2012 was another great year for the Salomon Trail Team in the UK, once again producing some amazing domestic and international performances. With 2013 now upon us and the racing season about to get underway proper, the team spent last weekend at their Spring training camp for three days of team talks, kit fitting, training sessions and product briefing ahead of what will no doubt be a very busy year.
This year’s camp was made extra special with the first meeting of Salomon Avenir, a new junior development squad of fell, mountain and trail runners aged between 16 and 18 years, who will not only be aided with product for the year but also be given support in the form of a mentorship scheme via some of the UK’s best athletes.
The concept behind Salomon Avenir is to help develop the next generation of trail and mountain runners in the UK and hopefully the ‘next draft’ of the Salomon Trail Team. The squad will be guided by Salomon Trail Running community manager for the UK, Matt Ward.
Manchester was the base for the weekend activities, with the brand new Salomon UK northern showroom playing host to the seminars and product meetings over the weekend. Present at the camp were representatives from main sponsor Salomon and sports instrument partners Suunto. The athletes were also kept up-to-date with with advancements from nutrition partner Kinetica. The teams were also fortunate enough to receive help and support in their physiology from top UK physio Andy Walling, who will once again look after the team in 2013.
Trail Team boss Tim Lloyd comments:
“It’s always a pleasure to get the Salomon team together to train and plan the year ahead, but this year was one of the best camps we have ever had with a great atmosphere and some great input from all at Salomon and our associate sponsors. The training camp is important for Salomon and the athletes because we are all working together to move off-road and trail running forwards in terms of product development and events. Plans for 2013 look very exciting, and I am especially excited at the Avenir project which is something Matt has been working on for a while. We have some incredible athletes in our senior team and for a group of them to be on hand to aid the next generation of athletes to come through is something really special.”
The weekend saw the team try out new products on the hills surrounding Rivington, Lancashire, in a number of group training runs and photo sessions. Sunday afternoon also saw the two groups take part in the now familiar core stability session courtesy of Andy Walling, to round off the weekend!
Regarding the Trail Team line-up for 2013 Lloyd continues:
“We have tweaked the team a little this year creating a mix of our highly experienced champions and younger athletes capable of taking the Salomon name into some different spheres. Rob Hope, Angela Mudge, Tom Owens, Ricky Lightfoot, Rob Samuel, Emma Clayton and Joe Symonds all remain with the team and will once again focus on a programme of international and domestic races, with Tom racing predominantly with the Salomon International team once again this season.
“In comes Welsh International Andy Davies, who will add that extra dimension in the longer distance races. Andy has a great engine and after focusing on his marathon aspirations for the first few months of the year, will look towards some of the longer mountain and ultra trail races in the UK and abroad”.
“Overall it is a great mix of youth and experience, speed and endurance, and we hope to be able to do all of the partners proud with some great results once again this year”.
Speaking about the Avenir squad Matt Ward comments:
“I am very pleased with what we have achieved in pulling together this junior collective in 2013. In a relatively short space of time it has gone from a vision to reality, and the fact that we have some of the UK’s top young talent on the squad in the very first year is particularly pleasing.
“In Annabel Mason we have the European Mountain Running Champion and one of the brightest prospects in UK junior running at the moment, James Hall is the English Schools Fell Running Champion, Bertie Houghton an English international on the fells and a champion on the track at English schools level. Nathan Jones won the British Home Countries fell championship gold medal in 2012, and represented GB at the European Mountain Running champs last year and Andrew Lawler was 3rd in the British Championships race which Nathan won, and has recently become Scottish Junior 800m champion indoors.
“The opportunity for these guys to learn from some of the UK’s and world’s best fell, mountain and trail runners is immense. When people ask me I liken it to a 16-18 year old footballer being given a direct line for advice and support to someone like David Beckham – which youngster in their given sport wouldn’t jump at that chance?!
“We are clear from the outset too that we are not in the process of interrupting coaching or governing body programmes, this is all aimed at complimenting those programmes and offering something a little different from a sponsor’s point of view”.
Head of marketing at Salomon GB is Richard Philip, he concludes:
“The weekend was great from our perspective. It gave us an opportunity to meet the guys on the team and spend a little time explaining our objectives for the brand, events and general marketing in 2013. It also gave us the opportunity to properly look at product for the team and make sure that our offerings are in-line with what they need to be the best that they can whilst training and competing.
“As a brand who supports sporting excellence we are very excited for the year ahead, especially with the Avenir project which Matt will head-up, and we look forward to working with the team and sharing in their successes over the coming season”.
For more information and news on the Salomon Trail Team, Salomon Avenir and the Salomon trail events for 2013, head to www.salomontrailtour.co.uk
Full Salomon Trail Team line-up for 2013
Full Salomon Avenir line-up for 2013
Annabel Mason – Emma Clayton
Bertie Houghton – Ricky Lightfoot
James Hall – Rob Hope
Andrew Lawler – Angela Mudge
Nathan Jones – Rob Samuel