Karkonosze Winter Ultramarathon – cold, snowy and windy running challenge in the heart of Polish mountains. 300 runners compete on 53km long route in the most beautiful winter scenery. Winter mountain conditions with numerous steep uphills and deep snow are perfect environment to test running poles.
This competition was the first one where I had chance to try my new MountainKing Trail Blaze ultralight poles. I was a little bit nervous how it goes, had no time to test them before.
For sure they are extra light, after attaching to my running vest I almost forgot that they are still with me, had to check from time to time if they are still there. First time I started using them after 15km, on one of steeper ascents in deep snow. Took them out of my backpack with one easy move and… got stuck for a moment trying to put them together. I blame new and not used before parts because after all had to stop and focus to put the pole together (sections were very tight and didn’t want to fit each other and securing velcro is not easy to use in gloves). That was kind of annoying but after that everything was only better.
After assembling the poles were almost perfect. Nice, comfortable grip (however could be a little bit longer), really low weight and bright color made them perfect companion for winter run. I was a little bit concerned that trekking baskets that I was to avoid getting stuck too deep in snow may be too small but it appeared that they do their job pretty well. When not in use they are easy to carry so there was no need to pack them back until the end of the run.
Can’t wait to test my Trail Blazes in a next ultra-run, hopefully it will be Bieg Rzeźnika at the end of May.
by Kuba Zwoliński
Pictures: http://sportowezary.pl/, Rafał Szewczyk, http://www.mountainking.co.uk/