Last Sunday (21 June 2015) five relay teams battled it out in ASICS Beat the Sun – an action-packed relay race around Mont Blanc. A mere four seconds separated Team Americas and Team South Europe after each had completed the 150km course.
Drawing A Blanc
Both teams completed the challenge in 15 hours and 3 minutes, beating the sun by 38 minutes. The race included multiple running environments including Alpine, trail, and road running with extreme uphill and downhill race segments. The unique event is a celebration of running, global sporting cultures and team camaraderie, featuring runners from 17 different countries. Athletes taking part included Pete Jacobs, a former Ironman World Champion.
The teams featured three expert and three amateur runners, with each athlete running at least two sections in the 13-section course.
In the first half of the challenge, Team Europe South took control and held the lead in four of the first five sections. From section five until section 11, the lead changed six times between Team Americas, Team Europe South and Team Africa. Demonstrating the toughness of the event, Team Asia-Pacific, Team Africa and Team Europe North, all featuring world-class runners, failed to ‘beat the sun’.
Making up for her disappointment of not ‘beating the sun’ in 2014, Megan Kimmel, Team Americas captain, and her teammates ran with their final leg runner through the atmospheric streets of Chamonix, where the challenge starts and finishes.
Megan Kimmell said afterwards: “Last year my team missed ‘beating the sun’ by 33 seconds so I’m so pleased to be successful this year. It was so thrilling, such a close finish. I’m proud of my team and our strong bond together.”