The race is a relay format that includes eight intercontinental teams competing around a multi-terrain course in an attempt to become the first to “beat the sun” around iconic Mont Blanc in the time between sunrise and sunset.
The teams have just 15 hours, 41 minutes and 35 seconds to cover the 80.8 mile course. Each will complete two relay sections of between 2.8 miles and 10.6 miles, across varied altitude and terrain that include trail, road and alpine through France, Italy and Switzerland.
The amateur athletes include Sarah Brown, who is from Arizona and uses running as an outlet for confidence building, adventure and competition.
Benjamin Farrell, a senior environmental engineer who lives in Columbia, Md., uses running as an escape and way to connect with nature. “Running allows me to set goals and keep a day-to-day regiment to achieve those goals,” he said.
Kelsey Landrum is a full-time student at Baylor University in Texas and is also a competitive runner and horseback rider.
Thousands of runners applied for the opportunity to participate before 50 semi-finalists were selected by Asics trail experts, with the final 24 amateurs chosen following a public vote and an assessment of their motivation to participate. Three amateur runners and three expert athletes will make up each of the teams, with three teams from Europe, two from America and one each from Oceania, Asia and Africa.
This year, a number of retired Olympian will be taking part in the race as expert runners.
Those who want to join the Asics’ Global Day of Running can register by joining the Asics #BeatTheSun online community and pledging to commit to running a certain distance on the longest day of the year. The race will also be broadcast live on Asics’ digital and social channels and video reports of the race will be distributed on various global networks.
More information can be found at Asics.com.