For the last two weekends we have been hosting a pair of Trail Running Team days where we had the chance to meet a shortlist of 100 of the applicants for the Trail Running Team.
What is the Trail Running Team?
The Trail Running Team is a project where non-elite runners are given the chance to spend a season like a ‘pro’ with apparel, equipment and footwear from Berghaus, nutrition products and advice from TORQ and head torches from LED Lenser, as well as a three day training camp in the Alps around Chamonix.
The Trail Running Days are a chance for us and the brands to meet the shortlisted athletes and for them to meet the brands and also meet some very inspiring runners.
Helvellyn Trail Running Day
The first of the Trail Running Team days took place in the YHA Hostel in Helvellyn. There were 50 runners who came to find out about Berghaus’ approach to product development, athlete support and their latest trail running kit. They also met the TORQ team and tried all their products as well as learning about the way to fuel their performances. After that there was a chance to hear from running legends Steve Birkenshaw and Helene Whitaker, who then lead the whole group on a run from the Youth Hostel up to Red Tarn and back.
Many of the shortlisted runners opted to stay in Helvellyn for the night and on Sunday, with perfect weather conditions, there were four options to go running in the hills around the hostel. This was an amazing chance to run with local fell runners, including Steve and Helene who had decided to stay as well. For some, this was their first time running in the Lake District and to do that in a group was a fantastic experience.
London Trail Running Day
The following week, we repeated the Trail Running Team day, but this time in the Education Centre attached to the Parliament Hill Lido on London’s Hampstead Heath. Along with Berghaus and TORQ, the second group of 50 shortlisted hopefuls heard inspirational talks from David and Katherine Lowrie who ran the length of South America to highlight the plight of many endangered species in that part of the world. Their fascinating account was followed by Stuart Mills, whose talk about the importance of mental preparation really had the runners rapt attention – he could probably have continued talking for the rest of the afternoon. However we had a run to do so we set off for an hour to stretch our legs on the Heath with ‘Ultra Stu’ surrounded by curious runners.
The next stage will be to further reduce the shortlist to our final group who will make up the team. With such a hugely talented and enthusiastic group, that is not going to be easy. But it’s a nice problem to have.