Friday, March 15, 2013

Big benefits and buzz kill

Not all sponsorships are created equal. I have been a sponsored member of Team Refuel for a little more than a year and had benefited tremendously.  I've been give cash to support my athletic pursuits, free gear, and free entries into marathons and IRONMAN events.  This has been a fantastic sponsorship and I've been happy to spread the word on chocolate milk, a great recovery drink at a fraction of the cost of most others.  I have just recently received sponsorship from Honey Stinger's The Hive but have yet to realize much benefit.  I get a product discount but would have to order huge quantities to get a deal that is significantly better than what I can get elsewhere on line for their product, once shipping is figured in. But that's it.  I wanted to compete in the trail running and mountain bike event that they hold in Steamboat in August but they provided no benefit at all for its sponsored members.  I would have thought that they could throw in a free t-shirt or perhaps a 10% event discount.  I love their products too but I'm not so impressed with The Hive.

Garmin needs to step it up

I wish I could say that I’ve had an overwhelmingly positive experience with Garmin products, but this has not been the case.  I have an eTrex H which works well but which has a weak anchor for the wrist strap (it broke off when I pulled it out of my pocket and had to climb down into a ravine to retrieve it).  I have a Forerunner 405 which worked well when it worked but had to be replaced 3 times in just over a year.  Since the third replacement was going to cost me a lot of money, I purchased a Forerunner 305 hoping it would be more reliable.  It seemed to be ok but unfortunately the Quick Release wrist strap is a piece of crap and decide to quickly release the watch two weeks after I bought it after I gently brushed snow off of it while on a chairlift. It is gone.  I’ve spent a lot of money on Garmin products and so far one works but is broken, another doesn’t work, and the third is gone because of a poor mounting design.  My wife has a Timex Global Trainer which she got for less but which has longer battery life and is solid as a rock (I’ve had 4 Garmin devices over the same period of time).  I am mad as hell to be out another watch in such a short period of time.  Garmin needs to seriously step up its quality control before I’ll ever purchase another one of their products.