The world’s best trail athletes undertake the first ever attempt to circumnavigate Mont Blanc in a new and unique race against nature.
This June 21st, the longest day of the year, ASICS will undertake a world first. Two teams of trail runners will embark on the ultimate race against nature as they attempt to ‘Outrun The Sun’. The athletes will have exactly 15 hours, 41 minutes and 35 seconds to circumnavigate Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Western Europe, starting at sunrise and finishing at sunset.
The challenge which starts and finishes in Chamonix, covers over 162km of mountainous terrain and passes through three countries; France, Italy and Switzerland.
In order to succeed, each team of athletes will have to work together in a relay across 9,500 meters of crippling ascent, and inclement weather conditions from scorching heat to freezing cold temperatures and fierce winds, rain and snow.
These trail and endurance athletes will need to combine their own specific trail skills and push their bodies to the limits in order to overcome the challenges that Europe’s highest peak will put in front of them.
The course passes through some of Europe’s most breath-taking yet challenging scenery including the Notre dame de la Gorge in Courmayeur which includes a gruelling 6,100 meters of positive height gain and the Swiss valley of Champex Lac which combines thick forest, glaciers and fiery torrents.
As part of the challenge, the athletes will be divided into two teams; Team ‘Ultra-Trail’ and Team ‘Enduro’. Team Ultra-Trail features four of the world’s best trail runners, each with their own speciality – perfectly fitting the course conditions; 2013 winner of the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, Xavier Thevenard, Japanese elite runner Kota Araki, 100-mile world record holder Jonas Buud and former trail running World Champion, Thomas Lorblanchet. The team of four will divide the staggering 162km distance, running between 28-46km each.
Team Enduro is made up of seven elite athletes from different endurance disciplines, each running between 17-29km, including; Austrian extreme distance runner Christian Schiester, Spanish trail runner and cross country skier, Genis Zapater, American trail runner Megan Kimmel, French runner Sylvaine Cussot, German 1,500m runner Lukas Naegele and Belgium road runner Gert Theunis.
Both teams will have the same goal of completing the gruelling course before the sun sets on Saturday 21st June, but who will be the first to ‘Outrun The Sun’ in this David and Goliath endurance trail challenge?
ASICS is a true sports performance brand that has always worked with athletes to provide the best footwear and apparel for sport. It is this research and performance that ASICS uses in trail, creating the best products and bringing together the world’s finest trail runners to provide direct feedback. The ASICS FUJI collection provides apparel and footwear that work for any terrain giving a variety of products depending on how fast, far and long people want to run.