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Jun 2018

At 5:00 pm on Friday June 22, 2018, 333 top-class trail running teams from all over the world will line up at the start in Gastein, SalzburgerLand, all with the same goal: to become World Champion! 

And to fulfil this dream, they have chosen a very special format. The adidas INFINITE TRAILS World Championships will be contested by trail running relay teams of three in three different team categories: women, men and mixed. Each runner must complete one of three loops in breathtaking alpine scenery, with each loop having a different distance and route profile. They can choose between 25 km/1900 m, 57 km/3400 m and 37 km/2000 m. The relay runners will complete the last kilometre together and cross the finishing line as a team.

Prologue: Vertical Open on the Stubnerkogel

Before the relay teams can prove themselves over the three laps, they must first jointly tackle a Prologue on Friday. This will also be the Vertical Open race up the Stubnerkogel in Bad Gastein, which means that, as well as the World Championship teams, anyone who wishes to do so can also take part.

The reward for completing this 19k hill climb up the 2246-metre high mountain will be a convivial summit party. The Gastein cable cars will take all the runners safely back down into the valley after sunset. The team results from the Prologue (accumulated placings) will determine the order in which teams start the World Championship race on Sunday.

Hunter or hunted?

The race will start at dawn at 4:00 am. Within an hour, all of the first 333 relay runners will set off on their route in a pursuit start. The time intervals will be determined by the placings of the teams in the Prologue. At sunrise, the first runners will reach the summit ridge at the Gamskarkogel. At 6:45 am, the fastest runners will already be expected back in Bad Hofgastein, where their team-mates will already be lined up for the changeover.

The second lap will take the trail runners past the famous Bad Gastein waterfall and the picturesque Reedsee lake, to the Graukogel and via the Miesbichlscharte up to the highest point, the Zittrauertisch (Zittrau Table), at an altitude of 2463 metres. From 12:15 pm, the first changeovers from second runner to third runner will take place. The third lap will lead the runners out of the valley towards Dorfgastein. The highlight of this lap is the ridge run from the Jedlkopf to the Mooseckhöhe. At around 3:30 pm, after 120 kilometres of distance and 7300 metres of elevation change, the first World Championship team will be entitled to enjoy its lap of honour through Bad Hofgastein, and be celebrated by the crowds in the Alpen Arena. 

World-class service 

Whether or not they win a medal, the trail run weekend for the adidas INFINITE TRAILS World Championships will definitely be an unforgettable experience for all the competitors. On Saturday, before the race briefing, the athletes will meet for a pre-race brunch – time to talk shop before the big race.

Once they have completed their lap of the relay on Sunday, they can treat themselves to a sauna, a bath in the thermal water lake, a massage service and a pasta buffet. The Athletes Garden at the Alpentherme right next to the finish is absolutely world-class. The official partner hotels for the event also offer a first-class service for athletes, including a night shuttle to the start.

Fun for spectators and companions

Family and friends can get close to the race action and experience it with their loved ones. Gastein offers special Spectator Packages for the athletes' companions and invites them to visit the hotspots at the huts along the race route. Thanks to buses and cable cars, they can always be one step ahead of the runners. They will also be invited to get involved with side events, such as a morning run with sporting legends, a yoga session at the Alpentherme and a Kids Run.

The pinnacle of a global trail running event concept

As part of its Outdoor business area's focus on three categories, trail running, climbing and mountain biking, adidas has launched a new global trail running event concept, with the pinnacle being the adidas INFINITE TRAILS World Championships.

"In order to allow us to position ourselves in the trail running community as a credible brand and a real option for athletes, an important element is having our own event, which we can redesign for the benefit of athletes in line with our own ideas," says Axel Burkhardt, Director of Global Sports Marketing at adidas Outdoor.

"We have already gained the acceptance of a community with our global events, adidas ROCKSTARS and the adidas Sickline Extreme Kayak World Championship, and have also been able to set new benchmarks. Together with Gastein in SalzburgerLand, we would also like to give the trail running scene new impetus. The athletes and spectators can look forward to a unique event experience."

Gastein impresses with its sustainable event concept

adidas spent six months looking for the ideal location partner in Central Europe to host the adidas INFINITE TRAILS World Championships. Three equally strong candidates, each of which had a great interest in and its own commitment to the sport, qualified for the final selection process. In the end, Gastein in SalzburgerLand was selected because it impressed adidas with its sophisticated sustainability concept and optimal use of existing trails and infrastructure."In the aspect of not needing any additional alpine infrastructure for an event of this magnitude, Gastein truly leads the way”, says Salzburg’s governor Dr. Wilfried Haslauer.

And Leo Bauernberger, managing director of SalzburgerLand Tourism adds: "By hosting such a large-scale international sporting event SalzburgerLand will be promoted worldwide as a sports destination.  Conceived as multi-year top class trend sport event by the global brand adidas, the adidas INFINITE TRAILS World Championships perfectly complement our alpine portfolio.”

Sustainability comes to the fore for product design

Sustainability also plays a key role in the development of new adidas trail running products. The new TERREX ZeroDye shoes are manufactured in a particularly resource-efficient way using only undyed materials. At the same time, they offer a blank canvas for their wearers' off-road adventures: every stain tells a different story, and every trail running experience leaves its traces.

For the TERREX Spring/Summer 2018 collection, recycled yarn made from Parley Ocean PlasticTM is converted into several different highly functional trail running products. In 2015, adidas entered into a partnership with the organisation "Parley for the Oceans" in order to put an end to plastic pollution in the oceans, and to develop new technologies to convert waste materials into functional textiles. In 2016, the adidas Innovation Team won an Outdoor Industry Award for Sustainability.

Nightjar Travel