MONTANE, the British outdoor clothing specialist, has renewed its partnership with one of the world’s toughest endurance races – the Montane Spine Race – for an additional three years. The move comes following the conclusion of the Montane Spine Race 2022 – the tenth anniversary of the event – in what was one of the most thrilling events to date.
The brand has also agreed a headline sponsorship deal with The Grand Traverse, one of the toughest and most renowned backcountry ski races in North America. This agreement sees Montane become the headline sponsor of The Grand Traverse for 2022, as well as two more Grand Traverse race experiences in the shape of The Grand Traverse Mountain Run and The Grand Traverse Mountain Bike.
Montane Spine Race
The Montane Spine Race sees contestants tackle the Pennine Way, the UK’s first national trail, in a gruelling, non-stop, seven-day race that pits participants against extreme weather conditions.
In this year’s women’s Spine event, Montane athlete of ten years and renowned ultra-runner, Debbie Martin-Consani, claimed first place, recording a time of 104 hours 8 minutes. Discussing what she found the toughest part of the race, she added: ‘The final day, as I was having real problems with my back. I knew that I had 26 miles to go to finish but, if that had happened any other day, that would have been game over.”
The renewed partnership between Montane and the Spine Race will take effect from June 2022 and includes title sponsorship for all Spine events across the next three years. This includes a new series of Montane Spine Expedition Races which includes overseas expedition races as the Spine moves towards becoming a year-round offering.
The agreement sees both Montane and the Spine Race further align their growth, expanding upon the successful decade-long partnership and sees more focus placed on racer experience, branding and kit support for the support crew.
Montane’s Global Marketing Manager Matthew Hickman said, “The Spine Race is a staple in the Montane event calendar, regularly producing thrilling events that push contestants to their limits. We are delighted to continue our partnership with the Spine Race for an additional three years, in what promises to be three years of exciting growth and opportunities for both Montane and the Spine Race, as we build upon our hugely successful partnership.”
Phil Hayday-Brown, MD of The Spine Race, added: “We are delighted to renew our partnership with Montane. This new agreement expands on our longstanding collaboration. We look forward to making our current events even better and launching new Montane Spine Expedition Races together.”
The men’s event saw Eoin Keith, a previous winner of both the winter and summer Spine, claim first place with a time of 92 hours 40 minutes, crossing the line in the early hours on Thursday morning, over three hours ahead of the rest of the pack.
Montane has been providing innovative, lightweight, and breathable clothing and equipment for over 25 years, specifically designed for endurance sports and activities in some of the world’s harshest and most extreme environments.
Alongside the Spine Race, Montane also sponsors races such as the Montane Lapland Arctic Ultra (MLAU) and Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra (MYAU), the Montane Dragon’s Back Race, and the Montane Cheviot Goat Winter Ultra, amongst others.
The Grand Traverse
Based in Aspen in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, The Grand Traverse was established in 1998 and sees participants tackle a gruelling, 40-mile course that runs from Crested Butte to Aspen, crossing the Elk Mountain range and climbing over 6,800 feet. Scheduled to take place on April 2nd and 3rd 2022, it is regarding among skiers across the world as ‘a rite of passage quest, an imperative objective to be attempted in every skier’s lifetime.’
In addition to the heritage ski race, The Grand Traverse expanded its offerings in 2015 to include a mountain running race and a mountain biking race, both of which are held in September, positioned later in the year to offer summer options. The three events now form a tri-race series, creating the coveted ‘Grand Traverse Triple Crown’, Colorado’s preeminent multi-sport, multi-season endurance challenge.
Grand Traverse Race Director, Andrew Arell, said, “We’re elated to partner with a legacy expedition brand, one which embodies the same ethos of our event’s intrepid backcountry challenge. Having the backing of an established manufacturer innovating within mountain apparel couldn’t be more ideal. This partnership ensures the gritty legacy of Grand Traverse events will continue to thrive, providing endurance athletes with transcendent backcountry race experience.”
Hickman added, “The Grand Traverse is the perfect fit for us. Montane is right at home when it comes to supporting core endurance athletes in some of the harshest environments.”
PHOTO – Eoin Keith, a previous winner of both the winter and summer Spine, taking the honours in the men’s event. Credit: Adam Jacobs