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POSTED BY admin Wednesday 11th September 13:59

Xempo Performance Day – Lee Valley Athletics Centre

Our Hype a Runner competition has been running for the last few months and Saturday saw the winners of the competition gather together for the grand prize: a spot at the Xempo Performance Day.



Held at Lee Valley Athletics Centre, there really could have been no better backdrop for a day dedicated to runners learning more about taking their running to the next level. As the elite of British athletics trained on the sun-soaked track outside, the Xempo Performance Day winners gathered, all excited for the day ahead.

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POSTED BY admin Tuesday 26th March 12:49

Out of Africa

It’s no secret to anyone with even the flimsiest knowledge of distance running that the top end of the sport is dominated by African athletes.  Perhaps with a dominance unique amongst all sports.

But is this virtual monopoly of almost every major race good for the health of sport?

On the surface, distance running appears never to have been in better health.  Ironically, participation in road running is at an all time high.  Big 40,000+ races like the Chicago and Berlin marathons sell out in hours.  The London marathon could fill its ballot places ten times over.  Even local races now fill up six months in advance.  A million people will line the streets of London in April as they always do in New York and elsewhere.

But ask yourselves what is it that raises the interest?  Mostly for the participants it is for their own running ambitions or charity fundraising.  For the spectators it is the colour and the carnival, and to support friends and family who are taking part.  Few have even the slightest interest in who wins.  In other words, these races are popular as mass participations events, not as sporting contests.  The TV people are far more interested in the human interest, charity and celebrity angle when there is only an African interest at the sharp end.  They reflect the public perception of the anonymous African presence and swiftly divert their attention elsewhere.

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POSTED BY admin Thursday 14th February 15:08

A mid-pack runner and his cash are soon parted

There are few things that running share in common with the game of golf.  But one of them is the mind-boggling array of gadgets, gizmos, aids and equipment developments that are designed and sold with the promise of helping you improve your performance.  Of course, the thing that sells best of all in golf is length.  Anything, with even the flimsiest scientific data to back it up, that suggests that the golfer might hit the ball a bit further than before, and they’ll be reaching for their wallet quicker than Tiger Woods in a Las Vegas casino.

And so it is with running. As Adidas launches its latest shoe, expensively promoted with the promise that it has a new type of cushioning with more “bounce” which in turn gives you more energy, which in turn makes you run further.  Or faster.  Or whatever.

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POSTED BY admin Friday 16th November 13:54

Death Race v The Running Man

Unless you’re lucky enough to live in the mountains or you happen to live in glorious isolation out in the sticks, there’s a fairly high chance that when you go out running, you have to take your chances with the rest of the motoring and pedestrian traffic.  And with the seemingly contradictory combination of rising fuel prices and gridlocked streets, never has it made more sense to get out on the bike.

But both modes of self-propelled transport bring more hazards than a ballooning holiday with Felix Baumgartner.  Sometimes, it’s like Jason Statham in Death Race taking on Arnie in the Running Man.  Who knows who is going to come out alive at the end?

Perhaps it’s time to update the highway code to reflect the realities of modern life on Britain’s roads.  Here’s a sneak preview of some of the questions that the ministry of transports might like to consider for next year’s theory test.

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POSTED BY admin Tuesday 23rd October 10:48

World Champion. 50k. The hard Way.

Xempo runner Steve Way, has just returned from Italy where he was representing England in the IAU World 50k Trophy.  It turned out rather well for him.  We are extremely proud of his achievement which is not only richly deserved, but incredibly hard earned.  Check out Steve’s training in the run up to the race on his website !!

Below we have reproduced Steve’s race report in his own words.  Enjoy.

IAU World 50k Trophy Final 2012

The first thing I noticed after we had arrived at the hotel on Friday and went for a jog along the course route was the heat and the wind.
It was about midday so the exact time things were going to be getting tough on race day (race start at 10am!) and it seemed a bit of a daunting prospect. I wasn’t that disappointed though as this event was always going to be more about racing than a personal time trial and if I had to forget about the time goals then so be it. Everyone was going to have to deal with the conditions and to be honest if it turned into a endurance battle then it may improve my chances of positioning well considering a number of the guys on paper had better raw speed than me.
Looking at the entry list before hand the competitors who on paper had the raw speed advantage over me were Collen Makaza (ZIM) who was the 2010 50K World Trophy in 2:48 (2:15 marathon PB/63 Half) , my good friend Paul (2:16 Full / 65 Half) and the USA 50k Champ Joe Gray (63 Half). The defending champion from Kenya had not made the start line as he had visa issues apparently.

Anyway, better get on with the race report! Paul and I went for our usual 12min jog 4 hrs before the race and then we all made our way down to the course start at around 9am. The course was a simple out and back route along the prom with the total distance for each “loop” being 6.25km, no opportunity for Paul to get lost on this one ;-)
The start and finish line was around 3-400m up from the westerly turn-around point and here we all were ready to go!

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POSTED BY admin Friday 19th October 11:49

BBC SPOTY…..oh, who cares?

So it’s mid-October, and just as surely as the Argos Christmas ads on the telly begin, and the “seasonal” aisle opens up in your local Tesco, that other tedious annual debate kicks off about two months too early.  Who is going to win BBC Sports Personality of the Year?


The next SPOTY presenter?

This daft obsession with comparing which sporting performance should outrank which other from a different sport has surely become about as relevant in this day and age as Jedward’s latest autobiography.  Like the 17th series of Big Brother, surely it’s time to smother a pillow over it’s head and put this back-slapping shindig out of it’s misery.

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POSTED BY admin Thursday 6th September 10:12

Liar Liar…running shorts on fire

I posted on twitter this week the amusing story of US Vice Presidential nominee, who has attracted widespread scorn and ridicule this week from the running world.  His crime?  He blagged that he’d run a marathon quicker than he actually had. See here

In an interview, he had boasted of how he’d run a marathon twenty years ago in “under three, high twos. I had a two hour and fifty-something.”  As it turns out his real time on inspection was a rather more modest (but still not wholly unimpressive 4:01:25).

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POSTED BY admin Monday 27th August 18:19

The problem that won’t go away

It was sad to read this weekend of the sorry demise of Armstrong.  A man whose career defining moments were on a different planet, and whose achievements have ever since been surrounded by doubters and conspiracy theorists.  Could we really believe that it was possible in the first place?  Even witnessing it on the telly, could we really believe that what we were seeing wasn’t just some elaborate fake to hoodwink us all to the truth?


I wasn’t even born in 1969, but the moon landings still continue to fascinate and provoke debate in equal measure.  I wonder if Neil Armstrong ever got sick of trying to silence the doubters and just ended up saying, “oh whatever, you can believe what you like because I know the truth about what I did”.


What?  Oh, you thought I was talking about Lance?  Well OK, despite the rather contrived comparison the central theme remains.  Drug-fueled success in sport or walking on the moon; some people will always believe the evidence of their own eyes because they trust the story to be true, and they are convinced by the romance of the story behind it. And some will always doubt because despite any concrete evidence, but armed with plenty of circumstantial and a balance of probabilities, the truth just sounds too preposterous to be viable.

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POSTED BY admin Monday 13th August 11:08

Olympics – They think it’s all over. It is now.

So, bad news is that it’s all over.  The worse news is that we might now have to do some work.  It would take even the most miserable cynic not to be inspired by what we’ve witnessed over the past fortnight; I have to confess I was a bit nervous that somehow we’d cock it right up; a scepticism probably fueled by the whole ticketing fiasco. Read post in full…

POSTED BY admin Thursday 26th July 16:19

Xempo – welcome to our blog


This is Dan, the founder of Xempo.  Welcome to our new blog.  From now on we’re going to keep you regularly up to date with news, product reviews, race reports, training advice, opinions and observations and other such stuff, which will hopefully keep you entertained and informed.  Hopefully you’ll find time to comment and contribute.

So to kick off, I want to give you a bit of background to Xempo and how it was that we came about and why I decided to set the brand up in 2011. Read post in full…