As we begin to experience a little break in the winter temperatures, with days getting longer and sunshine becoming plentiful, planning for summer adventures inevitably commences. There’s the exciting talk of sunrise hikes, weekend camping trips or climbing lines to be had, but 2016 is bringing an even greater adventure to the books. Mark your calendars for the 2016 summer solstice, because this is the year of the world’s largest running race.
ASICS Corporation has officially launched its Beat The Sun challenge—a foot race that starts and finishes in Chamonix, France on June 21st. The 150km course crosses France, Italy and Switzerland and includes road, alpine and trail running components across Mount Blanc, Europe’s highest peak. The kicker, so to speak, is that the race is not only against fellow runners, but is a race against nature’s clock. Running teams must complete the course all within sunrise and sunset—15 hours, 41 minutes and 35 seconds—with individual runners participating in two relay sections each. In an event that offers an exclusive experience for amateur runners to pair with elite athletes in a race against daylight, the course hosts eight teams from across the world.
In an effort to curate a global community, ASICS is encouraging runners from around the world to participate in their #BeatTheSun challenge, whether it be the main event or smaller scale individual running goals. Choose to either sign up for the main event in Chamonix on June 21st—complete with an online training program developed by ASICS professional coaches—or set your own Beat The Sun running goal and join the global community to empower and get inspired by others on their own personal running journey.
ASICS will announce 50 finalists for the Chamonix race on April 25th, with the final 24 runners decided through an online voting campaign in junction with a panel of experts by June 1, 2016. Those chosen for the “ASICS Beat The Sun” will then be paired and mentored by an expert athlete for the final month prior to race day. Amateur runners will be representing teams from five different continents—three European teams, two American teams and two Asia-Pacific teams.
Although these teams will represent their respective geographical communities, the true movement will be emphasized by the individuals in each and every country taking their own Beat The Sun challenge. A personal goal, a personal motivating factor, a personal effort to push past your comfort zone—all of that hard work culminating in a cross-continental conquering on the longest day of the year. When an individual is combined with a global community, one with an enormous sense of support and determination, more than foot races are won. Though foreign languages will permeate the expansive running network, common ground will be found through the collective act of athleticism and a global sense of accomplishment. Challenges are overcome on this single day when the whole world laces up their running shoes together.
Keep up with ASICS Beat The Sun on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #BeatTheSun. There will be monthly giveaways to participants who share their goals and photos of their progress on these social platforms. Find out more and check out the inspiring ASICS Beat The Sun video here.