Thursday, April 26, 2012

Otter trail run is conservation effort

2011 Otter champion Ryan Sandes will this year be defending his title

With the Otter African Trail Run the aim is to leave the trail in a better condition than before the event, explained race director Mark Collins of Magnetic South at the launch of the 2012 Otter at the Two Oceans Aquarium. And it is because of this conservation element that Hi-Tec SA, a Two Oceans partner and sponsor of SAN Parks, was keen to become a presenting sponsor, says marketing manager Ian Little. Apart from that, the standard 42km marathon Otter is one of the toughest courses he has ever run, says ultra-runner Marc Smith of co-presenting sponsor GU.

The Otter African Trail Run is a “magic” run due to several factors, explains Collins. “While hikers find The Otter a gruelling five-day trek, guys do it here in just over four hours – the cut off is 11 hours.” Nobody is allowed to train on the course during the year and no runner therefore has “home-ground” advantage. The popular hiking trail is usually booked years in advance and the event therefore offers trail runners an unique opportunity to become one of the privileged few to experience an environment closed to most 364 days of the year. It is strictly against the rules to litter and prior to the event the scouts and organisers clear any litter left by hikers to leave the area in a more pristine condition than what they found it.

Hi-Tec has been a presenting sponsor since the inaugural event in September 2009. This year the trail, end September, early October, will be run “backwards” from west to east for the first time, which will increase the difficulty of a race already rated very tough.  “Technical aspects of this gruelling event offer the ideal platform for promotion of the growing range of outdoor adventure shoes offered by Hi-Tec,” says Little.

Hi-Tec marketing manager Ian Little with the prologue route of the race
 GU has been present from the start but their half-way station will this year be run as a co-presenting sponsor for the first time “to put food back in the body to provide the necessary fuel,” says Smith.

Vivobarefoot hosts barefoot running workshops

The latest Vivobarefoot range

Vivobarefoot is hosting a series of barefoot running workshops throughout SA from 20 April – 5 May. The workshops, presented by barefoot running coach Dale Turrell, covers practical as well as theoretical components of barefoot running as taught by internationally renowned barefoot running expert Lee Saxby. “The feedback we have received is tremendous with many parties interested in utilizing the knowledge of a barefoot running coach,” says Turrell. The Vivobarefoot brand is currently in the process of being launched into retailers across South Africa and the workshops are great opportunities to introduce the range to the public. 

Stuart Hutcheson, brand manager for Vivobarefoot

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Two Oceans attracts record crowds

A record field of close to 26 000 runners participated in this years’ Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon, resulting in many more family members, friends and associates passing through the doors of the Two Oceans Expo, held at the Good Hope Centre in Cape Town from the 4-6th of April. The Expo attracts over 45 000 visitors over the 3 day period each year. Visitors enjoy special deals on running related and commemorative event gear, supplements, sporting tours etc.

Commemorative event gear was available to purchase at the expo
 The booth of event sponsor, Puma, was once again kitted out with the Jamaican theme, inspired by world-renowned sprinters such as Usain Bolt. 

Customers were encouraged to compete against times set by Bolt in the Puma Faas Speed Test to receive discount on products they would like to purchase at the Puma stand

The Sweat shop offered specialist advice for runners
Adidas displayed their running apparel and gear prominently in the middle of the hall
Latest base layer brand, Skins, and international running brand, Mizuno, distributed by Super-Brands, shared a booth
Rockets compression sportswear sold Two Oceans branded arm warmers in time for the chilly race on Saturday 7 March
Inov-8 specialists were on hand to answer any running related questions 
Under Armour base layers were available at the expo
The New Balance stand generated lots of interest
Hi-Tec marketing manager Ian Little and Leo Rust from Adventure Inc, distributors of Buff, at the Buff stand
Sportsmans Warehouse offered runners specials on apparel, nutritional supplements and more
Shock Absorber had a stand set up to give sports bra measurements to runners
Tammy Rutherford, Brad Gale and Michelle Basson showing off the Second Skins apparel and compression gear
Alex Hawkins and Roger Zeino (right) of Branded Footwear, distributors of Vibram FiveFingers