British amateur runner James MacDonald has been selected to take part in the ‘Beat the Sun’ challenge in Chamonix on 21 June. ASICS Beat the Sun is a relay race featuring eight intercontinental teams battling it out around a multi-terrain course to become the first to beat the sun around Mont Blanc between sunrise and sunset.
Competing against each other and nature’s clock, the teams have just 15 hours, 41 minutes and 35 seconds to cover the 130km course. Each runner will complete two relay sections of between 4.5km and 17km, across varied altitude and terrain - including trail, road and alpine - whilst crossing France, Italy, and Switzerland.
MacDonald, 45, from Wilmslow, recovered from cancer in his 30s and has gone on to complete a variety of tough sporting challenges, including long distance bike rides and two marathons, but will be pushed to his limits in Chamonix on 21 June.
Macdonald said: “I am extremely excited to be part of the 'ASICS Beat The Sun' relay around Mont Blanc, and I can't wait to train and compete alongside professional athletes and amateurs. Having completed several tough sporting challenges following my cancer diagnosis 6 years ago, when I read about this opportunity I applied immediately! I love to see children and adults participate in sport, particularly running as it is inclusive to all and great for fitness. I hope I can inspire my two daughters and others to get outside and run.”
Three amateur runners and three expert athletes will make up each of the eight intercontinental teams, with three teams from Europe, two from America and one from Oceania, Asia and Africa.
While runners are taking on nature’s toughest challenge in Chamonix, ASICS want to inspire others to complete their own personal running goals before the sun sets on 21 June, encouraging the rest of the world to make it a Global Day of Running.
In the UK, between sunrise and sunset, the ASICS store on London’s Oxford St will be hosting organised runs between 5km and 8km throughout the day, which the public can register for by contacting the store directly. Across Europe, ASICS flagships stores will be hosting outdoor and treadmill running challenges to encourage runners to participate with members of the ASICS team.
For those not able to join ASICS in person but who want to join the Global Day of Running on 21 June they can register by joining the ASICS #BeatTheSun online community and pledging to commit to running a certain distance on the longest day of the year. For more information, visit the Beat the Sun website.