I'm not a natural blogger and I'm no techie. I'm an ultra trail runner by passion, and a journalist by profession - in that order of priority.
In this blog I use the one to talk about the other - my trail thoughts, musings and meanderings about running mountains and trails.
I call it rockhoppin', just because... well... that's what we trail runners love to do!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Get ready for a Salomon showdown in September


Exciting news hot off the trail running press: some of the world’s most successful trail runners will be coming to South Africa in September.

Kilian Jornet and Anna Frost will join South African Salomon team mates Ryan Sandes, Cas Van Aardenne, Linda Doke and Hanlie Booyens as well as key international and local Salomon staff for a mountain-running seminar tour of SA.

Seminars are scheduled to take place in Gauteng (11 Sept), Durban (13 Sept) and Cape Town (15 Sept).


Salomon sees itself as ‘the mountain sport company’ and is dedicated to the global growth and improvement of trail running. “If the rapid growth in participation; and the wide variety of events on the calendar is any indication, trail running is poised to explode in South Africa. This trip is an opportunity for the international team to share their incredible talent, experience and expertise with the local trail running community,” said Salomon South Africa’s brand manager Lee Besnard.

SEMINAR SPECIFICS
Topics will include:
  • Technical insights into the use of compression and other performance garments (by one of Salomon’s international R&D experts).
  • The company’s sports marketing strategy (by Greg Vollet, Salomon’s Global Outdoor Sports & Community marketing manager).
  • Talks by the athletes on their racing and training experiences, notably Kilian Jornet, Anna Frost and Ryan Sandes.
  • Talks by experts on topics ranging from podiatry to physiotherapy and recovery.

The latest designs in Salomon trail footwear will also be on show, and guests will be able to test and provide feedback on new models. Salomon values all feedback and uses input from a broad spectrum of athletes, from elite racers to trail newbies, to continuously evolve their products and help drive the progression of the sport.
See the Salomon SA Facebook page for details on how to secure your spot at the seminar. Seats are limited!

TABLE MOUNTAIN CHALLENGE
The International Salomon team’s South African tour will culminate in them competing in the Crazy Store Table Mountain Challenge on 18 September. One of the highlights at this 35km trail race around and over  Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain will be the Sandes/Jornet dual.
“Kilian only races one way and that’s to win,” said Sandes. “He’s had an awesome year and won just about everything he has entered. But I also love winning and this is my home mountain...”
“I may need some help from some of my Cape cobra and puffadder friends though,” he joked. “Kilian’s often told me how he hates snakes. My advice: if he runs slowly the snakes won't be a problem.”
 Compiled and issued by Jazz Kuschke Media on behalf of Salomon Sports.


THE INTERNATIONAL SALOMON TEAM

New Zealander Anna Frost has enjoyed a spectacular 2011, with wins at the Motatapu Off Road Marathon, the gruelling 6-Foot Track Marathon in Australia’s Blue Mountains and the prestigious Salomon 4Trails race in Germany. Frosty has clinched numerous short and middle distance trail running wins over the past four years, including the 2008 World Mountain Running Grand Prix, the 2009 Commonwealth Trail Championships and, most notably, the Everest Marathon in 2009 (4hrs 35min), in which she not only broke the women’s record by 27mins, but was also the first non-Nepalese finisher, male or female.
Frosty made her debut in ultra distance trail with her win at the The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile Championships in 2010 (7hrs 45min), beating renowned ultra-distance athlete Lizzy Hawker by 13 mins.


Ryan Sandes, the winner of all four of the Four Deserts Marathon series, has shifted his focus from stage-racing to the big mileage one-day events. He will chat about his meteoric rise in the trail-running world, but specifically about his experiences at the Leadville 100 Miler (taking place this weekend, 20 August, in "the two mile high city" in Colorado).
“I’m hoping local runners will be inspired by the International team being here and that the seminars will help grow the sport,” Sandes said from Colorado where he’s been training and acclimatising for the past three weeks. “It’s not every day you get to run with the likes of Kilian Jornet.”


Killian Jornet is arguably the most prolific and successful trail runner in the world. The 23 year old Spaniard has twice won the 166km North Face Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (informally recognised as the world champs of ultra trail running), was three time champion of the Skyrunner Series (2007-2009), holds more course records than can be counted on one hand, including the 100 mile Grand Raid du Reunion, this year’s Western States 100 miler and the North Face 100km in Australia.
Most noted for his Kilian’s Quest achievements, which include running across Corsica in 2009 (188 miles in 32hrs 54mins, world record), setting a new course record for the 165km Tahoe Rim Trail (circumnavigation of Lake Tahoe) in 38hrs 32min, running the 849km length of the Pyrenees in just 8 days 3hrs (world record), and scaling Kilimanjaro (world record for the ascent [5hrs 23min) and the round trip [7hrs 14min], Kilian has proven that even the impossible can be achievable...