2018 will be the year of the world’s toughest grip, and where better to make that count than on the trails belonging to some of the most popular off-road running events on both sides of The Atlantic.
Building on the alliances forged in 2017, we will again partner-up with Lakeland Trails, Maverick Race, Three Peaks, Snowdon International Race and Total Warrior in the UK, plus Rainshadow Running Series and Tuck Fest (both USA) as well as Innsbruck Alpine Trailrun Festival (Austria, as seen in the photo at the top of this page).
We will also continue – either through inov-8 direct or our brand-loyal distributors worldwide – to support many of the long-standing running and obstacle racing events which we have backed for several years.
Quad-burning climbs, screaming downhills and rolling ridges
The action has indeed already kicked off in the Pacific Northwest, USA, with Rainshadow Running Series staging the spectacular Orcas Island 25k, 50k and 100k events over the last weekend in January and the first two weekends in February. Around 500 runners in total took part. Next up is the Yakima Skyline 25k and 50k on the weekend of April 21/22. Staged in a beautiful high desert, the conditions will be exposed, dry and hot, while the courses include quad-burning climbs, screaming downhills and rolling ridges. Enter here.
First up in the UK is the Maverick inov-8 Original Sussex on February 24. So popular is this series curtain-raiser in the South Downs National Park, it is already sold out across all three distances, 8k, 13k and 23k. There are still, however, entries available for the second event in the series, the Maverick inov-8 Original Hampshire on March 10. This event is staged in The New Forest National Park with distances of 6k, 13k and 22k available for runners. Enter here.
A week later, on March 17, the 2018 Lakeland Trails Series begins with the opener in Cartmel. The premier trail running series in the north of the UK, Lakeland Trails draws big numbers to all its events, with Cartmel in particular proving popular for those who like their trails soft and muddy. Last year saw more than 1,300 runners attend the series opener and with only a handful of entires left for this year, it looks set to be another hugely successful day. Runners will splash through the mud over distances of 5k, 10k and 18k. Enter here. The Staveley event (the one right on inov-8 HQ’s doorstep) is on May 5 – watch the video above to check out last year’s Staveley event.
Into the mountains of mainland Europe, and for a second successive year we will be supporting the Innsbruck Alpine Trailrun Festival, starting on Thursday April 26 and going into the weekend of April 28. The event – which features races over 15k, 25k, 42k, 65k and 85k as well as a new 7k night-time run – is quickly becoming regarded as the one that marks the start of the trail running season in this part of Europe. Suitable for everyone, from first-timers to experienced runners, the event is also popular for those seeking to get UTMB (Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc) qualifier points and last year attracted entrants from more than 30 countries. Enter here.
On the same weekend, back in the UK, is the classic Three Peaks Fell Race, or as organisers affectionately call it, ‘The Marathon With Mountains’. The highlight of last year’s race over the Yorkshire summits was the performance of super-strong inov-8 ambassador Victoria Wilkinson, who crushed the long-standing women’s record time to clock 3hrs 9mins 19secs. This year will be the 64th staging of this iconic race. Enter here.
And this is just really the start of what promises to be an exciting year for inov-8 supported events, most of which we will be at armed with our extensive demo fleet of test shoes for runners to try.
A new world-first race event for 2018
inov-8 product and marketing director Michael Price said: “We are delighted to be partnering with so many great trail running series’ in 2018.
“We are a specialist brand and have a big dream – to be the best and most inspiring trail running brand in the world. To achieve our dream, we believe in investing in grassroots running, and that’s what we’ll do again this year. We love being at events and engaging with the running community, so please, if you are at any of our supported events, come and see us.
“2018 for inov-8 is also about the world’s toughest grip, and while I can’t reveal too much more about our upcoming graphene enhanced running shoes just yet, I can reveal that we will also stage a race event in Europe that, like the shoes, will be a world-first. Stay tuned for more details very soon.”