Salomon Australia have today announced their Trail Running Team line-up, and Ultra168’s very own Andrew Vize has been included along with Matt Cooper, Mick Donges and Gretel Fortmann. Needless to say we’re all extremely excited and pleased for Andrew, and is just reward for his years of hard work and dedication to training. It’s amazing to think that Andrew started trail running just four years ago, debuting with a 16 hour North Face 100km time.
Since then, he’s taken the Aussie trail running scene by storm, winning the GNW 100 miler three times in a row and setting a huge course record in the process too. He’s also backed-up from GNW twice and finished on the podium both times in C2K. Having trained with Andrew for the last two years, on personal level its easy for me to see why he’s been picked. When we all turn off the alarm and crawl back under the doona, Andrew is out training.
Posted below is the full press release from Salomon, along with a brief Q&A from ourselves as to how Andrew’s relationship will work and what this means for Ultra168 too.
Winning the Great North Walk 100miler 3 times in a row in 2009, 2010 and 2011 (course record in 22h22m) and clocking the fastest Australian time in the iconic Western States 100 miler in the US, Andrew Vize has cemented his position as one of Australia’s strongest Ultra Trail runners. The running virus caught him only a few years ago after his wife bet him that he could not finish a Marathon without training. He managed to run the distance and has since then completed – and won – some of the toughest races in the Ultra Trail scene. Andrew is known for his meticulous preparation and gear choice as well as his determination to push his body to the absolute limit. In 2012 he will focus on the North Face 100km in the Blue Mountains and defending his title in the Great North Walk 100. He will also challenge the world’s best trail runners in the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc 100miler in France.
Living and training in the Blue Mountains (NSW), Mick Donges knows his way around the area hosting some of Australia’s most popular Ultra Trail races. His results include a 10th place in the Six Foot Track and a strong 6th place in the 2011 North Face 100km, when he challenged a strong international field including Salomon athletes Kilian Jornet and Ryan Sandes.
Mick’s determination and strong focus on training earned him a nomination to represent Australia in the 2011 Commonwealth Ultra Trail Championships (Wales) which he finished 5thoverall. In 2012 Mick will compete in the Tarawera Ultra 100km (NZ), The North Face 100km (NSW) and in the Ultra Trail Du Mont Blanc 100miler in France.
MARGARETHA “GRETEL” FORTMANN
Margaretha a.k.a Gretel lives and breathes the outdoors, so it is not surprising that she spends her time working as a mountain guide on the Overland Track. Guiding groups and individuals along Tasmania’s trails gives her the opportunity to share her passion for the outdoors and spend time training on some of the most rugged and beautiful trails in Australia. Within three years of entering her first Ultra Trail race in 2009, Gretel has come a long way and recorded the fastest Australian female time in the prestigious Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc, finishing 10th woman overall. In 2012 she will race the North Face 100km in the Blue Mountains and will head overseas to compete in Ultra Trail races in the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Wales.
Matt Cooper has established himself as a serious podium contender in the Australian ultra running scene by winning the 2011 Alpine Challenge 100 mile race and placing third (2010) and second (2011) in the Great North Walk 100 mile race. Matt focuses strongly on mental preparation and shares his ultra running experience with clients of his coaching and mentoring business. 2012 will see Matt competing in the Alpine Challenge 100, the North Face 100, the Great North Walk 100 and Coast to Kosci.
What’s being announced today?
Andrew has been selected to represent the Salomon Australia Trail Running Team. This means that Andrew will become a Salomon representative for Australia and in the races he competes in both here and around the world. It’s a huge honour to be selected for the team, and Andrew will be joined by a number of other great athletes from Australia too. This is recognition of Andrew’s hard work and efforts over the last four years and we’re all really excited for him.
Does this mean that Andrew is leaving Ultra168?
Not in the slightest, Andrew is still very much a part of the team and we value the advice and contributions he makes, as I’m sure our readers do to.
What about the rest of Ultra168?
The Salomon deal is with Andrew and the rest of Ultra168 will continue as normal, operating under Ultra168. Andrew is still very much part of the team and will continue to write for and represent Ultra168 where there is not a conflict of interests. Andrew has a lot to give in terms of knowledge and advice and we still very much value his contribution to Ultra168 and the website. Where required, Andrew will declare his relationship with Salomon to ensure we remain completely transparent and open. It has always been a policy of Ultra168 to declare our interests in any article, so that our readers are clear and they can judge the quality of what we produce for themselves.
Does this mean that Salomon will receive favourable coverage on Ultra168?
Ultra168 will continue to review all types of products from a range of different manufacturers, so nothing will change and Salomon will be treated no differently to other manufacturers. As part of being on the Salomon International team, Andrew will not be writing for or on behalf of Salomon for Ultra168 to ensure that we remain impartial and that there is no conflict of interest. If there are any reviews involving Salomon, either Dan, Darrel or Marcus will write these.