From Diagonale des Fous of 2107 that already ran with the Altra shoes, but it has been from this year when I have already become part of its international team. Altra has outstanding runners in each country, ambassador runners and the elite team, made up of international runners, where I am part of it.
Altra, established in Logan, Utah just under 8 years ago by three friends (Brian Beckstead, Golden Harper and Jeremy Howlett), is already a benchmark in the USA and is slowly gaining fans in Europe. Its main features are the Zero Drop and the wide end in the front of the foot (Foot Shape). It has different models of trail and asphalt, with different grips, cushions ..
The brand organized a meeting (presentation of material, technical talks, training ...) with the elite team runners in Zion National Park, Utah. A natural space of great contrasts, areas of arid steppe, walls of sandstone of almost thousand meters, snowy areas .. and some dream paths.
The girls who attended the meeting were: Nicole Studer (Dallas ultrarunner with the 100-mile record: 14:22 Rocky Raccoon), Maggie Guterl (8th in Western States last year), Meghan Arbogast Westerns States in the top 10 and has the record of 100 km per asphalt of group 50-54 years with 7:41 and of 55-59 years with 7:58), Angela Shartel (4th in Wasatch and 9th in Western States), Traci Falbo (he had the record of 100 miles with 14:45 before winning Nicole and has run the Comrades with 7:15) and Amanda Basham (1st Transrockies and 4th in the Western States last year).
Among the men, many known names: Jeff Browning (3rd in HardRock 2017), Geoff Burns (champion uses 100 km), Jason Schlarb (1st HardRock 2017, next to Kilian, 1st Run Rabbit 2016), Zach Bitter (recordman uses 100 Miles), Ian Sharman (1st Leadville, 1st Racoon 100, and 10 consecutive Western States), James Lawrence (50 ironmans in 50 consecutive days in 50 different states).
And foreign runners: Sondre Amdahl (Norwegian 9th Sable Marathon last year and 4th UTWT 2015), Gediminas Grinius (winner of the Ultra World Tour 2016, 1st TransGranCanaria and Fuji 2015) and myself.
There have been very intense days of work, training and coexistence. The career technique sessions (specific to the Altra Zero Drop) are very interesting and recommendable for all those who enter the world of Altra. We have consolidated a team mentality, we have exchanged opinions and moments. Doubts were solved and above all I had a good time! An experience that at the team level had not lived until now.
On the last day of the stage / meeting, we took the entire Zion National Park crossing from east to west, about 50 miles (82 km), and it was spectacular! All based on trails very runnables, in some points with snow and mud because it was still cold, but full of precious corners! We started at 6am to finish almost at 6pm. A very recommendable route for who wants to enjoy the place and at the same time run very comfortable. We started most runners, but little by little (some by timing of trip, others because it was a training too long or because they just run a race) we were left a few. Ending the journey with Jason Schlarb, Jeff Browning, Gediminas or Ian Sharman is not an experience that often happens ...
With the Altra team there have been 4 days of pure learning and great shared experiences. Thank you Brian and Golden (co-founders of Altra) for giving me this opportunity!
And thanks team for sharing the miles in the Zion with me!