We are delighted to announce some of our new 2017 event partnerships. Amongst those so far secured are link-ups with Lakeland Trails, Maverick Race, Three Peaks, Snowdon International Race, Total Warrior and Breca Swimrun (all UK), plus Rainshadow Running Series and Human Potential Running Series (both USA) as well as Innsbruck Alpine Trailrun Festival (Austria).
We will also continue to support many of the trail, fell and mountain running events which we backed in 2016.
Getting a grip on obstacle course racing
One of our new partnerships for 2017 is with Total Warrior, who have firmly established themselves as the pinnacle of obstacle course racing in the UK. Below is the press release detailing the exciting link-up:
Two of the UK’s biggest forces in obstacle course racing have formed an exciting new alliance. Total Warrior, which attracted around 20,000 racers to its events in 2016, has teamed up with ourselves ahead of this year’s series.
With its roots firmly etched on the Lake District’s muddy fells and trails, inov-8 has carved an international reputation for designing off-road running footwear with unrivalled grip as well as award-winning apparel and equipment.
The brand’s origins are similar to those of Total Warrior, whose first-ever event in 2011 was held in Shap, Cumbria, just a few muddy miles from inov-8’s UK office. Shap (to be staged on August 5/6) remains one of the events for 2017, alongside Leeds (June 24/25) and Edinburgh (September 16/17).
Michael Price, director of product and marketing for inov-8, said: “We previously partnered up with Total Warrior in 2014 and are delighted to be doing so again. Throughout 2017 we are investing in both the obstacle course racing and trail running communities, helping inspire competitors of all abilities to push their boundaries.
“We know how important underfoot grip is to obstacle racers and with shoes like the iconic X-TALON and MUDCLAW we have footwear which provides the best traction possible over all types of ground, including mud. See you on the start line!”
Adam Dickinson, co-founder of Total Warrior, said: “Total Warrior is the pinnacle of obstacle course racing in the UK so it’s fantastic to be forming a new partnership with inov-8, a renowned running brand that is also at the pinnacle of its sector.
“With 30 punishing obstacles crammed into our courses – including fire, ice, electricity, and miles of muddy terrain – Total Warrior is carefully designed to satisfy those willing to accept a big challenge and push themselves to their physical and mental limits. By joining forces with inov-8, we have found a like-minded partner.”
… and getting a grip on swimrun
Swimrun is a sport apart. Born in Sweden in 2002, it’s now one of the fastest-growing sports globally. Events take place in some of the most beautiful and remote parts of the world, pitting teams of two against trails, crags, and icy bodies of water. Whilst the sport attracts the world’s best adventure racers, triathletes, runners and swimmers, the experience of swimrun is impossible to find elsewhere.
It’s a sport that places unique demands on your shoes. They need to perform across craggy hilltops, mountain tarns, rugged trails and glittering lakes. The athletes’ interaction with these landscapes is central to the Breca Swimrun experience, and we share in this ethos.
“inov-8 (especially the X-TALON) is the ultimate swimrun shoe,” says Ben de Rivaz, the Breca Swimrun race director. “They are perfectly adapted to the diverse conditions you’ll encounter in a swimrun race. Their lightweight, minimal design mean they are fast in the water and drain quickly, and their unsurpassed grip will support you on even the roughest of transitions.”
New alliances formed in UK, US & Europe
Below are a selection of photos (taken by James Kirby) from the Lakeland Trails announcement in January. Scroll beyond the photos to read the press releases regarding Lakeland Trails and the Rainshadow Running Series.
** UPDATE: Both the Innsbruck Alpine Trailrun Festival and Three Peaks Race took place on the same weekend in April. Both were a huge success with a combined total of around 2,000 runners taking part. Amongst the standout performances was an outstanding run by inov-8 ambassador Victoria Wilkinson who obliterated the long-standing women’s record time at the Three Peaks Race. Read the preview we did ahead of this big weekend here. **
Lakeland Trails press release
Two UK trail running powerhouses have joined forces on a three-year deal. Lakeland Trails, which attracted 12,500 trail runners to its events in 2016, has teamed up with running brand inov-8 ahead of the new season.
Both have their roots firmly etched in the Lake District trails, so it was only right that Friday’s official announcement was made at the Hawkshead Brewery, Staveley, just a stone’s throw from inov-8’s head office and close to where the first-ever Lakeland Trails event was staged in 2004.
Graham Patten, event director for Lakeland Trails, which each year draws competitors from all over the world and brings a £5m boost to the regional economy, said: “We are delighted to welcome the inov-8 team to the Lakeland Trails family. Having a local business who are passionate about trail running to work with on developing the events, will help us showcase what a spectacular location the Lake District is for world class events like the Lakeland Trails.”
Guests at the announcement listened to a live performance by singer/songwriter Pete Lashley before changing into inov-8 kit and running the new 5km Kentmere Sport Trail route. This will be staged alongside the 10km and 17km events at Staveley in May. Similar 5km courses will also be new at Cartmel, Keswick and Glenridding in 2017.
Michael Price, director of product and marketing for inov-8, said: “Our products are developed in the Lake District, in the toughest of conditions. We engineer them from the ground up, ensuring we deliver the best grip for any trail. We are the specialist brand and have a big dream – to be the best and most inspiring trailing running brand in the world.
“To achieve our dream, we believe in investing in running in the Lake District. It’s our home, it’s one of the best places to run in the world and has an unrivalled running history. The Lakeland Trails are a perfect fit for us. There’s an event for every runner, from a 5km all the way up to the Lakes Ultra.”
Rainshadow Running Series press release
inov-8, the All-terrain running brand, has announced its title sponsorship of the 2017 Rainshadow Running Race Series. The sponsorship is a year-long partnership that includes 16 trail races of varying distances from 25-100k across the Pacific Northwest, including the Western States 100 Mile Qualifier, Gorge Falls 100k on April 8th.
The Rainshadow Running Race series – directed by James Varner – takes trail runners from near and far to some of the most beautiful and challenging terrain that the Northwest U.S. has to offer. “I try to find unique locations that force runners to take these mini-vacations — maybe make a weekend of it — to run places that they’ve never been to before,” says Varner. And the races can turn into mini-vacations, because Varner offers race finishers the opportunity to celebrate and share their running experiences over the best of what the local social scene has to offer in food, beer and live music.
Filled with moss-covered trees, steep inclines, snowcapped mountains, gorges, and waterfalls everywhere; each Rainshadow race promises to be worth the trip. The RainShadow series provides the perfect wet and muddy backdrop for inov-8’s Get a Grip Campaign. The Get a Grip Campaign will focus on inov-8s versatile outsoles and their ability grip and perform on any terrain; more details about the campaign will be announced later this month.
Michael Price, inov-8 director of product and marketing, says of the partnership, “We see the Northwest as a place that is just as special as the Lakes District where we are based in the UK. The terrain is so varied, with mud, rain, rocks, roots, it is what makes the running so fun and unpredictable. Our shoes excel in these conditions where you need to have confidence in every step, no matter what the trails through at you.”
“The partnership with Rainshadow Running started last year with the Trail Running Film Festival. We saw the quality of Rainshadow events and how they positively inspired and impacted the local trail running communities they visited. We decided to expand the partnership this year to include these challenging races in beautiful locations,” says Jonathan McLean, US Event and Grassroots Manager at inov-8.