Smartwool is jumping into the running short game in the Spring of 2013. They will be offering a run short which has a 5” inseam as well as a long run short that have a 7” inseam. Smartwool sent me a pair of their Long Run Shorts to test, and over the course of this fall and winter I put them through their paces.Let’s start with the positives about these shorts. First they are incredibly comfortable. The internal brief is made of merino wool and not only provides excellent support; it is also comfortable and does not chafe or rub in any areas. You runners out there know that there is nothing worse than an uncomfortable pair of shorts. I was sent the Graphite colored shorts and they are quite attractive with a lime colored brief, which provides a great contrast to the gray.For Smartwool’s first offering they did a great job with a few of the more technical aspects of the shorts. First they managed to put a pocket on the shorts. A zippered back pocket that is just big enough for a set of keys or a gel. For a race day short sure you don’t need a pocket, but for all the runs out your door or those longer runs a little pocket is quite nice. I do most of my weekday runs in the evening. This is when my running partner is available, so I try to take precautions to be safe. Reflectors, lights, etc are a must and the Smartwool shorts have full 360-degree reflectivity plus a reflective logo on the right hem. I think this is great because even if you forget a blinkie you at least have a bit of flash to help make you visible.Now to move onto a few things that I think could be improved. First up is the drawstring. To get the short sufficiently snug I felt like I really had to crank down on the drawstring, which stretches a lot. I ended up with a lot of excess drawstring and think having a thicker less stretchy drawstring material could help. My next complaint, my last, is more of a preference than a complaint really. I ran cross-country and track in high school and am used to a shorter short. I had a tough time enjoying the length of the long run short. With a 7” inseam they came to my knees, and while I never had an issue with the material grabbing at my thigh, it just wasn’t what I am used to. I suggest going with the regular run short (5” inseam) and not the long version if you are used to shorter shorts. On the flip side of this I am sure there are an equal amount of people who are excited for the long option so they aren’t flashing their thighs to the general public.Overall I think these shorts are a great addition to Smartwool’s running gear quiver. A merino brief is amazing, and I think with a better drawstring and the regular model these would be a perfect pair of shorts. Get prepared for the Spring Running season and get yourself a pair.You can find these shorts here and they run $80.
But the close results suggested Mr. Graham’s standing had also taken a significant hit in the state since he last ran in 2014. Before his re-election this time, the senator had undertaken a considerable political makeover, casting aside a reputation as a dealmaking moderate who once called Mr. Trump a “race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot” to present himself as a conservative warrior standing at the president’s right hand. The transformation appeared to have alienated some moderate Republicans turned off by the president, even as it failed to persuade some of his staunchest conservative supporters.Mr. Harrison tried to exploit those fissures, portraying Mr. Graham as a morally compromised politician willing to do whatever it took to win. Flush with more than $86 million in contributions — a record haul for a Senate race fueled by out-of-state liberals who loathed Mr. Graham — Mr. Harrison blanketed the state with advertising that not only reinforced his own candidacy, but also bolstered Bill Bledsoe, a Constitution Party candidate who he hoped might siphon conservative votes away from Mr. Graham. “To those who have been following this race from afar, I hope you got the message,” a triumphant Mr. Graham declared Tuesday night in Columbia. “Here’s the message I got: People like what I’m doing, and I’m going to keep doing it.”- Advertisement – Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, fended off the most difficult challenge of his career on Tuesday, turning back a Democrat backed by a record-setting onslaught of campaign cash to win a fourth term, according to The Associated Press.The victory reassured jittery Republicans, who were forced this fall to divert tens of millions of dollars from key battlegrounds to a deeply conservative state to save Mr. Graham. It also dashed the hopes of Democrats who believed a victory by their candidate, Jaime Harrison, would improve their chances of seizing the Senate majority.- Advertisement – He added, “When it comes to Lindsey Graham, and team Graham, the best is yet to come.”Mr. Graham, 65, has been a fixture in Washington since the 1990s, when he was first elected to the House, and is known as a wily and effective political messenger.He avoided making his fight against Mr. Harrison personal. Instead, he attacked his Democratic opponent as a generic liberal whose policy preferences on health care, spending and judges were simply out of line with a solidly conservative state.- Advertisement – Mr. Harrison, a Black Democrat whose upstart campaign electrified progressives across the country, would have been only the second African-American from the South elected to the Senate since Reconstruction.In the end, though, Mr. Graham, the chairman of the influential Judiciary Committee, leaned heavily on his stature in Washington to pull through. Just days before the election, he helped deliver a singular conservative victory, the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, using the highly partisan fight in the Senate to bolster his campaign. He also benefited from a close relationship with President Trump, who easily carried the state on Tuesday. That did not prove to be enough. Mr. Harrison simply could not find enough South Carolinians willing to vote for a Democrat.“Tonight only slowed us down, but a New South with leaders who reflect the community and serve the interests of everyone will be here soon enough,” Mr. Harrison said Tuesday night in a concession speech. He urged Mr. Graham to cultivate his independent streak.If he had a chance of doing so, it almost certainly ended in the weeks after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in mid-September. In 2018, Mr. Graham’s fiery defense of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh in the face of accusations of sexual assault briefly made him a conservative rock star.This time around, as chairman of the judiciary panel, he had a microphone and a spotlight in nationally televised hearings to present himself as an ally of conservative women and remind the party’s voters what was at stake. He could credibly claim to be a crucial force in cementing a conservative majority on the court that Republicans have long made a priority.Now, Mr. Graham will have six more years in Washington. In the weeks before Election Day, Mr. Graham had hinted that he might try to reclaim his independent streak if re-elected. And with the potential of Mr. Trump’s defeat, he would be positioned to have a major role in determining his party’s path forward. – Advertisement –