Inov8 retreat and Fell race
From last Thursday to Tuesday this week I was in “ The Lake District " in the northern part of England to attend a gathering with the rest of the runners from Team Inov8 Europe. During our stay we had a packed program with training, learning more about Inov8 's history, product testing and we did some photo shoots. We had many opportunities to provide direct feedback on what we think about the various products and witch products we personally are most satisfied with. And to give Inov8 thoughts to products they may make in the future. From what I saw and tried of the upcoming products for 2014. I can only say that there are a lot of great things coming both in shoes, apparel and accessories.
Several nations were represented at the retreat; England, France , Spain, the Basque Country and Norway ;)
On Saturday most of the team attended a race called the Middle Fell Fell race. This was a classic Fell race.
Fell running is a popular form of competition in northern part of England and it was precisely for this kind of competitions the first Inov8 shoes were manufactured 10 years ago. In a proper Fell race you always run both up and down the mountain/ fell / hill, this distinguishes it from the popular uphill races we have in Norway.
Fell running, also known as mountain running and hill running, is the sport of running and racing, off road, over upland country where the gradient climbed is a significant component of the difficulty. The name Aries from the origins of the English sport on the fells of northern Britain, especially those in the Lake District.
There were great expectations before the race Saturday and several were mentioned as possible favourites. I think the British runner was somewhat surprised that they got as tough competition from us foreigner as they did. There were several changes in the lead during the race, but in the end young and talented Tom Addison, England was the strongest and won followed by Aritz Egea, Basque. Personally I was happy to finish 3rd 20 seconds behind Tom and eight seconds behind Aritz. David Schneider, Switzerland finished fourth and after him followed the British one after the other. Favourite and British Fell Running Champion Orlando Edwards took a wrong turn approximately 1,75 miles before the finish. At that point he had the lead. I was second man at the time and unfortunately followed him, something that also gave me a little penalty loop that cost me some time and effort.
Overall this was great weekend. It is a privilege to be able to share my running interest with like-minded runners from several nations during a weekend like this. For me as trains and runs much alone, up in the cold north, it is actually liberating to see that there are many out there in the world with the same interest in running trails and mountains as me. This was a very motivating weekend in terms of the upcoming season.
It was also very inspiring to see how professionally and not least how wholehearted my sponsor Inov8 work to give us the best products possible. Inov8 is a small shoe company that compete in a market with several much larger shoe manufacturers. I am proud to be part of the team this year and hope my experience as a runner can help them keep on developing good products, like they do today, in the future. And I can personally guarantee anyone who buys a product from Inov8 that it is made by people with real passion for running!
Picture: Orlando Edwards sprints down Middel Fell in really short shorts Photo: Ian Corless