After my run at Windsor, I put in an order with Wiggle. Primarily I wanted a Camelbak, as I've been struggling with starting runs feeling thirsty after spending the hour before queuing for the loos. While I was ordering though I picked up a new cap (my old one has gone a bit rusty), and a pair of Ron Hill Aspiration Racer shorts. I love my Harlot Houlihan shorts, but they are meant for cycling really, and I had a ring around my middle where they'd rubbed me raw.
(I may still wear them for the marathon if it's cold enough for long johns though.)
So the order arrived. The shorts looked a lot shorter when they arrived than I expected if I'm honest, but I figured I could work with that if they were comfy. So I took them on an hour-long run. What I discovered fairly quickly was that they ride up, which took them from fairly short to really very short. This meant that on quite a warm day when I was sweating pretty heavily, my thighs were rubbing together. After an hour this was massively uncomfortable. I didn't want to walk any further by the time I stopped.
Me being me, I tweeted my displeasure.
Ron Hill Aspiration shorts are apparently aimed at women whose thighs do not rub when they run. Not me then! #kitfail
I was thoroughly surprised to be tweeted back at by someone at Ron Hill, asking me to email further details of what hadn't worked out with the shorts. I was even more surprised when having done so, they offered to send me a pair of the Aspiration Flex shorts. Now, I want to like Ron Hill stuff, so I figured I'd give it a go. Plus, free shorts. No bad thing. The shorts duly arrived, and I took them out on a one hour run today.
First up, the material these shorts are made from is nice and stretchy. Perhaps a little clingy for a pair of nominally baggy shorts, but soft. I also like the construction of the crotch. They run a single piece of fabric up the inside of the left leg, up and over and down the inside of the right leg - no seams to rub and a construction that mimics my Houlihan shorts. What I do not understand - and maybe someone from Ron Hill's design team can explain - is why they've put pockets in. The fabric stretches, you couldn't put anything in them and you wouldn't want to. More on those in a mo though.
So I wore them on my run today, and Clarkie came too on the bike. She took this photo, about 40-45 minutes in.
This shot shows the two problems I had with this pair of shorts while I was running. Just like the Aspiration Racer shorts, these ride up. The number of times I had to hoik them back down was irritating. The other thing - that thing sticking out to the right - is the pocket. I had to try and put them back in several times on the run. They just kept turning themselves inside out!
Fortunately this run was only an hour, and fortunately the Flex shorts were long enough that I won't be having to wear cycling shorts under my trousers tomorrow like I did with the Racers. Now, it may be that I have a strange gait. I'm fully prepared to admit I've got broader hips than the rest of my build would suggest. It may be that my thighs are bigger than they ought to be. But I do have other pairs of shorts that do not ride up on the run, and those pockets are totally beyond my comprehension.
Will I wear this pair again? Maybe. I'll need to sew up and probably cut out the pockets first. Will I wear the Racers again? Maybe, over the top of a pair of skin tight ones after I've cut out the inbuilt pants. So neither pair will be worn as the person who designed them expected. I should definitely say that I cannot fault their customer service, who really surpassed my expectations over all this.
In happier news, the Camelbak is working out really nicely and the hat is fine. I have some long, long runs coming up, and fingers crossed I do have the kit to handle that. It's just a shame it won't be Ron Hill kit.