Update: The closing dates are fast approaching! The website closes on the 16th of April, and the winners will be announced on the 27th of April. If you haven’t entered yet, get your entry in now!
The ASICS Beat The Sun challenge is a fantastic relay held annually to “beat the sun” around Mont Blanc. There are five teams from around the world, each team having three professionals and three amateurs. How does racing around Mont Blanc sound? It could be you!
Here are a few excerpts from the press release:
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.
Athletes will tackle 8,370 metres of crippling ascent – the equivalent to tackling Mount Everest – whilst dealing with inclement weather conditions.
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.
The professional athletes representing each team are as follows:
- Team Northern Europe: Holly Rush (UK), Christian Schiester (Austria), Lukas Naegele (Germany)
- Team Southern Europe: Emmanuel Gault (France), Genis Zapater (Spain), Xavier Chevrier (Italy)
- Team Americas: Megan Kimmel (USA), Iazaldir Feitoza (Brasil), NN
- Team Africa: Dawid Visser (South-Africa), NN, NN
- Team Asia-Pacific: Kota Araki (Japan), Andy Neo (Singapore), Pete Jacobs (Australia)
I got the chance to speak to Dawid Visser, the local professional athlete in the African team about the race’s history, what we can expect and how to enter for selection.
Can you tell us about a bit of the history of the race?
About 2 years ago ASICS Europe marketing director (Michael Price) and the manager and coach of the French trail team asked themselves the question “what can ASICS do that unique and challenging?” Laurent Ardito suggested they try and run from sunrise to sunset around Mont Blanc on the longest day of the year in relay format.
What can runners expect from this event?
As most trail runners know the UTMB is one of the most prestigious trailraces in the world, although the course that will be used might not be exactly the same as the one used in this race, it will be close. The terrain differs from gravel road to extremely steep ascent, temperature from 25 degrees to close to below zero, and running in the snow on top of the mountain. So you might get an easy running section, or extremely technical rocky ascents or descents.
What should amateurs wanting to enter consider?
They need to consider the type of terrain and mountain that you will run on – research UTMB to get a better idea. To circumnavigate Mont Blanc on foot will take round 5-7 days as a hike. This will give you insight into the type of terrain and extremity of this event. Entrants should also keep in mind that they will be supplied with kit from us and guided with training programs up until the event, so they will definitely be in good hands.
What criteria are the organisers looking for?
Mostly they will look if the person will be able to cope with trail running anything from 3-19 km per stage. As this is a wide range it will depend on the terrain and how long each leg will be, but they will be properly prepared by the ASICS team if chosen and guided to be fit enough for the challenge. Anyone can enter, they are looking to make each continental team very balanced so any level of person can apply.
Does this sound like something you would love the chance to be involved in? Head over to the ASICS Beat The Sun website and submit your entry!