“One of the best experiences of my life. So many great people in one amazing place. I learned so much while I was in the Lake District, UK, with you guys. So much to say that one email would not encompass it, however there is something that I wanted to be sure to share… You are doing something amazing with inov-8. Your passion can be felt from miles away. As I sit here in the US, I can still feel the excitement from the five days we spent together. The shoes, the gear, the vision, the passion. It is all there, and it starts with you. I truly felt the love. As I mentioned, I will be sharing the wonderfulness of inov-8 in my every day. Everyone around me will know you. Each of you live in my heart. For me, inov-8 exteroception is not just about underfoot sensory feel, it extends into the love for running. A love that can only be felt.”
When trying to sum up our #TeamGetAGrip camp we think Alex Garcia did it pretty well! US trail runner and obstacle course racer Alex was one of seven lucky winners who scooped an all-expenses-paid trip to the Lake District – the home of inov-8 and UK off-road running. Thousands of runners from all across the world applied with the eventual winners being picked following a long and thorough selection process.
The seven – who made up #TeamGetAGrip – stayed in the heart of the Lake District. They learned all about the fells and mountains that tower high above, heard stories from those, including the legendary Kenny Stuart, who’ve run incredible record times over their summits and, of course, went out to experience the network of thrilling trails for themselves.
They also learned tricks of the fells and trails from international inov-8 athletes Ben Mounsey, Ben Abdelnoor and Mary Wilkinson, gained a unique insight into the inner workings of a multi-award-winning running brand and were among the first to test innovative new running products in footwear, apparel and equipment.
One such opportunity came on the Sunday when – armed with our new TRAILROC shoes (available to buy in July/August) – the seven will took part in the Skiddaw Fell Race, organised by Keswick AC, with the support of Kong Adventure and ourselves. This classic nine-mile Lake District event was once again run over hard, rocky trails, combining the arts of both trail and fell running. inov-8 ambassadors, such as Three Peaks race record-holder Victoria Wilkinson and 2016 British Fell Running champion Rhys Findlay-Robinson, were on hand to offer advice and tips to #TeamGetAGrip. All seven – plus invited journalists and US retailers along with inov-8 staff members – crushed the course, battling each other and seasoned fell running regulars all the way to the finish line in Fitz Park.
* Links: Competition winner Cat Simpson tells Run 247 about her time with #TeamGetAGrip | German journalist Harald Bajohr writes about his Skiddaw Fell Race experience for Soq.de | Competition winner Jeremy Heath blogs about his visit to the home of inov-8 | 2017 Skiddaw Fell Race results.