23.03.2018

999 Runners 1 Team

As many of us were huddled inside our warm houses and anxiously awaiting the end of winter and the start to a warm and glorious trail running season, others were already training for the adidas INFINITE TRAILS World Championships while in the beautiful, sunny island of Fuerteventura, Spain. The adidas team of trail runners, men and women from all over the world, were part of a 10 day trail running exercise near the wonderful Playitas resort. This experience was helpful in two ways: making sure their bodies are in tip-top shape and building a team atmosphere in what is often a “lone wolf” sport.

There is no question that the mountainous region and perfect weather aided in getting these world-class athletes into prime physical condition but when you see the pictures of their time there you will clearly notice also that fun and teamwork were very much a part of the trip.

There are some very respected and successful pro runners from all around the world in this team, including:

Benni Bublak originally from Berlin, has several first place finishes in his history including the 2015 Ultimate Trail in Schwarzach and the Gore-tex Transalpine run in 2017. He now lives in Tirol, Austria, is one of the top trail runners in the Alpine region and is best known for his chill attitude before and after the races.

Luis Alberto Hernando may be the most decorated of all the adidas Terrex athletes and is one of the most experienced and celebrated Spanish runners of the last few decades. He has two gold medals from the 2016,2017 Trail World Championships and two more golds from the 2014, 2016 Skyrunning World Championships. He also competed as a biathlete at the 2006 olympic games in Turin and shows no signs of slowing down.

Dimitry and Ekaterina Mityaev are Russian royalty when it comes to trail running couples. They have dominated the Red Bull 400 race in Sochi with two straight first place finishes and are quickly becoming – together and individually – a force to be reckoned within Russia and all of Europe.

Abigail Levene is a former collegiate superstar from the U.S (she now lives in my home state of Colorado and is thus my biased favorite) and won several national collegiate events while studying at Princeton and the University of Colorado. She’s a rising star in the sport and promises to make some noise internationally in the near future. She also claims to eat burgers at least once or twice a week and has a coffee addiction, proving that world-class athletes are still human.

These spectacular runners and the rest of the adidas team are only a tiny number of the competitors that will fill the trails in SalzburgerLand this June. They are just a part of the adidas INFINITE TRAILS World Championships team of hundreds which will make this weekend such an incredible experience.

This teamwork aspect is what truly makes the adidas INFINITE TRAILS World Championships so unique. Each runner has his/her own loop and own responsibilities but will be part of a trail running partnership with two other runners. This gives the teams a great opportunity to train together, push each other and hopefully find a whole new level of personal and group ability.

Though we may focus at times on the “big names” in the sport and we are very glad to have them as part of the run, this event is not just about the pros. We want anybody and everybody (able to run the required distances) to participate and be a part of this with us. We want this 333 team event to really become a one team event. An adidas INFINITE TRAILS World Championships team with all its members that can help each other, push each other and be there for each other at the end of this awesome, top notch course.

“Teamwork is what makes the dream work” is a cliche but true saying and it’s one that we are super excited about for this event (June 22-24 in Gastein/SalzburgerLand, Austria). As we get closer to the big weekend and talk more and more about our team of pros, I would love to hear from you as well! Please, tell me your story and why you love to run, who you are coming with and what your team name will be (we already have some good ones!). This team run is about 333 teams of 3 but also about one team of 999.

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-Kevin Gillikin