6 months with the Berghaus Trail Team

I can’t believe as this calendar year starts to wrap up and more and more training is done in the darkness of the short days that’s it’s been an amazing 6 months being part of the Berghaus Trail Team.

When I got the phone call back in June telling me I’d managed to somehow make a good impression at the assessment day in the Lakes and that I’d be joining 5 other lucky runners in Chamonix for 3 days of running in the mountains I didn’t know how much it would impact my running and attitude in such a short time.

The Berghaus Trail Team 2014 - Chamonix

Glorious weather and trails in Chamonix

Joining Danny, Martin, Kirsty, Kirstie and Graham in Chamonix for one of the best running experiences of my life was a real treat. As someone who often trains and enjoys running alone it was very different for me to run as part of a group but learning from everyone in the team along with our guide and also Simon and Julie who joined us was great.

I formed some great friendships with the team in no time – we all talk regularly on Twitter/Facebook and Strava and in no specific order of awesomeness, seeing Kirsty complete the UTMB, watching Martin win ultra after ultra, Graham sharing his incredible running background completing events all over the world, Danny coming up to Yorkshire recently to take part in my local race the White Rose Ultra and being utterly inspired seeing Kirstie taking on the mountains of Chamonix running the longest distances she’d ever done – not once but increasing her biggest distance the day after too then following that with a great run at the Glencoe Marathon.

What I’ve got out of this so far

Obviously one of the big big perks of the trail team is the Berghaus, Led Lenser and Torq swag, I’ve honestly loved most of the gear – particularly the VapourTech tops  and the excellent VapourLight Hyper Smock but what’s been nice is to be invited to provide critical feedback on the things we feel could be improved.

Many companies tend to work closely with their elite athletes (in this case frequently Phillipe and Anna Gatta who we met in Chamonix) to develop kit for their needs and often those needs don’t quite tally up with “normal” runners like me who spend most of their weekly miles running to work with a laptop in a pack. It’s nice to get a bit of a feel for the product cycle and I’m keen to continue working to feed back to Berghaus, Led Lenser and Torq my views and experiences.

For me, the massive highlight of the last 6 months has been chatting with the rest of the team over email, Facebook etc and sharing successes and stories. These are people I know I’ll be in touch with and be inspired by for years to come.

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Graham ready for the chase. Day 2. #trailteam2014 #trailchase

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Graham at the Berghaus Trail Chase

Their achievements and efforts have certainly driven me to work harder, train harder and think bigger.

The next Trail Team

It’s only half way through the year and the support and kit from the team sponsors has been great and I’m looking forward to contributing more reviews, race and training reports and sharing another 6 months of everyone else’s achievements.

Looking forward, I can’t wait to see what plans are in store for a 2015 Trail Team but I can safely say if you get the chance to apply for it (keep an eye on the Trail Team website, make sure you do. Even the assessment days alone are an experience not to miss.

Happy running.