Hoka’s Julien Chorier podiums The North Face TransGranCanaria

Hoka OneOne’s recent 100-mile athlete addition is the European supremo, Julien Chorier. He has also recently picked up sponsorship from Compressport (copying Scott Hawker there maybe – nice one Scotty!). In the lead-up to the weekend’s epic ultra and 2nd event in the Ultra-Trail World Tour series for the year, Julien and a couple of his European Hoka teammates ran around the island demonstrating some of the upcoming new Hoka kit for 2014. Careful, some of these photos may get you over-excited, especially if you already have more than 4 pairs of Hoka OneOne in your current running rotation.

Endurance running champion Julien Chorier, in his high performance mystery Hoka OneOne, set for release July 2014

But of course, more important than the pre-event running around with photographers and trail journos was the team’s running across the island – 125km and 8,500+m elev. gain – for TransGranCanaria itself. Meghan M Hicks from iRunFar.com reports that Chorier’s strategy of running a controlled and steady race, persisting in the top 5 until opportunities became available later in the day paid solid dividends, with a move past Timothy Olsen in the final 20km allowing him to grab 2nd place behind legend & ultimate winner Ryan Sandes.

Hicks also reported after the event that there was shock as organisers called Sandes to say that he had been disqualified for failing to produce his space blanket at the finish line. However, they had asked for his ‘cover’, an expression which meant little to many of the competitors and he was reinstated shortly after once the confusion was cleared up, as he had indeed had his space blanket in his pack as required.

Julian Chorier (Hoka OneOne), Ryan Sandes (Salomon Running-Red Bull), Timothy Olson (The North Face)

For Meghan M Hicks round-up of the race, go here

For information about Hoka OneOne running shoes, local Australian running stockists, or to buy online, go here

Lizzy Hawker, world champion, talks summer training.

Lizzy Hawker, The North Face athlete and genuinely one of the strongest long distance runners of all time, talks ultra running and summer training with brandmate Seb Chaigneau.

Team Hoka at The North Face 2012: AURA’s Female Ultra Runner of 2011, Nikki Wynd

Nikki Wynd

Continuing on from yesterday’s profile of Team Hoka’s Andrew Lee (also of Team No Roads) and his preparation for The North Face 100, today’s interview is with Melbourne’s Nikki Wynd, of Team Trails+.

“Brett Saxon from Trails + is a very close friend of mine and I am extremely proud to be racing for him and the Trails + team on Saturday. I also feel honoured to be part of Team Hoka and run with Andy, Jess and Jane, all amazing runners and people who I have looked up to and admired. I’ll be pushing myself to the limit on Saturday and leaving nothing on the table.”

Nikki has unfinished business on the course after an outcome last year that left her far from satisfied. With the benefit of that experience and a year of powerful racing, multiple wins over various distances and course records including the iconic Great Ocean Walk 100km, and a very rare sub-11-hour teams win on the OxFam Trailwalker 100km barely a month ago, she’ll be wearing her game face this Saturday.

Nikki (wearing Stinson Evo) with her Team Trails+ teammates after smashing Melbourne Trailwalker 2012

Hoka OneOne Australia: How hard are you tapering, and is it the best or worst part of training for you?

Nikki Wynd: David Eadie (The Running Man) is writing my program and much to my disgust he is a big fan of tapering, I feel like I’ve hardly run in the past two weeks, but I’ve really freshened up. Both body and mind and my legs are feeling great and ready to race.

Hoka OneOne: What do you think it is about TNF100 that galvanizes such growing excitement from runners old and new each year?

Nikki: There seems to be so much buzz and so much hype that surrounds the TNF. Just look how quick the entries sold out. I think for the serious and not so serious Ultra Runner it’s a great test of fitness and endurance and you get to race against gun runners from overseas in a beautiful part of Australia!

Kicking ass at You Yangs

Hoka OneOne: With some big running and racing already done this year, how will you define success on the day?

Nikki: I had the worst race I’ve ever had last year at TNF and it made me have a good look at training and nutrition. I felt like I crawled into the Fairmont last year. This year for me I want to finish and feel strong. I have a time I’m aiming for but I am keeping that to myself!

Nikki with Trails+ Race Director and friend, Brett Saxon

Hoka OneOne: You’ve gone from strength to strength with great results in Victoria over the last year. What’s the mindset coming across for this one, where hopefully a strong international field will be getting amongst it?Is it a comfortable fit for you to represent both Trails+, the Victorian event production crew, and Hoka?

Nikki: Brett Saxon from Trails + is a very close friend of mine and I am extremely proud to be racing for him and the Trails + team on Saturday. I also feel honoured to be part of Team Hoka and run with Andy, Jess and Jane, all amazing runners and people who I have looked up to and admired. I’ll be pushing myself to the limit on Saturday and leaving nothing on the table, I really hope I can do Brett and Team Hoka proud and finish with a great result.

Hoka OneOne: Anything you’d like to say about your shoes?

Nikki: I can’t rave about the shoes enough and I know every single person I have converted has not been disappointed. It’s nice to go into a race knowing that 50kms in you won’t be complaining of sore feet! Really looking forward to testing them out over the Blue Mountain on Saturday! All I can say is if you haven’t tried them then you are definitely missing out!!

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