inov8 athletes excel in France
Last weekend inov-8 athletes smashed one of Europe’s toughest mountain marathons, placing five runners in the top-10 men and women. The 2013 Mont Blanc Marathon attracted a world-class field for a gruelling Alpine route involving 2,500m of brutal ascent and 1,500m of daredevil descent in around Chamonix…
In the men’s race, inov-8’s Alex Nichols (US) stormed to a seventh place finish in a time of 3:48:54, with team-mates Florian Reichert (Germany) ninth in 3:55:45 and Oli Johnson (UK) tenth in 3:56:32.
The race, which was part of the Skyrunner World Series, reached a highest point of 2,201m altitude at Aiguilles des Possettes and finished with a leg-sapping climb to the spectator-packed summit of Planpraz.
Alex, who like Florian ran in inov-8’s Trailroc 245 shoes, said:
“To place three male athletes in the top-10 of such a high-profile race is awesome.I gave it absolutely everything over a tough course. My legs were in pieces on that last climb but I kept pushing and pushing and almost caught the sixth-placed runner.”
The 28-year-old from Colorado added:
“I had a disappointing race at Zegama on my last visit to Europe in May, but my performance here at Mont Blanc has definitely put that right. I was fired up to make amends and I feel I did that. I can’t wait for the rest of the season now, especially the Pikes Peak Marathon on my home course in Colorado. I finished second in that race last year and really want to go one better this year.”
In the women’s race, Anna Lupton (UK) finished seventh in 4:55:16 and Shona Stephenson (Australia) placed ninth in 4:57:23.
All five top-10 finishers are part of inov-8’s team of athletes currently attending the company’s first-ever athlete retreat, based in the Alps.
The retreat began on Friday when several of the athletes competed in the Mont Blanc Vertical Km race – a time-trial event which saw runners dash up an insanely steep 1,000m vertical height climb in a bid to be the fastest to the top.
Florian Reichert, again wearing Trailroc 245 shoes, was the first inov-8 athlete in twelfth place.
In both the marathon and vertical km races, inov-8 athletes wore the brand’s new apparel range, which has been launched this summer.
The retreat will continue until Saturday, with athletes testing exciting new product, including the spring/summer 2014 race ultra pack series, and training alongside their international team-mates at altitude.