Salomon, the largest producer of trail running gear and clothing, recently announced the “Golden Trail Series” – a new, elite-focussed trail racing series. The Golden Trail Series leverages existing events, with a goal of bringing together some of the world’s best trail runners. In Salomon’s words, the Golden Series “aims to promote professional trail runners as the world-class athletes that they are, to acknowledge the amazing, passionate fans as an essential ingredient in the sport and to showcase and protect the awe-inspiring nature and environments where we play and compete.” The series is one of the richest trail races series ever, distributing 100,000 euros in prize money.
Run the Alps had a chance to ask Salomon International Team Manager Greg Vollet about the series. Here’s what he had to say.
Run the Alps: What’s the background on the Golden Trail Series – what motivated Salomon to offer it?
Greg: For a number of years, elite runners have been diluted across a lot of races. These series are not made to concentrate the elite. For example, you had to run three of the 11 races for the Ultra Sky Series in 2017.
We understand that the Ultra Trail World Tour and SkyRunner World Series are private companies, which want to create business events. Our difference is that we are helping existing events to grow with our support. We’re not asking them for any money.
We are searching to promote trail running, to make it more spectacular, and thereby to reach the masses through a strong core series of trail races.
Run the Alps: The two races in the Alps, the Mont Blanc Marathon and Sierre-Zinal, are two of our very favorites – real classics, with a long and rich history. Will this change the experience of racing for recreational runners?
Greg: The recreational runners will be able to be on the same start line with the best athletes of the world. And we want to create a special atmosphere along the way to duplicate what a recreational runner can experience in Zegama. (Editor’s note: Zegama in Spain is famous for its lively scene, featuring jubilant crowds of onlookers.)
Run the Alps: What’s the benefit here from Salomon’s point of view?
Greg: Since our first days in the sport of trail running, we have been working to develop the sport. The more the sport will expand, the more the market will increase – and the more our business will grow. And for that to happen, we need to work with the other brands too. We need more brands to invest to develop the sport. We will all find benefits if that happens.
Run the Alps: We’re assuming we’ll see lots of US Salomon runners over in the Alps this summer, for these races. When will we hear who’s going?
Greg: All the best Salomon athletes are in, for starters. We’ll have Kilian Jornet, Stian Angermund, Marc Lauenstein, Rémi Bonnet, Jan Margarit and Robbie Simpson. For the women, we’ll see Emelie Forsberg, Laura Orgue and Maude Mathys, among others.
For the Americans, we’ll have Max King, Megan Kimmel and likely Zach Miller and Alex Varner. There will be others, too. So we’ll see a lot of American runners following and taking part in this new series.
When we made the announcement, I saw some great reaction from other elite athletes and other brands, too. So, it will be without doubt very exciting!
Run the Alps looks forward to seeing the new Golden Series come to the Alps this Summer. A number of our guests will be trail racing both the Mont Blanc Marathon and Sierre-Zinal. Interested in taking part? See our tours page for more information!
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