. But then I got to page No. 4 where the writer sideswipes the ol’ Gear Junkie here.

The questionable journalism starts in a section of the story where Powell is looking to play the negative angle on Newton. He glorifies the innovators for a few hundred words then segues into his own hesitant experience with the shoes, writing in an ad hoc review that “The Newtons did not make running any easier, as far as I could tell, but they didn’t seem to cause damage, either.”

IncNewton.jpg

A couple sentences later he continues: “I noticed that the Gear Junkie columnist who ranked the Newtons No. 1 in his gear-of-the-year column said the shoes kept him ‘feeling faster’ in the Twin Cities Marathon. And then I saw that his finishing time of four hours and 36 minutes was 46 minutes slower than his time in the same race two years earlier.”

Powell is right that I ran a slow marathon in the Newtons last fall. But he did not phone to ask why. Indeed, the weekend of the marathon I was attempting an endurance feat of sorts, as I raced in (and won) a 12-hour adventure race on Saturday, got a couple hours of sleep, then arose early to run the marathon on Sunday. Blogged on the epic here: http://thegearjunkie.com/12-hour-ar-262-miles

In addition to that oversight, it’s strange logic for Powell to assume or suggest that the shoes I wore for a particular event would affect my time so dramatically. A 46-minute difference should have been a red flag to Powell. Any number of factors might slow you down on a marathon — an injury, the heat or weather one year versus another, your health at the time. But your shoe type causing a 46-minute gap? That’s a stretch.

Anyway, my message to Powell is: Next time call and get the full story straight. Readers, thanks for listening to my rant. Signing off now to go take a training run. . . in my Newtons.

Posted by Roger - 07/31/2008 07:11 AM

Well your “reviews” are generally known as little more than glorified press releases. But it was a over-stepping on Powell’s part to attribute the time diff to the shoes.

Posted by Db - 07/31/2008 09:00 AM

ouch, totally disagree with Roger, and not just because it’s stephen’s blog… he is hardly the writer of fluff in this industry. pick up any outdoors gear mag on the newsstands and THEY’RE the ones regurgitating the PR.

Posted by Kelsey - 07/31/2008 09:41 AM

I would agree with Db. Stephen gives his honest thoughts. I think it more interesting that Powell mention information with out talking to the sources. It would seem good journalism to talk to some one else about what the think about the gear. I know I do this when I am looking at new gear. Also remember what might be good for one person might not work for another.

Stephen how many running shoes do you go through in a year?

Posted by Stephen Regenold - 07/31/2008 10:48 AM

Roger, come on, man. Glorified press releases? That stings.

Anyway, to Kelsey: I go through maybe three pair a year of my primary running shoes. But I am testing new footwear all the time, so many miles are put on shoes I wear only for a week or two.

I’m training now for a 6-hour footrace in mid-Aug. and then Twin Cities Marathon again in October. Promise to do better this year, as I do not have a 12-hour adventure race scheduled for the day prior like last time around.

Posted by Robert (no, not Powell) - 07/31/2008 06:49 PM

I agree with Stephen. It would seem that Powell is not a distance runner (at least not a serious one) to assume the difference in times was due to these shoes. That statement makes him less credible and puts into question his research methods.

Posted by Nordy - 08/01/2008 07:58 PM

Everyone knows those guys over at Inc. are total self-absorbed dicks! Powell is just pissed because you beat his time! It probably took him four hours to find a McDonalds in Manhatten so he could stuff a $.99 McFishwich into his gluttonous oriface.

Rock on with the reviews.

Posted by Kelsey - 08/03/2008 12:48 PM

Robert is right. Although I am not training for my first Marathon, like Powel, I am training for my first 15K trail run and then longer distances. I personally can’t make claims about gear such as Stephen. I have read a lot about different shoes, talked to sales personal, and asked lots of questions to make me knowledgeable about my choices. Stephen gives his honest opinion in his review that is why I read Gear Junkie and not Inc.com.

Posted by Stephen Regenold - 10/07/2008 09:03 AM

Note to Robert Andrew Powell: I ran the marathon this year (in Newtons) in 3 hours, 27 minutes. This was my best personal time to date.

Posted by jpea - 08/18/2009 10:50 AM

wasn’t that also the year that the TC marathon was run in the 90 degree temp range?

Posted by Stephen Regenold - 08/19/2009 10:31 AM

Yes, and it had the highest drop-out rate of any TC Marathon to date.

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