2016.04.04 PRESS

- ASICS will match 24 professional athletes with 24 amateurs from across the world for the annual Beat the Sun race around Mont Blanc
- Former Olympians Ryan Hall, Deena Kastor and speed skater Erben Wennemars join regional teams as expert runners

ASICS has confirmed today that former Olympians Ryan Hall, Deena Kastor and Erben Wennemars will be among the expert athletes taking part in the unique ASICS Beat the Sun challenge in Chamonix on June 21st this year.

Ryan Hall, who holds the record for the fastest marathon by an American - sub 2:05 - is joined by 2004 Olympic marathon bronze medallist Deena Kastor and multiple World Champion Dutch sprint speed skater Erben Wennemars.

Hall, Kastor and Wennemars are also joined by British marathon runner Matty Hynes and German extreme obstacle racer Charles Franzke. These athletes will face a new challenge as they are taken out of their comfort zones and attempt to transfer their skills and athleticism into running in the unfamiliar and testing conditions surrounding Mont Blanc.

The other experts taking part in ASICS Beat the Sun are trail running legends American Megan Kimmel, Spaniard Pablo Villalobos, Brazilian Iaza Feitoza, Swede Jonas Buud, Italian Xavier Chevrier and Canadian David Le Porho. The experts will be teamed up with amateurs and allocated their intercontinental teams on the 25th May 2016.

ASICS is giving 24 amateur runners the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to team up with these expert athletes as they attempt to beat the sun around Mont Blanc in the time between sunrise and sunset. The eight intercontinental teams (Europe North, South and Central, America North and South, Oceania, Asia and Africa) - each containing three amateur and three expert athletes – will have just 15 hours, 41 minutes and 35 seconds to cover the 130km course.

Amateur runners who want to sign up for this unique challenge can register by joining the ASICS #BeatTheSun online community before 24th April 2016.

Once amateurs have signed up to the #BeatTheSun community they will gain access to an exclusive online training programme, developed by ASICS pro athlete coaches, which includes strength, nutrition, running and trail-specific advice.

On April 25th, ASICS will announce 50 semi-finalists for the event in Chamonix, who will then undertake the elite training phase in preparation for the once-in-a-lifetime event. The final 24 amateurs will be decided through a combination of online voting and a panel of experts, before being announced on May 23rd 2016.

The selected amateurs will then be mentored by an expert athlete from their team in the final month leading up to June 21st, and will also receive ASICS gear for training and race day, on top of the 5 day trip to Chamonix with all travel, accommodation and expenses covered.

Once in Chamonix, each runner will complete two relay sections of between 4.5 km and 17km, across varied altitude and terrain - including trail, road and alpine - whilst crossing the most stunning scenes of nature in France, Italy, and Switzerland in the space of less than one day.

Amateur runners who are interested to taking part in ‘ASICS Beat the Sun’ in Chamonix on the June 21st 2016, can find out more information and register at:

ASICS Beat the Sun will be broadcast live on ASICS’ digital and social channels, and video reports of the race will be distributed on various global networks, inspiring millions of people across the globe. EpicTV has been appointed partner for video production and digital media broadcast. Other technical partners to support ASICS Beat the Sun with specialised product and expertise include Oakley, Isostar, Leki, Petzl, Tom Tom, Runkeeper and Haglöfs.



Notes to Editors:

Confirmed expert runners as of 31 March 2016:

European experts:

Matty Hynes (UK), Charles Franzke (Germany), Erben Wennemars (Netherlands), Sascha Gwerder (Switzerland),Pablo Villalobos (Spain),Xavier Chevrier (Italy), Jonas Buud (Sweden), Tomasz Domzalski (Poland), Sylvaine Cussot (France)

America’s experts:

Ryan Hall (US), Deena Kastor (US), Megan Kimmel (US), David Le Porho (Canada), Rafael De Vito (Argentina), Iaza Feitoza (Brazil)

African experts:

Carla Huyssteen (SA), Gladys Kipsoi (Kenya), Givemore Mudzinganyama (Zimbabwe)

Asian experts:

Toru Higashi (Japan), Eun Ju Kwon (South Korea), Yadi Guan (China)

Oceania experts:

Russell Dessaix-Chin (Australia), Raviin Muthu Kumar (Singapore), Ka Lun Au (Hong Kong)

PDF version