• Garmin Announce Sponsorship Of Five Professional Cycling Teams

    Garmin Cycling Team Sponsorship

    Garmin have announced they will be sponsoring five professional cycling teams for the 2016 season, including three World Tour teams and two mountain biking teams.

    Garmin continue to sponsor Cannondale Pro Cycling and Movistar Team, and for the first year will sponsor Team Lampre-Merida. Garmin also support the mountain biking teams Trek Factory Racing and LUNA Pro Team.

    “We are extremely excited to continue strong involvement in professional cycling with our support of these five teams,” said Jon Cassat, Garmin vice president of communications. “We have long been a leader of cycling technology and we are proud to provide our cutting edge products for training and race day as teams Cannondale, Movistar, Lampre-Merida, Trek Factory Racing and LUNA Pro race throughout the season.”

    All the teams ride with one of the Garmin Edge cycling computers and selected teams use various additional Garmin fitness products including the Garmin Vector pedal-based power meter, Garmin Varia Vision cycling awareness products, the vívosmart HR activity tracker and the Garmin Index smart scale.

    “We are excited to continue our long-standing partnership and friendship with Garmin,” said Matt Johnson, Slipstream Sports president. “They have been part of the foundation of this team since its inception. Both parties benefit: the technical feedback from our athletes further fuels Garmin’s leadership position in the market, and their constant innovation allows us the best technical equipment."

    “The Vectors are great for understanding and improving pedaling mechanics and diagnosing muscle imbalances,” said Alex Howes, Cannondale Pro Cycling rider. “Being able to see pedaling balance in real time is extraordinarily valuable.”

    “I find the Garmin Edge 520 incredibly reliable as a training tool and during racing it gives me an amazing amount of important information that can honestly change how I race the race,” said Rory Sutherland, Movistar Team rider.

    “We could not have a better cooperation for our team than the one with Garmin, which will help us to improve and support the activity of our athletes,” said Brent Copeland, Team Lampre-Merida team manager. “It is very interesting to point out that the supply from Garmin will cover different areas: the monitoring and the data collection during races and trainings thanks to the GPS cycling computers, the safety thanks to the Varia Bike Radar, the health area thanks to the Index Smart scale and the instruments vívosmart HR, the logistic thanks to the GPS navigation devices. The relevance of the Milano-Sanremo was appropriate for the starting partnership with Garmin and we’re sure that together we’ll achieve interesting results.”

    The Garmin fitness segment develops technologies to enhance and promote healthy and active lifestyles. Whether users are runners, cyclists, swimmers, multi-sport athletes, or simply looking to stay active throughout the day, there is a product that can help them reach their health and fitness goals.

    Read our Garmin product reviews 

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Garmin Introduces The Vivofit 4 Activity Tracker

    Garmin vivofit 4 fitness tracker smart watch

    Garmin have announced the vívofit 4, a daily activity tracker with an incredible 1+ year battery life – no charging necessary – and a sunlight-readable, always-on colour display. Designed for 24/7 wearability, the vívofit 4 is swim- and shower-safe and features a sleek, comfortable band. The vívofit 4 is ready to go right out of the box, and can be paired with a smartphone for additional features. Easy to set up and simple to operate, all that’s left is to put it on and go.

    “An activity tracker is only as effective as how often you wear it, and this is where the vívofit 4 really shines – you can set it and forget it,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales. “It’s the ideal device for customers who want something reliable that they don’t need to hassle with or take off to recharge.”

    Right out of the box, the vívofit 4 starts tracking steps and encourages users to stay active with a colored move bar that fills up when a user has been stationary for too long. It also assigns daily step goals based on current activity levels which automatically adjust to the user, gradually nudging them toward a healthier, more active lifestyle.

    For those customers looking for more than just basic activity tracking, the vívofit 4 can be paired with a smartphone, adding even more functionality and options, such as tracking sleep, intensity minutes and more. Forget to start or stop a timed activity? Thanks to Move IQ, the vívofit 4 is able to detect changes in a user’s movement and automatically capture and classify activities such as walking, running, biking, swimming and using an elliptical. Users can use the vívofit 4 as their everyday watch, complete with a countdown timer, stopwatch and multiple alarms. A weather widget gives a quick, illustrated look at the day’s weather. The vívofit 4 even includes Find My Phone for those who need a little extra help keeping track of their smartphone.

    Through the Garmin Connect app, users can customise the vívofit 4 with various watch faces, colour themes and personalised text, such as an emergency contact or motivational phrase. Interchangeable accessory bands (sold separately) make it easy to switch up colours and styles to match any mood or outfit.

    Within the newly redesigned Garmin Connect, a free online community, it is easier than ever to get an at-a-glance look at important stats like steps and sleep. Users can filter and customise their data so that they are only seeing what is most relevant. Users can connect with friends and family to motivate one another, join challenges, engage in friendly competitions and more. And speaking of competitions, vívofit 4 users with children who own vívofit jr. 2 devices can compete against one another using the Toe-to-ToeTM timed step competition feature to determine who is clearing the table that night. The vívofit 4 will periodically sync with Garmin Connect throughout the day.

    The vívofit 4 is available in White (S/M), Limegreen Speckled (S/M) and Black (S/M and L) for a suggested retail price of $79.99 (roughly £60), available on Amazon. Interchangeable accessory bands are available in a Speckled Merlot and Speckled Navy combo pack (S/M) for $29.99 (roughly £22). Accessory bands in Speckled Black (S/M), White (S/M) and Black (S/M and L) are available for individual purchase for a suggested retail price of $19.99 (roughly £15).

    The ever-expanding Garmin fitness segment develops technologies to enhance and promote healthy and active lifestyles. Whether users are runners, cyclists, swimmers, multi-sport athletes, or simply looking to stay active throughout the day, there is a product that can help them reach their health and fitness goals.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Garmin Teams Up With Marvel For Their New Kid's Fitness Tracker

    Garmin Vivofit Junior 2 Marvel Spiderman

    Garmin have announced the vívofit jr. 2 kid’s fitness tracker with Marvel’s Spider-Man themed bands and mobile app. So much more than a fitness device, the vívofit jr. 2 provides kids with an interactive experience where activity unlocks adventure, shaping habits for lifelong health and fitness. In an engaging, comic book-style Spider-Verse app experience, kids will look forward to crushing activity minute goals to unlock new adventures, games, gems and step icons. Enhanced animations make New York City come to life with fun fitness facts integrated into the story to further encourage building healthy habits. With two ultra-durable, etched Marvel Spider-Man designs, vívofit jr. 2 bands are swim-friendly, feature a customisable colour screen, and most important of all, boast a battery life of over a year. 

    “The Spider-Man experience, both the band and the mobile app adventure, lets kids dive into the imaginary Super Hero world through physical activity,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin Vice President of Global Consumer Sales. “With the vívofit jr. 2, kids get to ‘Be the Hero’ on the playground, and are incentivised to keep moving as their activity goals unlock new worlds within the Spider-Verse app experience. We’re excited to add Spider-Man to our lineup of Disney, Avengers and Star Wars bands and app storylines.”

    “With an all-new hit console video game and feature film – it’s a big year for our favourite web-slinging Super Hero,” said Kyle Laughlin, Senior Vice President, Games and Interactive Experiences, Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products. “Marvel’s Spider-Man is a great addition to our successful line of characters and stories that are inspiring kids to get active.”

    The Spider-Man vívofit jr. 2 is brought to life through a corresponding app adventure, which kids explore with the help of their parents. In Web Warriors: A Spider-Man Adventure, kids will unfold new adventures and explore different dimensions of the Spider-Verse. They’ll soar high above the city alongside Spider-Man, fight Vulture with the help of unexpected allies, and track down the Green Goblin once and for all. The more they meet – and exceed – their activity goals, the more of the story they’ll get to see. In addition to uncovering additional adventures with Marvel’s Spider-Man, kids can gain access to fun games and more. To collect gems and get more chances to play games, kids will need to keep logging those active minutes.

    The vívofit jr. 2 is a valuable tool for parents as well and comes with a companion app that acts as a parental personal assistant. From their compatible smart device, parents can view their child’s activity, assign chores, and schedule reminder alerts that show up on their child’s device. Task timers help kids know how much time they have left for each chore. For added incentive, when kids receive and complete a given chore, parents can reward them with virtual coins that can be redeemed for agreed-upon rewards. The app allows for multiple profiles, so parents and siblings with compatible Garmin devices can have their steps listed on the step leaderboard, promoting a healthy and fit lifestyle for the whole family.  

    In addition to tracking steps, sleep and active minutes, kids can also use the vívofit jr. 2 to engage in some friendly competition with their friends and family. Toe-to-Toe step challenges let kids sync with nearby friends (or themselves) for timed step competitions. Parents can also play by downloading the Toe-to-Toe Connect IQ app to a compatible device. New family challenges let users connect with other families and compete in weekly step challenges for extra motivation to move. 

    The vívofit jr. 2 featuring Marvel’s Spider-Man is available for purchase at Garmin.com and has a suggested retail price of £79.99. With vívofit jr. 2, the adventure never ends. By swapping out their band with an accessory band (sold separately, RRP £27.99), kids can open up a whole new world of adventure with Disney Princess, Star Wars, Minnie Mouse, and Avengers band options*.

    The ever-expanding Garmin fitness segment develops technologies to enhance and promote healthy and active lifestyles. Whether users are runners, cyclists, swimmers, multi-sport athletes, or simply looking to stay active throughout the day, there is a Garmin product that can help them reach their health and fitness goals.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Q&A With Rob Pope: The Real Life Forrest Gump

    Rob Pope Real Life Forrest Gump Tom Hanks Running America

    Rob Pope is the real life Forrest Gump. He is the first person ever to run across the United States of America four times in one year and has run over 15,000 miles so far on his journey. I managed to catch up with Rob to ask him about this incredible adventure and the causes for which he is raising money and awareness. 

    How would you describe the moment when you decided to embark on this incredible journey?

    There wasn't one distinct moment when I decided to do the run - it was an idea that developed over a long time. It changed from a single crossing of the USA to multiple when I became more motivated by the desire to make a difference and to do something special for my two charities, the World Wildlife Fund and Peace Direct.

    About 300 people have run across America, so while that's impressive, it isn't unique. However, no-one had done the exact route that Forrest Gump ran (apart from Forrest, obviously.) My aim was to see if it was possible for a mere mortal to achieve and to take people along with me for the ride, even in just a virtual sense.

    I was excited when I started, but I'm not one to get in over my head, so I was pretty calm and just started running. 

    How does this type of ultra running differ from running your average city marathon? How do you hydrate and fuel?

    They're completely different beasts. I'd be more nervous at the start line of a marathon than another trans-continental run. I run a lot slower and with a different, lower vertical oscillation gait and I'm taking photos left, right and centre and I'm happy to chat to passersby. That's what's coolest about America: the people.

    My nutrition was based on the "see-food" diet. See it, eat it. Hot dogs, chocolate, crisps, donuts, fizzy drinks, fast food. There was the occasional bit of oatmeal and I tried to either have a protein shake or a good bit of milk each day to ensure I was getting something other than carbs and fat. I didn't lose any weight on the run and only got food poisoning once, so I was obviously doing something right.

    What keeps you going on your darkest days?

    I just didn't entertain the idea of quitting. I'd have had to have been carried off the road injured or completely penniless. I funded the first three-and-a-half legs myself with life savings that should have gone on a house deposit, after the hoped-for sponsor didn't materialise. Finances were a constant source of stress.

    The weather and finding places to stay and eat were variably involved in busting my chops and the constant threat of an overuse injury was always there - sometimes physically, sometimes mentally. I'm also not a morning person, so waking up in a tent in minus temperatures knowing I have to run 40 miles isn't exactly the greatest. I coped by just telling myself that I had to do it, removing the choice, and once I'd done that it was "easy".

    I'd focus on short and mid term goals, ranging from crossing a state line to getting excited about lunch. I always had the big picture in mind, which was the finish and my fundraising efforts. My charities never stop, and neither do the problems they deal with, so why should I?

    What has been the highlight so far?

    Too many to mention. The start, Crazy Al's bar in Louisiana (A Cajun Cheers), running across Texas at its widest point, my U2 pilgrimage from Joshua Tree National Park to the actual Joshua Tree in Death Valley (where it snowed!) then seeing them at the midpoint of my third leg in Chicago perform the Joshua Tree in full.

    Reaching the oceans: first in Santa Monica surrounded by friends; second at Marshall Point Lighthouse in the mist with a good buddy and me in floods of tears, the third in Bandon, Oregon, becoming the first person to run across the States three times in a year, then becoming the Oregon state 10k champion the next day.

    Heading home for Christmas after reaching the fourth in Beaufort, South Carolina, where a large part of Forrest Gump was filmed...then the end. We all know that was the best marriage proposal ever.

    Rob Pope Forrest Gump running across America USA

    How has the reception been by the people in America? How do locals receive you when you run through their small towns and suburbs?

    People in America have been incredible from start to finish. I can count the number of bad eggs on one hand and I've met thousands of people in total. I would have liked a bit more company running, but hey, maybe it was cooler to do it alone! People along the route have offered me rides to my destination (which I could never accept), bought me dinner, and even put me up for a night or more, in some cases, taking me to and from a stop/start point. I've met so may interesting people and heard stories you'd never believe!

    Do you think Tom Hanks will reach out off the back of this incredible feat? How would you react if he did?

    Unfortunately I didn't get to run with Tom - I'd love to know what he thought of the run - even whether he knew about it!

    Maybe there's still time... I have to admit, I'd love to meet him one day, he seems like a really nice guy and I'd love to share a story or two with him.

    Is it tough running dressed as Forrest Gump? Do the vintage running shoes give you blisters?

    It's tough running 40 miles a day, of course, but I didn't have too many problems with blisters. In the first few weeks, I developed large blisters on the soles of both feet, which took up about a third of the sole, but they soon went and my feet were pretty hardy after that.

    In terms of other injuries, I had tendinitis in both my anterior tibialis and my achilles, tore a quad muscle, had a painful condition called piriformis syndrome, a groin strain which went chronic, and 5 days of food poisoning. Blisters were the least of my worries!

    What was it like running the London marathon as Forrest Gump?

    I've actually run two marathons as Forrest, the Boston marathon and London. I'm going to do Berlin as well - I should just go nuts and do Tokyo, New York and Chicago and become the first Forrest to do the Abbott World Marathon Majors series!

    Running the London and Boston Marathons were amazing experiences and both were very different. Boston was more fun as I just started that jogging and had a beer at mile 11, before I decided to go quickly and got in under three hours. I was flying at the end and probably looked quite a lot like Forrest in his college days.

    London had more pressure as I was trying to break the Guinness World Record for fastest marathon as a film character and I felt that I wasn't really in the kind of shape to do that.

    I managed to pull it off though, with a time of 2:36:24 and afterwards got to meet Mo Farah and Eliud Kipchoge, the winner. The crowds were amazing in both and I reckon only the winners had more cheers than "Forrest" on the way round. I'd recommend it to anyone!

    Guinness World Record Rob Pope film character running marathon Forrest Gump

    Can you describe some of the other life-changing experiences you've had while embarking upon this adventure?

    The whole run was potentially life-changing, but I still think I'm the same person I was when I started. I wanted to make a difference then and I do now, but the wealth of experiences have enriched me somewhat. I learnt about how kind people can be if you manage to engage with them, how we should break down the barriers that keep us apart.

    For example, I was frequently told not to go to certain areas as they are dangerous, or had surprise expressed when I met someone in one of these areas. We're all just people and it's the belief that some areas are full of good people and some with bad people that is the most dangerous thing in society today, along with the associated wealth gap. I saw some terribly poor areas within a mile of huge gated communities full of castle-sized houses. I mean, that can't be right, can it?

    Not that this changed me,per se, as I like to hope I was like this before, but it certainly affirmed my belief that if you WANT to help, you can. When we were in Arkansas, we encountered a starving stray dog who was super friendly. After all local houses said they didn't know whose dog it was and after being told it would probably get shot to put it out of its misery, my girlfriend and I took her in and named her Hope, after the town we found her in.

    With help from the local community and veterinary hospital we got her to a local animal sanctuary from where she was eventually re-homed to Massachusetts, where she still lives now. It's so easy to turn away from a problem, but so rewarding to get stuck into one. Don't look away next time!

    What's next for you?

    Well, being a dad to my new daughter and getting married are my two main priorities now, but running-wise, Berlin marathon is on the cards for September, after competing in the Red Bull Quicksand event. I have a few other VERY cool things up my sleeve too, but you'll just have to stay tuned for that.

    You can do that by following me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by searching @runroblarun and by visiting my website Going The Distance Run where you can also donate to my two amazing charities - the WWF and Peace Direct.

    Please do - I'm so close to my fundraising target!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Wimbledon Tennis Championships

    Wimbledon finals tennis championships

    Wimbledon is a globally recognised tennis tournament held in London, England and attracts celebrities and sports fans alike to watch world-class athletes battle for the title of Wimbledon Tennis Champion.

    What date is Wimbledon 2018?

    The annual tennis championships held at Wimbledon will run from Monday 2nd July 2018 until Sunday 15th July 2018. 

    The tennis championship at Wimbledon is one of four international Grand Slam tournaments, the other three being the Australian Open, the French Open, and the US Open.

    The Australian Open was held from 15th January to 28th January 2018, the French Open took place 27th May to 10th June and the US Open is the last to take place chronologically, being held 27th August to 11th September. 

    Wimbledon location

    The Wimbledon tennis tournament is held at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, a district of south west London in England, UK. The courts are all grass and played mostly outdoors, although some of the courts have roofs which can be activated in the case of bad weather. Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam tennis event still held on grass courts.

    The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club is a private members' club and was founded in the summer of 1868 when the then-popular game of croquet was at its peak. The game of lawn tennis had only been introduced in England a year earlier and a single lawn of the club was set aside for this new game. 

    Ironically, the first ever winner of Wimbledon, Spencer Gore, is quoted as saying, "lawn tennis will never rank among our great games." Oh how wrong he was, as the annual tennis championship is now watched by nearly 7 million people around the world.

    The nickname SW19 is often applied to this event as this is the postcode (area code) associated with the geographic location of Wimbledon within London. 

    Roger Federer Wimbledon Tennis Championships Grand Slam

    Wimbledon winners

    As is the case every year, Serena Williams is the one to watch in the ladies' matches. Serena and her sister Venus are two of the most famous female sportspeople in the world and are amazing role models for women around the world in this hugely male-dominated industry. Serena won her first major tennis championship in 1999 at the age of 19 and has gone on to win a record-breaking 23 Grand Slam titles over the course of her career.

    Her sister Venus has achieved 7 Grand Slam titles and has redefined the sport of tennis with her strength, determination, and pure grit. 

    Among the men, the top players are Swiss Roger Federer, Serbian Novak Djokovic, and Brit Andy Murray. Roger Federer is thought to be the highest earning tennis player thanks to his elusive sponsorship deals with Rolex, Credit Suisse, Moet & Chandon, as well as a new £230m deal with Uniqlo clothing, setting his net worth at roughly £343.5m.

    Why do players wear white at Wimbledon?

    Wimbledon is renowned for its strict rules and traditions. As an historically British event, it is always attended by the Royal family and it has a famously strict dress code for players.

    All players at Wimbledon's tennis tournament are required to wear all-white or at least almost all-white sports clothing. This dates back to when the Victorians believed white to look cleaner when the wearer is sweaty. It was particularly applied to women, as it was deemed unacceptable for a woman to be seen perspiring. 

    Players are allowed a single trim of colour on their clothing and are allowed a small amount of branding from pre-approved sponsors. 

    Novak Djokovic Tennis Player Wimbledon SW19

    How much is Wimbledon prize money?

    The total prize pot for Wimbledon 2018 has increased and it is announced to stand at £34 million.

    The men's and women's champions each win £2.25 million, an increase from £2.2 million last year.

    The Gentlemen’s Doubles and Ladies’ Doubles will meanwhile win £450k, an increase from £400k in 2017 and £350k the year before.

    The Mixed Doubles champions stand to earn £110k, an increase on the £100k handed out to the 2015, 2016 and 2017 winners.

    The History Of Wimbledon

    The Championships, Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world standing at 141 years old having started in 1877. The first ever Wimbledon event had only one game - the Gentleman's singles. It is now host to four junior and four invitation competitions alongside five main contests. 

    In 1967, this famous tennis tournament made history by being the first broadcast to ever be televised in colour. 

    Feeling inspired?

    Shop Sundried's women's tennis vest

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    Posted by Alexandra Parren