The world of competitive trail running is heading off the beaten track in 2018 with the launch of a game-changing new Pro-Am race - the adidas INFINITE TRAILS World Championships. In an innovative format never seen before in the sport, 333 top-class trail running teams of three athletes will tackle a dramatic relay course consisting of three segments (25km/1900m, 57km/3400m and 37km/2000m).
Crafted specifically to play to different running strengths, each segment features distinctive yet equally challenging route profiles that utilise the pre-existing trails that navigate the breathtaking alpine scenery of Gastein in SalzburgerLand.
The race - which has been two years in the making - is a truly unique blend of teamwork, gruelling ultramarathon mileage and fast technical pursuits, across women’s, men’s and mixed categories. Entries open on 27th November 2017 to all runners who are up for the challenge of competing against the world’s best.
Axel Burkhardt, Director of Global Sports Marketing at adidas TERREX, says the event reflects the brand’s passion for reimagining and pushing the limits of outdoor sports.
“In order to allow us to position ourselves in the trail running community as a credible brand and a real option for athletes, an important element is having our own event, which we can redesign for the benefit of athletes in line with our own ideas,” he says.
"We have already gained the acceptance of a community with our global events, adidas ROCKSTARS and the adidas Sickline Extreme Kayak World Championship, and have also been able to set new benchmarks. Together with Gastein in SalzburgerLand, we would also like to give the trail running scene new impetus.”
A special type of race calls for a special location and after a six-month search, adidas TERREX found the perfect location partner in Gastein, for what will be the fastest off-road relay team race in the world.
Working in collaboration with the Gastein / Salzburgerland to co-create the event, adidas TERREX has made a commitment to the race for 2020 and beyond. adidas chose Gastein for its optimal use of existing trails and infrastructure, commitment to sustainability and active role in the management of the Hohe Tauern Salzburg National Park; Austria's first and largest national park. With 600km of mountain trails available spanning across luscious national parkland, the event creators have worked with the local community to design routes and build an event that trail runners, spectators and regular tourists can embrace for years to come.
Doris Höhenwarter, General Manager of the Gastein / Salzburgerland, said the whole valley is now behind the event.
"Trail running is currently a major area of interest for every alpine tourist region. The fact that we are now going to become an international event venue for a global brand on a long-term basis, and that we want to set new standards in doing so - especially in terms of the event's ecological footprint - is a magnificent opportunity for the future of the Gastein valley," Doris says.
“We will now work intensively with adidas to make this major sporting event a reality, which will be unique in terms of its sustainability."
Sustainability also plays a key role in the development of new adidas TERREX trail running products. The new adidas TERREX ZeroDye shoes are manufactured in a particularly resource-efficient way using only undyed materials. The adidas TERREX Spring/Summer 2018 collection also features recycled yarn made from Parley Ocean Plastic, which is converted into several different highly functional trail running products.
The adidas INFINITE TRAILS World Championships will take place over three days, making for an unforgettable experience for runners and spectators alike.
Friday 22nd June: Prologue
Before the relay teams can prove themselves over the three laps, they must first jointly tackle a Prologue. This will also be the Vertical Open race up the Stubnerkogel in Bad Gastein, and anyone who wishes to do so can take part. The reward for completing this 19km hill climb up the 2246-metre high mountain will be a summit party, and the team results from the Prologue (accumulated placings) will determine the order in which teams start the World Championship race.
Saturday 23rd June: Race prep
After a briefing, athletes will meet for a pre-race brunch, with time to talk shop before the big race.
Sunday 24th June: The World Championship Race
The race will start at dawn and within an hour, all of the first runners will set off on their route in a chasing start. At sunrise, the first runners will reach the summit ridge at the Gamskarkogel. The second lap will take the trail runners past the famous Bad Gastein waterfall and the picturesque Reedsee lake, to the Graukogel and via the Miesbichlscharte up to the highest point, the Zittrauertisch (Zittrau Table), at an altitude of 2463 metres.
The third lap will lead the runners out of the valley towards Dorfgastein, with a ridge run from the Jedlkopf to the Mooseckhöhe. The relay runners will complete the last kilometre together and cross the finishing line as a team.
Once the teams have completed their lap of the relay on Sunday, they can treat themselves to a sauna, a bath in the thermal water lake, a massage service and a pasta buffet. The official partner hotels for the event also offer a first-class service for athletes, including a night shuttle to the start.
Family and friends can also get close to the race action and experience it alongside their loved ones, meaning spectators are never side-lined. Gastein offers special spectator packages for the athletes' companions and invites them to visit the hotspots along the race route. They will also be invited to get involved with side events, including a morning fun run with sporting legends, a yoga session at the Alpentherme and a kids’ run.
Adidas TERREX is the creator brand in the outdoors. We exist to inspire those who shape their own path in the outdoors. Those who unleash their imagination and progress beyond their expectations – be it climbing, trail running, mountain biking or multi-mountain sports.
We do this by striving for new, innovative design solutions, made possible by integrating adidas’ own technologies as well as the finest materials from partners including GORE-TEX; Pertex®; PrimaLoft®; Polartec® for apparel; and Stealth® and Continental rubber for footwear.
We are proud to count outstanding athletes as Sasha Di Giulian, Shauna Coxsey, Kevin Jorgeson, Martin Söderström, Kai Lightner, Mina Markovič', Luis Alberto Hernando and the Huber Buam in our family. We are a long-standing title sponsor for adidas ROCKSTARS, the contest for the international bouldering elite and are excited to be bringing a sustainable new trail running concept to life with Infinite Trails, a world championship event that brings together grassroots runners and elite athletes.