On Sunday 21 June 2015, five continental relay teams featuring expert and amateur runners battled it out in an action-packed running relay race around Mont Blanc, ASICS Beat the Sun
A mere four seconds separated Team Americas and Team South Europe after each team had completed the ‘Beat the Sun’ 150km course, nature’s toughest challenge
After pushing their physical and mental limits while running 150km on the world’s most extreme multi-terrain course, two continental relay teams were separated by four seconds.
In the exhilarating finale, Team Americas crossed the finish in the central square of Chamonix, less than 10 metres ahead of Team Europe South. Both teams completed the challenge in 15 hours and 3 minutes, beating the sun by 38 minutes.
ASICS Beat the Sun includes multiple running environments including Alpine, Trail, Road Running with extreme uphill and downhill race segments. The five relay teams were challenged to race around Mont Blanc, running 150km.
The unique event is a celebration of running, global sporting cultures and team comradery. ASICS Beat the Sun features runners from 17 different nationalities and inspirational athletes from around the world, including Pete Jacobs, a former Ironman World Champion.
The teams featured three expert and three amateur runners, with each athlete running at least two sections in the 13 section course.
In spring 2015, the 15 amateurs were selected from nearly 10,000 global runners for their once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. All the athletes experienced the most exhilarating race of their lives as the teams had just 15 hours, 41 minutes and 35 seconds to ‘beat the sun’ before sunset at 21.25h on 21 June 2015, the longest day of the year.
In the first half of the challenge, Team Europe South took control and held the lead in four of the first five sections. From Section five until section 11, the lead changed six times between Team Americas, Team Europe South and Team Africa.
Demonstrating the toughness of the event, Team Asia-Pacific, Team Africa and Team Europe North, all featuring world-class runners, didn’t ‘beat the sun’.
Making up for her disappointment of not ‘beating the sun’ in 2014, Megan Kimmel, Team Americas captain, and her teammates ran with their final leg runner through the atmospheric streets of Chamonix, where the challenge starts and finishes.
The event featured blood, sweat and tears. From scrambling on their hands and knees on steep inclines up Mont Blanc, to running on glaciers in minus Celsius conditions, to running up ascent of the height f Mt Everest (8,350m), the athletes put their bodies through extremities that they haven’t experienced
In an agonising twist, Team Asia-Pacific missed beating the sun by 19 minutes.
Team Americas – 15hrs 03 mins 10 secs – ‘Beat the Sun’ by 38 mins
Team Europe South – 15 hrs 03mins 14 secs – ‘Beat the Sun’ by 38 mins
Team Asia-Pacific – 16 hrs 52 seconds – missed beating the sun by 19 mins
Team Africa – 16hrs 20mins 32 secs – missed beating the sun by 39 mins
Team Europe North – 17hrs 10 mins 59 secs – missed beating the sun by 1hr