Find here a summary of digests previously sent by email to Zafiri subscribers, sequenced in reverse chronological order. Digests are the sole “newsletter” type of update sent by email, issued once every two months. They offer an abridged version of what’s being going on, demonstrating the scope of Zafiri in a succinct format.
December 17th, 2021
We finally made it to Vienna, chasing down Eliud Kipchoge’s sub-2 marathon coup before the year’s close. Sheffield pairs the symphonies of the Habsburgs with the Steel of Industrial England. With a national park starting within the city limits, Sheffield is deserving of its Outdoor City moniker.
Some UK travel and a visit to Germany opened city guide updates guides for Munich and Edinburgh where superior hotels have opened under the Locke Living brand. Hope Street Hotel in Liverpool have completed their spa and gym, while extensions in Somerset continue to broaden Bruton’s offering (we’re back there at the end of January for the next Hauser & Wirth opening).
Circular design from adidas appeared in a landmark show at The Design Museum off Kensington High Street, London – a visual reminder that linear design has reaching the end of the road, also indicting of General Motors’ Alfred P. Sloan and titans of a previous era.
July 16th, 2021
Most will have received one dose of their vaccine by now. We’ve doubled-down – running, cycling and swimming options in 40 cities are now covered on Zafiri – and introduced group discounts for businesses (plug: share with HR).
The latest addition is Melbourne, profiling one of the world’s most athletic towns. As for Trips, Bruton and Manchesterare scheduled for UK-based subscribers. Other city and weekend trip combinations:
- Santa Monica / DTLA / Hollywood (Palm Springs)
- San Francisco (Santa Cruz)
- Manhattan / Brooklyn (Catskill Collective)
- London (Suffolk)
- Munich (Bad Kohlgrub)
Elsewhere, adidas had a bumper Run for the Oceans campaign in May with over five million partipants clocking a total of 60,000km in a day. Tracksmith have also been active, opening an enchanting outpost in Beacon, 90 minutes by train from Grand Central.
February 20th, 2021
We’ve matched the new foundations in Washington by fastening down a cornerstone of the South-West – San Diego City Guide is now live for subscribers.
75 miles south of San Francisco is another new Pacific waypoint with training notes for Santa Cruz added to a review of Hotel Paradox, from Marriott’s respectable Autograph Collection. The entire West Coast is now covered from Vancouver to Cabo, with a T-junction created if shoot east along Interstate 10 to Palm Springs, Phoenix and Marfa.
A Liverpool trip between lockdowns provided room for considering endurance and revival in one the UK’s foremost legacy cities. Other industry is found in Kenya via Enda, a running shoe mostly made in the country.
Joe’s environmental efforts in D.C. may tilt the environmental agenda. Near to Palm Springs in Southern California, problems caused by toxic dust from the disappearing Salton Sea are being fixed – read Palm Springs’ Desert Sun overview. In broadening access to outdoors and increasing buy-in for nature in urban settings, Flock Together is increasing participation from POC in London.
November 21st, 2020
20 years after the capital of New South Wales held the first Olympic triathlon, we published our Sydney City Guide. Given that NSW is relatively unhindered by coronavirus right now, its lidos, coastal runs and nearby national parks are especially enviable. We clamped down the Pacific Plate to the north with the Tokyo City Guide – more Olympic milestones to look forward to.
For those in England waiting for the end of Lockdown 2.0, look to At the Chapel in Bruton, Somerset. The village is renowned for being one of Ernest Hemingway’s writing places, a reputation that’s now being eclipsed thanks to art and ecology investments.
In June, we checked into a webinar that addressed diversity in triathlon, also profiling a campaign to distance inner city oil drilling from residents in Los Angeles – learn about District 15. There’s hope that the new adminstation in D.C. protects public lands in Wyoming – the Red Desert included.
Since races are off and parkrun is on hold, make an effort to check into your local facilities when allowed (hint: search for your city guide and copy + paste the Directory section into your task management app). And if you’re looking for a post-COVID race strategy, “What Motivates Champions Part 2” from MX Endurance might provide some ideas.
May 29th, 2020
Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama spent two decades locked down in Lisbon between voyages to India. 500 years later, the Lisbon City Guide is now live, matched by another mid-millennium story in the shape of the Florence City Guide. Balance renaissance with current day – an eco hotel in Cape Town and a pioneering road cycling itinerary from Pyonyang, North Korea.
No doubt restricted travel will have you thinking about what training is on your own doorstep. If your neighbourhood isn’t covered by the 40+ towns in our city guides or hotel reviews, send me an email to see if I have some notes. If you are more liberally cloistered in a rural setting, set routes according to four compass directions, strapping on your goggles if bordered by open water.
Still though, set a horizon for yourself by doing research on next trips. Have a search through Zafiri’s 700 posts for inspiration, including:
- cycling in the Catskills
- a run up the aerial tramway in Palm Springs
- open water swimming in Brighton
We’ll also be using this period to keep an eye on environmental projects by reviewing one per month. Right now dam builders are tinkering in the Balkans, completing contentious projects while inspectors remain homebound.
On accounting matters: the Zafiri Subscription to unlock city guides has been simplified and set to £10 per year. Let’s see if it can be useful to consolidate or catalyse your training as we enter the twenties.
December 31st, 2019
In the final moments of the decade, we’re floating back to altitude with a Mexico City Guide to route outdoor gyms (below), and more effectively navigate NAFTA (Cabo covered). A more thoroughbred triathlon city is addressed in another city guide – welcome Zurich.
Latest property reviews include the new Whitworth Locke in Manchester, also perhaps the best hotel gym we’ve seen. On England’s south coast in Brighton, the creative Artist Residence is a short sprint from a prime open water swimming spot. A third hotel would have been a favourite for both Montagues and Capulets, Cinque Rooms in fair Verona.
Stepping beyond facilities and infrastructure for athletics: the concern for environmental issues is higher than ever. In fisheries, Patagonia’s ARTIFISHAL documentary raises the alarming health and habitat implications of eating farmed salmon and trout. In responsible apparel, look to a legacy post “Responsible Apparel Consumption for Athletes.”
April 12th, 2019
As fashionable crowds descend on Lombardy to recline on designer sofas, we’ve gathered together the on-trend athletic facilities in our new Milan City Guide. Things are less refined in South Africa where a combination of infrastructure, altitude and competition made the Johannesburg City Guide a joy to write – enough to justify its reputation as a town for endurance athletes.
At the end of 2018, I spent my own brief moment reclined and strapped into a massage table in Manhattan, the outcome being a documented assisted stretch experience. In other posts, a recent trip to D.C. allowed for a diversion to nearby Baltimore, a legacy town that is going through urban renewal sufficient for Joie de Vivre Hotels to open Hotel Revival. Other items from the winter included a consideration of shoes for the season ahead, and so a moment to review a year running with the adidas Adizero Adios.
Plans to establish city guides for Indo-Australian and Pacific Plates are afoot. Never hesitate to get in touch if you’re exploring beyond the collection of 24 city guides and need recommendations.
January 3rd, 2019
October 6th, 2018
July 19th, 2018
Three more city guides have published over the past two months, documenting the essentials for endurance athletes visiting Amsterdam, Houston and Singapore, so signalling our first city guide for Asia. Amsterdam’s hospitality highlight arrives in the form of a series of boathouses recently converted into tiny hotels, while Singapore and Houston share victories in building infrastructure for athletes surrounded by humidity and urbanism.
New hotel reviews provide entry training notes for Pittsburgh and Berlin, while a guide to napping in New York bolts onto the existing Manhattan guide. A summary of dynamic running crews in Portland, London and New York serves as a useful primer to a new era for athletic clubs and improved standards.
May 9th, 2018
We’re now in May, and the West Coast of the U.S. has been won. New city guides are out for Portland, Seattle, Hollywood and Downtown Los Angeles. Let me know if you want guides for any European cities published soon – a balancing act is due.
I’ve just returned from a Trip cycling with Catskill Collective in Upstate New York. Fabulous riding and there’s an idea to return to their cabin for the second weekend of October – message me if this is of interest. In Europe, another Trip will be taking place 21st to 23rd September out of a vegan hotel near to Munich, coinciding with Oktoberfest for those who want to combine Bavarian countryside with beer.
On the business front, I’ve switched the subscription over to an annual £25, and monthly £3, for city guides only. Trips will continue to happen and be broadcasted by email, but they aren’t formally part of the subscription.
A note to the check out the hotels section of the website where far-flung properties in West Texas, the Namibian desert and south coast of England have been reviewed in the past three months, with training notes added for good measure.
March 13th, 2018
By now there’s a good chance you’re thinking about the upcoming racing season. The Beast from the East has moved from British shores, California’s snowpack was recently doubled in a single storm and the mercury in New York is expected to rise through the mid-40s this week.
New City Guides finally pay attention to Manhattan, as well as the more tempered Vancouver. Further east, a city guide for Cape Town is the first to chart southerly latitudes, balanced on the other side of the equator by the more frigid Edinburgh.
On the horizon are a pair of Trips, one for Londoners interested in knocking around the Chilterns (23rd – 25th March), and a second for New York cyclists in a converted cabin in the Catskills, taking place over the first weekend of May.
January 1st, 2018
This email includes the first digest in a bimonthly cycle of updates from Zafiri. Here goes:
In November and December, initial City Guides were published for six locations.
These first versions included the discretionary split of Brooklyn from its islandised neighbour, and Venice & Santa Monica from the rooftop distractions of downtown L.A.. London was tackled as a whole, while the endurance gems of Munich, Rome and San Francisco ended up being the most compact.
First Trips are now out, with one discounted weekend happening at the end of the week near London, and another over the first weekend of May in the Catskills north of New York. New Trips for Napa Valley and Palm Springs might entice Californians for weekends in May.
The first two months of 2018 will be important for the opening up of new Trips and the growth of subscriptions to break-even. New City Guides shall be published each Friday and focus on towns that host major conferences. Learn about the subscription and check into the dynamic executive summary to get business forecasts. Discount code EARLY75 shall be active during January – do share among your most athletic friends for 75% off their new subscription.