Shoe Review: ASICS Gel-Hyper Speed 3

 I bought this ASICS racing shoes as my “prize” for finishing the 2009 Los Angeles Marathon in May of same year. I think I bought it through On Line/Internet with a cheaper price as it was not available in the running specialty stores in Los Angeles. I did not try to use it for my daily training or made a “break-in” of this racing flat shoes and had to use it immediately in a Marathon Race.

What caught my attention and interest in buying this racing flat was for the reason to have a lightweight racing flat for my road races aside from the fact that I am an ASICS “die-hard and loyalist”. The shoes was advertised to have a weight of 6.9 ounces! The running shoes that I used in the 2009 Los Angeles Marathon was my one-year old ASICS Gel-DS-Trainer which I have retired after the said marathon. As compared with the DS-Trainer, the Hyper Speed 3 is much, much lighter.

It was advertised also as the official racing flats used by US Marathon Runners Ryan Hall and Deena Castor in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Although these runners did not win any medals in the Olympic Marathon Race, the shoes was still popular because of its lightweight but well-cushioned sole due to the presence of gel inserts which “disperse shock on foot impact on the ground and during toe-off”. It also has “Magic Sole” which minimizes weight and maximizes breathability because of the presence of well-placed “holes” on the sole. Even the open mesh upper is made of lightweight material which provides comfort to the feet and additional breathability.

ASICS Gel-Hyper Speed 3

 The first time that I used this shoes was during the 2009 MILO Marathon Elimination which was held last July 5, 2009. I did a poor performance on this race due to lack of training and preparation after the 2009 Los Angeles Marathon. The shoes was really light and versatile for marathon races as I did not have any problems or pains after the marathon race. The shoe appears to have a narrow width but as soon as I wear them, I can still feel more room for my feet. But in order to prevent my upper midfoot from sliding from side to side, I have to tighten the narrow & thin shoestrings for me to feel a “tight & well-snugged” fit with my feet and the shoes.

Since then, I’ve been using this lightweight racing flat in my next marathon races except when I participated in the 2009 Pasig River Marathon in November where I used an Adidas Adizero Racing Flat. I think this sudden change in racing shoes had also contributed to my peroneus injury at the middle of the said marathon race. In my other marathon races, this shoes helped me a lot to register better finish times in the 2009 MILO Marathon Finals and the 2nd SMART Subic International Marathon.

Lately, I used this shoes in my latest Condura Marathon held last February of this year. So far, I used this racing flats in only four (4) marathon races which is contrary to some of the reviews that I’ve read that say that this racing flat is more recommended to be used up to half-marathon distance races. But with my experience, this racing flat is perfect for the marathon distance. However, this kind of shoes should not be used in trail running as small rocks and dirt might enter through the “holes” of its “Magic Sole”.

Since I only use this shoes in my Marathon Races, I think I have yet to breach the 200-Km usage of this racing flat. After browsing the Website of ASICS, I’ve seen the new model of this shoes, which is the Hyper Speed 4. I guess, I have to wait for my Hyper Speed 3 to reach the 600-700-Km mileage before I will be able to replace it with the latest model.

I don’t recommend this racing flats to those who are using cushioned/stability shoes as these are neutral shoes. I don’t also recommend this shoes to those heavyweight runners, moreso, with the “newbies” and those who have not yet experienced their first full marathon. This racing flats need strong feet and strong legs for them to provide the runner’s a decent finish time in any road race.

33rd MILO Finals Pictures & Results

Thanks to Ben Chan of Photovendo for the following pictures:

Up to Km 30 Point
Up to Km 30 Point
Instead of my usual bandana, I was using a “Buff” bandana on my head to absorb my sweat from my head and keep my eyes & face from the dripping sweat. As I passed the Water Stations, I usually grab two cups of water—one cup for drinking and another cup for dousing water on my head. The wet/damp “Buff” bandana also served as my head “coolant” most especially when the sun’s heat brought higher temperature during the race.
The race bib’s size was too big that I had to fold it on both ends to make it better looking with the MILO singlet. I had been consistently pinning my race bib on my breast and never been using some “race belts” and either pinning my race bib on my running shorts. Why? That’s is the proper way I know that even world elite athletes in international competitions would do to display their race numbers.
The MILO singlet was nice and I did not experience any “chafing” on my arms, nipples, or any part of my upper torso. You must have noticed the “ice candy” plastic bag filled with water on the side pocket of my running shorts! These are my “hydration containers” in marathon races! Yes, my running shorts from The North Face is now my favorite running shorts for the marathon distance because it has side and back pockets. One side pocket can accommodate two pieces of Sports Gel packets. I usually carry 4 Sports Gel packets during marathon races and this running shorts fits well with my needs. As for the back pockets, I used them as my “thrash bag”. Each side pocket could also accommodate at least two “ice candy” bags filled with water. I started using this TNF running shorts during the 2009 Los Angeles Marathon and I used it again during the MILO Marathon Eliminations.
On My Last Turn Before The Finish Line
On My Last Turn Before The Finish Line
I was using ASICS-Gel Hyper Speed 3 Racing Flat shoes with Drymax Socks and I found comfort and blister-free with the shoes and socks!
Last 20 Meters To The Finish Line
Last 20 Meters To The Finish Line
On my last 8K as the sun’s heat was too much to bear, I adjusted the way I wore the “Buff” bandana in order to cover my head and at the same time my nape. I usually tie around my wrist the blue-colored string given in one of the turn-around points instead of wearing it as a necklace! Lastly, the “ONE” White Wrist Band is always there on my right wrist as my “symbol” for my part or  contribution in the worldwide advocacy to “make poverty a history”.

Thanks to the Finish Line of Coach Rio De La Cruz & Vince Mendoza for the Timing Chip & for the fast publication of  the following RunPix Results:

Gun Time: 4:03:55 hours

Net Time:  4:03:43 hours

Finisher #92 out of 125 Finishers. I wonder what happened to the other 112 runner-qualifiers for the Final Race! They must have DNFed!

Finisher #82 out of 112 Finishers in the Male Category.

Average Pace: 5:47 minutes per kilometer or 9:18 minutes per mile.

Time of Finish & Average Pace:

From 0K to 9.8K—-57:32 minutes @ 5:52 minutes per kilometer

From 9.8K to 25K—-1:30:08 hours @ 5:56 minutes per kilometer

From 25K to 35K—-54:51 minutes @ 5:29 minutes per kilometer

From 35K to Finish—41:12 minutes @ 5:44 minutes per kilometer

So far, so good, this was my 4th Marathon Race for the year. Not bad for a 57-year old Bald Runner!

See you on the next Marathon Race!!!