HOKA’s Beefy Betty


“Training, running and planning properly requires hard and easy days and hard and easy weeks – shoes for each of these type of days help too.”

My old runningdad feet seem to need more care and love than when they were younger. I have in the past few years moved a bit away from more minimal training shoes and more towards cushion for easy runs and long runs. My feet get more tired (and the body) and a grumpy first joint on right foot – take some care now.


In March 2015 I got hold of a pair of HOKA Cliftons to test out. I had seen these thick, well cushioned running shoes and wondered what they were about. I liked the shoe for easy runs and was surprisingly light. The fit was a bit boxy but it was a very different shoe from anything I had run in a long time.

Now a review of the updated version.

HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 3

Think of this shoe as a beefy betty of a shoe that weighs very little. You sit a little higher up and land on a lot of cushioning that is not too mushy or too firm. The shoe is not over responsive nor too clunky. It comes in 4 colour options.



  • Medium (a little boxier than Clayton but snugger than old Clifton)
  • Decent heel fit, good toe room but not boxy
  • Good laces
  • Road (or tame trail, careful as raised off ground)
  • Category: Neutral: Lightweight Training
  • Preferred Ride: Plush (feels like but WELL-padded)


  • 8.60 oz Weight is based on a US size 9 (feels like but alot of shoe)
  • Pretty light for big cushioned shoe


  • Offset: 5 mm
  • Forefoot: 24 mm
  • Heel: 29 mm


  • Ultra-Lightweight No Sew SpeedFrame Construction
  • Early Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry (ok toe-off but liked for easy slow runs)
  • Full-Length Compression Molded EVA Midsole (soft but not too marshmallowy)
  • Full Ground Contact Design



I liked this shoe and it fits and feels better than its predecessor. I would still like it to roll of the toe a bit better – but great for easy runs or slow long runs. It laces up well and does not feel heavy despite taking up some real estate. I liked the fit of the heel cup and seems wide enough for my foot and put no pressure on my sometimes cranky first joint. However if I did lace or pull too tight the upper would get tight on my foot just behind little toe (otherwise roomy). This shoe feels good right outside the box but I like it even better after a few runs and seems to have a nicer feel once I have worked it in 1-2 runs.

For those making a move from something really light or minimal i would try the Clayton first.

The Clifton 3 retails for around $130 – go check it out on the HOKA site.

Big thanks to my HOKA friends Tyler and Jen!

Check out my other HOKA reviews:

I am training for a fall marathon and thinking the HOKA Tracer might make a great race shoe —let you know!

See you out on the roads running friends – catch me on Twitter at @NoelPaine


Taking some pressure off


“Life and running are about change but sometimes you don’t see it coming till it hits you.”

So what the heck does that mean right? Well it means this skinny 40-year old newer running dad is realizing that he is still having trouble transitioning to dad life. And I need to make changes.

Dad life

Maybe I am not the most natural dad. Love my daughter but the change to my new life has been hard for me- and hard for my wife to deal with. I admit I am a bit selfish – and giving up time and things i like to do (sometimes my passions) is hard.

I also have a tough time unwinding and relaxing – I am task-oriented and like taking some down time when things are done and put away. This is not always possible with a wee one. My life feels pretty full and often when I want to relax I cannot —-and the little alarm clock (daughter) goes off at 6:45am every morning (regardless of when I got to bed).



I am running and doing a fair amount compared to some people. Where I live and my work environment allows me to run commute and most lunch hours – to slip out for a run. I am lucky. Running on the weekends is tougher and I have made Saturdays family day (no running if required)(stroller run if I run).

I had plans to work with Dylan Wykes (Canada’s second fastest marathoner ever)(running dad too) with his Mile2Marathon program – but had to back down. Right now – for now I need to be more flexible and ease the pressures, stresses and rigidity in my life.

I still plan to go to a quiet, fun Vermont marathon in October with a friend (for his first) but am not getting stressed out.


So for now – the training is go by feel and when I can. The blogging will be less scheduled and when I can and I am going to try and get full-time into dad mode and balance out my life. I want the running shoes to stay next to the little baby-sized sandals by the door!

Love to hear from other running dads!

Thanks to all  my supporters and sponsors for sticking along with me for the running dad adventure!

*Upcoming blog review on the HOKA Clifton! (when time permits)

Run on my running friends!

Catch me on Twitter at @NoelPaine

Holy HOKA!


“There are shoes for everyone but it is not always easy to find the ones for your feet!”

I have been running for almost 30-years….say that a lot don’t I …sorry. Sometimes it just seems odd that I have been running that long. Over the years I have run in almost every brand of running shoe and tried many models and many different running shoe technologies and philosophies.



Okay – first off- I really like this shoes. I am not saying this just to appease the friendly HOKA guy who gave me a deal on the shoes. I have really enjoyed my first pair of this newer HOKA running shoe model – the Clayton.

FIT: Snug fit at the midfoot-reinforced with midsole support that creeps up pre-arch, good heel cup with good toe room and comfortable footbed. Fits much snugger and feels better than last year’s HOKA Clifton (my review). I also like the laces that stay laced up snugly and rarely have to bend my old creaky running dad body down to retie.

FEEL: Uber light HOKA feel (considering beefy look) and very cushioned feel without being marshmallowy or feeling thick and too solid. The shoe is also quite responsive despite being a thicker-soled shoe and you roll off the toe quite easily. Not sure how light it could be? It weighs 7.3 oz, the Adidas ADIZERO ADIOS 3  weighs 8.1 and my favourite race shoes the New Balance RC1400 weighs 7.2oz!!

Specs on the Clayton (7.3oz for a size 9)

  • Offset: 4 mm
  • Forefoot: 20 mm
  • Heel: 24 mm


Lightweight, No-Sew TPU Lattice Provides Forefoot Support
Lightweight, Form-Fitting Heel Construction
Microfiber Reinforced Midfoot Support
Early Stage Meta-Rocker
PRO2LITE +10 Midsole for a Unique Balance of PROpulsion and PROtection
Forefoot Matrix Technology provides dynamic cushioning and flexibility at a breathtakingly light weight.
Oversize Active Foot Frame for Maximum Tuned Stability
Full RMAT® Outsole for High-Rebound Cushioning and Traction



I really like this shoe for my marathon training and for my current 40-year old feet. The toe box gives room for my cranky stiff first joint on right foot and space for my feet to move around (not as much as Altra shoes I have tried)(shaped like feet) and good cushion for my feet that seem to demand a wee bit more love these days.

I was expecting this to just be a long run that was uber cushioned but a bit responsive. I have now worn this shoe for easy runs, tempo runs and done a solid track workout and loved it.

I did find there was a few (2-3days) of getting used to the bigger shoe (but was comfortable from the get go) feel but once I had a few runs in—loved. I have always considered myself a New Balance boy but my feet are really the ones who decide – because if my feet are not happy, I don not run and I am not happy!

*You can also check out my review of the HOKA trail shoes (Speedgoat and Challenger ATR) here.

**Watch for a coming review soon of the updated and I hear–snugger-fitting new HOKA Clifton.

Have fun out there my running friends!

Me on Twitter @NoelPaine

Week 3 on Dylan Wykes plan


“I have a tendency to aim for the clouds when still only at 500ft but if you don’t try – you don’t know.”

I am almost done week three of my marathon plan for an October marathon in Vermont. I am training under the guidance of Canada’s second fastest marathoner ever (Dylan Wykes) and his coaching program (Mile2marathon).


This will not be a novel-length update but just a snapshot as to how things are going. I will be giving you blog-sized chew-able bits to read as my training progresses. You will get to see how things go – and learn more about Dylan, those he trains and what it is like to be trained from afar by an elite marathoner.

How it is going

After the Ottawa marathon I took a couple weeks of mental and physical rest. Then it was time to slowly work back into running again. The first week of Dylan’s plan was solid miles with a tempo workout. The workout was tough as leading up to Ottawa I had really just focused on miles and getting strong. I also started looking at how I would fit in workouts and try and balance my life as a newer running dad. Thirdly I am committed to working on my mental game – for the race and to be a more positive and confident person in general. Lots to do!


Today I am a little tired after my first real track workout in a while (I could of done on the road also). On a hot and humid Ottawa evening I hot a local cinder track and pounded out a 6-mile workout 6X800m (at 3:36km pace)+800 (at 4:00km pace). It was supposed to be continuous but I had to take 5-10 second breaks between 800s to grab a sip of something. With warmup and cooldown worked out to a 16km run. I was a soggy, tired mess after. But I got it done.

CmttaGcWAAEMa5k CmttbS4WcAAuzcm CmttgzRXEAArnfO


Week 1     103km

Week 2    107km

Weight (I am 6’2″)

Week 1       156

Week 2       154

V02 Max (as per Polar M400)

Week 1        68

So things are going well. Have a 5km race on the weekend and will see what these wobbly old running dad legs can do. Soon I hope to have a chat with Dylan and ask him why he decided to coach and what he gets from it and make touch base with some of those folks he coaches! Stay tuned for more updates.

See you out there running friends!

Catch me on Twitter @NoelPaine







Run selfies from a different angle


“Going for a run is often an adventure and many of us want to capture and share.”

XSHOT Sport Pole

This is the fun part. Ever taken your cell along with you and taken a few selfie run pics? Well how about a sturdy, sport extendable selfie stick that can hold your cell phone or attach to a camera.


The Xshot is easy to extend once you get the hang of it (twist-locking) and has a clip for a cell phone and a screw in attachment for GoPro cameras. It is light, waterproof and has a strap for when you are on the move.

About it

  • Twist-locking Shaft with Quick Release
  • Salt-Water Resistant Hard Anodized Aluminum Shaft (ATSM B117-11)
  • Anodized Aluminum Thumbscrew
  • Anodized Aluminum Lock Ring Fixtures & Tether Point
  • Reinforced Polycarbonate GoPro®
  • Extra Sports Camera Tether Points for Added Security
  • Adjustable Paracord Lanyard
  • Water Drainage Port for Easy Cleaning
  • Textured Non-Slip Grip
  • 1/4” Accessory Mount on Bottom of Handle
  • Works with Any Camera type or Phone
  • Weight: 7oz / 200g
  • Closed: 11.75in / 30cm
  • Open: 39.25” / 100cm
  • Max Weight: 2.2lbs / 1kg


I took the pole out for a run and it felt light enough not to worry about carrying but could more foresee it being stuffed into a trail running backpack and pulled out for cool still or video shots. I don’t have a GoPro so tested with cell phone – it worked until I broke inards of the contraption that holds cell under tension. Grrrr. But was working fine until then!

Solid selfie pole for sports enthusiasts but take it easy on cell attachment! XShot GoPro Pole is $54.99 online.

Have fun out there running friends!

Catch me on Twitter at @NoelPaine

Interview with a running writer



Two blogs about running books in one week – insanity! But when I had the chance to talk with my friend and Canadian runner JP (Jean Paul Bedard) about his new book – I jumped. I love running and I love writing – and promoting both.


Jean-Paul Bédard is an author, advocate, elite endurance athlete, and was named one of the “50 Most Influential Canadians” by Huffington Post. Jean-Paul was awarded the 2015 “Golden Shoe Award” for being named “Canadian Runner of the Year”. As a Brooks sponsored athlete and veteran of over 130 marathons and ultra marathons, Jean-Paul represented Canada in the prestigious Comrades Marathon in South Africa, a grueling 90km race through mountainous terrain.


Jean-Paul turned to long distance running to help him battle his addiction and mental health issues. In 2013, Jean-Paul disclosed to family and friends that he is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and rape. Since that time, he has become an international advocate for other survivors of sexual violence. In 2014, Jean-Paul ran the iconic Boston Marathon twice in the same day in a highly publicized campaign. In the fall of 2015, Jean-Paul ran the Toronto Waterfront Marathon three times in the same day to demonstrate the resiliency of survivors of trauma.

Jean-Paul is also a featured contributor to Huffington Post, a columnist with iRun Magazine, and his book Running Into Yourself will be released in the spring of 2016. You can read more about Jean-Paul’s incredible journey of resiliency by following his popular blog Breathe Through This, which has over 2 million reader/subscribers. (Info taken from JP’s website).

The Canadian running community is small – a few years back I profiled JP for Canadian Running magazine (see blog piece) and have been a fan and supporter ever since. I have watched JP run his amazing ultra runs for his cause and watched as he worked on his book project.

I got the chance to ask JP about his new book.


What drove you to write this book?

“I decided to write the book primarily as a form of catharsis for a lot of the turmoil that I was working through.  It was going to be a book about how running has helped me heal, and find myself in a better place in my life.”

“The book started off as a an article I wrote for Huffington Post about how running was instrumental in helping me get clean and sober.  I was contacted by a publisher out of New York who was interested in me making the article into a book.  After some negotiations, I signed a contract to write that book, but it became quickly apparent in the process that I didn’t really want to write ‘that book’… there was something pulling me towards a broader scope.”

“I worked on an outline for the book, and as I sat down to write the first two chapters, I put a call out on the social media about whether not “running has helped you through difficult times in your life”, and I asked people to send me their thoughts on this. Within 24 hours, my inbox was flooded with stories from people all around the world, and that’s when I decided the book that needed to be written was how running has helped all of us through difficult times, how it’s made us dig deeper than we ever thought we would ever need to, more importantly, how it has connected us to a broader community of fearless people.”

“At that point, I began putting out more pointed questions to people on social media, and I asked them to contact me if they were interested in getting involved in this project.  The stories that were coming in were incredible in there bare honesty, and more importantly even though some of the subject matter was incredibly difficult, all of the stories ended on such a positive and inspirational note. It was at this point that I thought I would ask some of my contacts among the elite runners to see if they would be interested in contributing their thoughts to this book as well. Not surprisingly their stories were no different from the everyday runner, and as a result, I’ve included the stories from many elites in this book as well.” 


What do you hope people will take away from reading your book?

“As the weeks went by, and I completed each of the chapters, I would sit down with my wife in the evening and read to her what I had written, and the stories that I had woven in from other runners around the world.”   

“These nights were some of the most beautiful nights of our life together, and every time we sat together reading this book, we would both well-up with emotions, but at the end of it, we would always have an incredible sense of optimism, and a deep respect for the tenacity and beauty of the human spirit.” 

“I guess what I would really like people to take away from this book is the belief that deep within all of us is an incredible wellspring of resilience, it’s something that many of us have never had the need to tap into, but it is something that is there for us when we need it most.  But I think one of the most pricing things to come out of this book is that it is definitely not a book about running. The sport is simply the palate on which all of these beautiful stories are portrayed.  I’m positive that everyone who sits down to read this will see themselves within the trials, the hopes, and the dreams unfolding within these pages.”

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

“That’s a great question, and the answer is somewhat unexpected.  I had written this book about how running unearths resilience inside of us, but I knew there needed to be a chapter in this book about “What happens when we can’t run? “… When I sent the call out on social media for stories about how people have been sidelined by injury, illness, and life circumstances, I was expecting to be flooded by depressing, “poor me” soul destroying accounts.  It was a chapter I knew needed to be included, but one that definitely was not something I was looking forward to. And guess what?  It turned out to be one of the most powerful chapters in the book, and the stories included in that chapter are some of the most uplifting and inspiring stories you’ll ever read.”

What is your next writing or running adventure?

“Well next up for me is a Quadruple Toronto Waterfront Marathon… That’s 168.8 km in one day.  I’ll be doing it again to raise awareness for survivors of childhood sexual abuse, and as a way of introducing something that I started earlier this spring called “JP’s Team”.   With the help of some very close friends in the running community, I’ve put together a group of runners from around the country who have rallied behind me to support this cause, and along the way, it has grown into over 100 people who consider one another their second family.” 

“In terms of writing, I’ve already started on my next book, which will be a broader investigation of how resilience plays out in the lives of some very inspiring people not only in Canada but from around the world. I’ve begun to interview the 30 people who will be included in this book, and believe me, the lessons that I hope people take away from the second book will be things that will definitely change the trajectory of many lives.” 

I have yet to get my hands on JP’s book but it will be on its ways soon! Hold tight and a book review will be added to this blog piece soon!

If you want to get ahead of the game and can’t wait – click here (Amazon) and get the book.

Jean-Paul’s website. On Twitter: @runjprun

Keep on running my friends and see you out there!

A full serving of running reading


“Sometimes a runner needs to fuel the mind and not just the body.”

I love running and writing (not that great at either lol) but know I read well! Books were always something I escaped to as a youngster and I still find books a way to unwind and go somewhere else (in my mind).  Books can entertain, inspire, inform, make you laugh and nourish your soul – or so I think.

Here is a running dad review of three running books – le dernier c’est une livre Francais.


The Power of One Step – Kellie McNaabb

This is a very personal journey written in almost journal format. It is the very personal writings and thoughts of the author as she struggles with life, boyfriends and the goal of training and completing an Ironman triathlon.

Kellie has just gone through a heart-breaking divorce and has decided to go on a personal journey – one that involves being fitter and completing something that would intimidate most people (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run).


The writing is not the writing of a polished professional writer – but the simply, down to earth writing makes you understand it is Kellie who is talking to you. I like this book and was a simple read and kept me turning the pages to see how things played out. Some guys may not be as interested – but I read anything and enjoyed.

About the Author: Kellie was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. Kellie has been a French teacher for over 20 years working in both Saskatchewan and Ontario.  She lives in Barrie, Ontario, Canada.

I myself have been divorced, I too have struggled with relationships and despite being a guy – I enjoyed this story. Life and running have their ups and downs – and often make interesting stories.

Thumbs up on this one – light, fun read.

Wintertickle Press (Feb. 25 2016)

254 pages

Author’s website here. Twitter: @powerofonestep

Buy the book here.



The Ultra Mindset – Travis Macy

Some of us are mentally tough – others not so much. I have always been one who likes to run and train but often have struggled mentally. I was intrigued when I saw a book by ultra runner/endurance athlete Travis Macy.

When the personally signed book (Thanks Travis) arrived – I dug in. Mental training is even a focus now as I train with Mile2Marathon (Dylan Wykes) for a fall marathon. So I was interested.

Travis Macy has summited peaks in the French Alps, rappelled into vast limestone caves in China, and ran through parched deserts in Utah. He has won one of the ultra-distance event called the Leadman, a high-altitude series of super-long-distance races, culminating with a 100-mile mountain biking race and a 100-mile trail run.

Travis is mentally tough, it is clear. His secret is what he calls the “Ultra Mindset,” -principles for daily life. The book is co-authored with award-winning running writer and journalist John Hanc. The book blends personal  and race experiences  as he shares his mental strategy for running and for life.


Finisher of over 120 ultra endurance events in 17 countries, Travis Macy is a speaker, author, coach, and professional endurance athlete. He holds the record for Leadman, an epic endurance event consisting of a trail running marathon, 50-mile mountain bike race, Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race, 10k road run, and Leadville 100 Run, all above 10,200′ in the Rocky Mountains. Travis lives with his wife and two young children (a fellow running dad) in the mountains around Evergreen, Colorado.  His sponsors include HOKA ONE ONE, injinji, Ulimate Direction, AYUP Lights, Vespa, Native Eyewear, and Northern Lites Snowshoes.

This is a solid read and a great addition to any running library. Always neat to peer into the working of someone who pushes past limits many of us can only imagine. This book is also a good read for me as I struggle often mentally in life and running. As a new running dad – I am finding things tough….for me its like an ultra I have been thrown into.

So anyway – go check out this book!

His racing results here (if you want to see in detail what he has run).

288 pages

Da Capo Lifelong Books (April 14 2015)

Author’s website here. Twitter: @TravisMacy

Buy the book here.



Marathoniens de l’extreme

“Une voyage de 1000 km commence toujours par un pas.” – Tao Tseu

This book review is of a book written in French – hence I will continue in my second languague.

Oui je suis une anglophone, mais je habite auQuébec et a une épouse Francophone – et je suis capable de lire en peu dans mon deuxieme langue. Donc une critique de livre de course Francais! J’ai rencontré les deux coureurs et auteurs sur Twitter et ils me ont envoyé leur livre.


After doing a few marathons I have progressed to doing a few trail ultras and have really enjoyed them. I love reading about other people dpoing crazy ultra adventures – so loved getting hold of this book.

Ceci est un livre sur deux coureurs qui ont surmonté des événements personnels , mentaux et physiques dans leur vie et trouvé quelque chose dans la course qui les a aidé. Le livre vous emmène en mots et en images sur les 5 aventures en cours d’exécution ( Feu , Métal , l’ eau , bois et terre ). Ces essais ont lieu partout dans le monde.

Il est amusant de lire , mais aussi instructif car il passe par ce que les deux faire pour la formation, la nutrition et comment d’éviter les blessures.

Great read if you can read French!

Au sujet des auteurs cliquez ici.

Site web cliquez ici. Twitter: @M_delextreme

Commander ici.


Okay you running weirdos! Vous coureurs fou! See you out there!


Catch me on Twitter @NoelPaine