ASICS ‘Beat the Sun’ challenges amateurs and professional athletes to work together in a unique running relay race to ‘beat the sun’ around the iconic Mont Blanc.
ASICS has today launched a global search for amateur runners to take part in the annual ‘ASICS Beat the Sun’ challenge, which returns to Chamonix on June 21st, the longest day of the year.
Regarded as nature’s toughest relay, the event will see five continental teams battle it out against each other, whilst also attempting to become the first team to beat the sun around the legendary mountain – giving them just 15 hours, 41 minutes and 35 seconds to cover 148km between them.
Each team will contain three professional athletes and three amateurs, racing in relay to become the first team around Mont Blanc – the highest peak in Western-Europe at 4.810 metres – whilst passing through France, Italy and Switzerland as they attempt to ‘beat the sun’ in the ultimate challenge.
The teams of six will represent America, Asia-Pacific and Africa, with two teams from Europe. As a result, ASICS is looking for a total of fifteen amateurs to put their name forward for selection, with six chosen from across Europe (one from each of UK, Austria, Germany, France, Italy and Spain), three from America, three from Africa and three from Asia-Pacific.
The chosen amateurs will be selected based on running ability as well as their motivation to take on the challenge. Once selected, they will then be mentored by a professional athlete from their continent team in the 2 months prior to the event. They’ll receive expert advice and bespoke training plans from ASICS’ Trail Team and will be kitted out in top of the range ASICS trail footwear and apparel.The course will be divided into sections with each athlete completing two sections of between 3km-19km each across varied altitude and terrain.
Athletes will tackle 8,370 metres of crippling ascent – the equivalent to tackling Mount Everest – whilst dealing with inclement weather conditions. Temperatures will range from over 25 Degrees Celsius at low level to minus 5 Degrees Celsius at altitude, with fierce wind and rain in the valleys, and snow on mountain passes, pushing participants to their limits.
Amongst the confirmed professional athletes are trail specialists Emmanuel Gault (France) and Kota Araki (Japan), extreme distance runner Christian Schiester (Austria), marathon runner Holly Rush (UK), 1,500m runner Lukas Naegele (Germany) and triathlete and 2012 Ironman Champion, Pete Jacobs (Australia). Locally, trail and road champ Dawid Visser will represent South Africa in a professional capacity.
A dedicated TV-documentary about the challenge – to be broadcast globally in late 2015 – will be created by award winning production company Sunset & Vine. This follows the success of the ‘ASICS Outrun the Sun’ documentary in 2014 which was broadcast in over 15 countries worldwide.
With ‘Beat the Sun’, ASICS aims to inspire people to take on a challenge to surpass themselves “Aligning with ASICS’ recently launched ‘It’s a big world, go run it’ campaign, ASICS wants to inspire everyday people to experience the different worlds of running.
Amateur athletes who are motivated by the challenge of taking part in ASICS Beat the Sun can find out more information and register at: asics.com/beatthesun from March 19th.