ASICS has launched its annual global search for amateur runners to join its #BeatTheSun community and take part in the ‘ASICS Beat the Sun’ challenge, which starts and finishes in Chamonix – the resort area bordering France, Switzerland and Italy – on 21 June 2016.
In order to take part, runners will need to sign up to the ASICS #BeatTheSun online community, commit to a personal running goal for 21 June and declare whether they want to take part in ‘ASICS Beat the Sun’ event.
The event in Chamonix offers amateur runners a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to team up with expert athletes in a unique relay race. The race sees eight intercontinental teams battle it out around a multi-terrain course to become the first team to beat the sun around Mont Blanc – Europe’s highest peak – in the time between sunrise and sunset.
Competing against each other and nature’s clock, teams have just 15 hours, 41 minutes and 35 seconds to cover the 150K course. Each runner will complete two relay sections of between 3K-19K, across varied altitude and terrain – including trail, road and alpine – whilst crossing France, Italy and Switzerland in the space of just one day.
Those who join the #BeatTheSun community will receive access to an exclusive online training programme, developed by ASICS pro athlete coaches, and aimed at helping runners achieve their goals on 21 June. The first module of the #BeatTheSun online training programme will begin on 1 March and will include strength, running nutrition and trail-specific advice.
On 25 April, ASICS will announce 50 finalists for the event in Chamonix. These finalists will then undertake an elite training programme undergoing full preparation for the once-in-a-lifetime event. However, for those who don’t make the final 50, ASICS will continue to provide the latest training tips and advice to help them complete their own personal challenge in June.
The final 24 runners for ‘ASICS Beat the Sun’ will be decided through a combination of online voting and a panel of experts, before being announced on 1 June 2016. The selected amateurs will then be mentored by an expert athlete from their team in the final month before 21 June, and will also receive ASICS gear for training and race day.
At the event on 21 June, eight teams will be made up of five different continents. The three European teams will be represented by amateurs from the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Norway and Poland, while the two Americas teams will be made up of amateurs from USA, Brazil, Canada and Mexico. Team Asia-Pacific will also have two teams, containing amateurs from Japan, Singapore, China, South Korea, Hong Kong and Australia, with Team Africa featuring amateurs from South Africa, Kenya and Burundi.
Whilst runners are taking on one of nature’s toughest challenges in Chamonix, ASICS also wants to inspire the rest of #BeatTheSun community to complete their own personal running goals, before the sunsets on 21 June, ‘making it a global day of running and the ultimate human race’.