American marathon legends Ryan Hall and Deena Kastor, along with Dutch speed skater Erben Wennemars, will be among the top-tier international athletes taking part in the unique ASICS Beat the Sun relay challenge in Chamonix, France, on June 21.
Hall, who holds the record for the fastest marathon by an American (2:04:58 at the Boston Marathon in 2011) is joined by Kastor, the 2004 Olympic marathon bronze medalist and American-record holder in the marathon, and Wennemars, a multiple world champion Dutch sprint speed skater.
The relay challenge also includes 24 amateur runners in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to team up with expert athletes as they attempt to “beat the sun” around Mont Blanc in the time between sunrise and sunset on the longest day of the year. The eight intercontinental teams (Europe North, South and Central, America North and South, Oceania, Asia and Africa)—each containing three amateur and three expert athletes—will have just 15 hours, 41 minutes and 35 seconds to cover the 81-mile course.
Hall, Kastor and Wennemars are also joined by British marathon runner Matty Hynes and German extreme obstacle racer Charles Franzke. These athletes will face a new challenge as they are taken out of their comfort zones and attempt to transfer their skills and athleticism into running in the unfamiliar and testing conditions surrounding Mont Blanc.
The other experts taking part in the ASICS Beat the Sun challenge are trail running legends Megan Kimmel (U.S.), Pablo Villalobos (Spain), Iaza Feitoza (Brazil), Jonas Buud (Sweden), Xavier Chevrier (Italy) and David Le Porho (Canada). The experts will be teamed up with amateurs and allocated their intercontinental teams by May 25.