Press release from ATRA corporate member Altra Footwear. Other ATRA corporate members mentioned in the press release include the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, Aravaipa Running’s Javelina Jundred, Ultrarunning Magazine.
Altra Footwear announces its 2017 Endurance Team, featuring an incredible group of 31 men and 21 women from across the globe, including road and trail runners as well as triathletes and obstacle course racers. Even as a young brand—now in its sixth year of business—Altra is able to attract the caliber of these world class athletes. Founders Golden Harper and Brian Beckstead attribute the quality of the team to the benefits of Altra’s unique FootShape™ toe box and Zero Drop™ platform, which decrease injuries and provide a more natural, comfortable fit.
New members of Altra’s elite 2017 Endurance Team include:
- Gediminas Grinius, a european ultra marathoner who is best known for winning the 2016 Ultra Trail World Tour and placing second at the 2016 UTMB.
- Amanda Basham took fourth female at the 2016 Western States Endurance Run, third female at the 2016 USATF 30K Trail Championships and winner of the 2015 USATF 50 Mile Trail Championships.
- Maggie Guterl placed first overall at Brazos Bend 100 with the third fastest 100-mile finish ever by an American.
- Emma Roca of Spain finished third at Diagonale des Fous and second female at Hardrock 100.
- Tyler McCandless, Mike Popejoy, Rex Shields and Andrea Duke all raced in the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials.
Additional athletes new to the Endurance Team include Giff Walters who finished fourth at Moab’s Red Hot 55k, Christopher Schurk won the Wasatch Front 100 miler, Kyle Curtin placed third at Run Rabbit Run 100 miler, Anthony Kunkel finished second at the JFK 50 miler, Jesse Haynes finished tenth at Western States, Corinna Coffin placed second in the World Spartan Race Championship, Kristen Mohror placed first female at four of the Portland Trail Series races, Sarah Cameto finished second female at the Ironman 70.3 New Orleans and Laura Kline placed first female at the North Face Endurance Challenge in both Washington, D.C. and Ontario, Canada.
Returning athletes to Altra’s Endurance team had an incredibly competitive year, finishing out 2016 with a fantastic list of achievements: Jeff Browning set the record for the Double, which is the combined times of Western States 100 and Hardrock 100, a historic co-win by Jason Schlarb at Hardrock 100, and a course record at Javelina Jundred by Zach Bitter. Our female athletes saw great success at the World 100k Championships where Meghan Arbogast won her age group and received a bronze medal for Team USA, and Traci Falbo won her age group; as well as in the Olympic Distance Triathlon National Championships where Alissa Doehla earned fourth place. World records were also set by Jacob Puzey for the fastest 50 miles run on a treadmill with a time of 4:57:45 and by Calum Neff for the fastest half marathon and full marathon while pushing a stroller. To finish out the year, Ultrarunning Magazine awarded Heather “Anish” Anderson the Most Notable FKT of the Year – Female, along with awarding Jeff Browning, Ian Sharman and Zach Bitter as three of the top five Ultrarunners of the Year.
Returning international athletes include Thomas Lorblanchet from France, Sondre Amdahl from Norway and Katsutoshi Saijo from Japan.
“As Altra growth continues, we are excited to add some superb depth to an already very talented team”, said Altra Co-Founder Brian Beckstead. “I’m also thrilled with the momentum Altra is experiencing on a Global level. Seeing athletes like Emma and Gediminas come to the Altra family along with the continuation of Thomas and Sondre is just an honor.”
Altra is also the official footwear sponsor of the Maverick Multisport Triathlon team, Sierra Endurance Sports team, Visit Dallas/DNA Cycling Women’s UCI Cycling team and the Stan’s NoTubes/Kenda Elite Women’s Mountain Bike Team.
Altra’s Endurance Team plays an important role thoroughly testing pre-market prototypes. These athletes frequently wear Altra’s shoes and apparel samples in some of their toughest races to provide feedback on how to make the gear even better. Their guidance on comfort, durability and performance is key to creating high quality footwear and apparel for the public.
Jason Schlarb, Altra’s elite athlete and Endurance Team captain, weighed in, “as Altra continues to revolutionize and break limits with its footwear and apparel, likewise, the Altra Endurance Team continues to grow, break records and is now one of the most talented and diverse teams of endurance athletes in the world.”
Altra also has more than 200 brand ambassadors from the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, South America and Australia.
While working at a running store, Altra Founder Golden Harper was frustrated that modern running shoe technology caused poor running form and had not decreased running injuries. His passion to create a shoe that followed the science produced Altra’s FootShapeTM toe box and Zero DropTM platform. Since its founding in 2011, Harper and co-founder Brian Beckstead have grown Altra from one to 21 shoe styles, winning multiple Editor’s Choice awards and distribution in more than 50 countries. Join the conversation @AltraRunning and #ZeroLimits on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.