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.”
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.