|Inov-8 team in full force at World Series’ Mont-Blanc events|
June 27, 2013
June is proving to be a very special month for British-born company, inov-8. Celebrating ten years in the business, 2013 has seen the company create an International Skyrunning Team bringing together runners from all over the world to take part in the 2013 Skyrunner® World Series. Inov-8 started the 2013 campaign in Spain at Transvulcania and at Zegama and will now follow with what will be a truly international field at the Mont-Blanc KM Vertical and Marathon this coming weekend in Chamonix – one of the most anticipated events of the season.
Natalie White, team manager for the brand has been influential in coordinating and bringing all this together, “Prior to me joining inov-8 we only had a small team of UK based athletes. To get more brand awareness across the world I thought we needed an international team,” she states.
“Inov-8 is extremely proud and supportive of this committed team and is looking forward to supporting our athletes and partnering with the Skyrunner® World Series. I have organised an athlete retreat in France after the Mont-Blanc Marathon, where we have a chance to spend a week with the athletes producing images, video, product testing, feedback and getting to know more about the needs and wants of our athletes.”
Looking at the new inov-8 team, Brendan Davies and Shona Stephenson will arrive in Chamonix from Australia. Brendan Davies has had an incredible 2013 with top placings at the super competitive Tarawera Ultra in New Zealand, a top five at UTMF 100 in Japan and a win and new CR at TNF100 in Australia. He has been fired up with an opportunity to race in Europe.
Shona Stephenson, like Brendan, has had quite an incredible start to the year too, with impressive runs and results over a variety of distances and terrain. Shona was second at UTMF 100 in Japan, third at TNF100 in Australia and now she will race Europe and the high mountains for the first time.
American Alex Nichols, unlike his Australian teammates, counts some skyrunning experience in 2012 where he scored a top five at the SkyGames® at his first outing. He said, “It was a learning curve’. With the Pikes Peak Marathon on his doorstep, he placed 3rd there last year and will compete again in August. With plenty of opportunity to practice ascending and descending Colorado’s mountains. Add his natural speed and he will be a force to be reckoned with in Chamonix.
Also flying in from the USA is Scott Dunlap, new to the skyrunning scene. Scott has already had a busy start to 2013. He PR’d at the Boston Marathon with 2h44:35 and most recently he has run Silver State 50m in sub 10 hours.
Sarah Ridgeway, Anna Lupton and Natalie White all arrive from the UK and complete the international field. Natalie is fulfilling two roles as team manager and competitor. In 2012 she won the mixed pairs in the two-day mountain marathon and placed fourth in the 2008 SkyGames® in Canazei.
Anna Lupton has two wins at the famous Three Peaks Race and she will bring that skill and fell running ability to both the VK and Marathon courses.
Sarah Ridgway lives and breathes mountain running, her home in Wales is the perfect training ground for courses like Mont-Blanc. With Mt Snowdon on her doorstep, she will be adapted and ready to race.
Finally, Robbie Simpson has already had a taste of skyrunning at the Giir di Mont 32k in Italy last year and took 3rd at Snowdon. He will compete in the KM Vertical.
Two thousand runners and some of the world’s top runners will line up for the Mont-Blanc Marathon, the second race in the Sky Series. Sunday’s event will be preceded by the KM Vertical on June 28th where 400 runners will race a lung-busting 1,000 meters skywards over the short 3.5 km course.
Sporting the new racing apparel line and the latest shoes, the inov-8 International Team will be out in full force to race two of the season’s top skyrunning events in the world’s most iconic outdoor location, Chamonix.