By Mathias Eichler
Winter, trails, darkness, and all the weather.
One last hurrah before the end of the year. Runners, get ready for a fun and festive holiday treat along the trails of Squaxin Park.
What I had already noticed when I was down in Auburn running Canyons is that HOKA was everywhere. Almost so that it felt HOKA was more prominently promoted than UTMB. Much has been said about the UTMB/Partnership, and often I’ve asked about the details of that partnership, but what’s coming into view and question is the partnership HOKA has with UTMB/Ironman, and in extend Western States. Yes, they are sponsoring the respective races but there seems to be a bit more than just a sponsor contract:
Today the US ‘by UTMB’ races which are all unaffiliated with Western States ran promotional Instagram messages announcing that Grindstone, which is also a UTMB race has been selected as a Golden Ticket event for Western States. Yes, Western States is also part of the UTMB World Series, and that relationship is also somewhat murky.
So, to recap:
This is all so very fascinating, and something that clearly requires more insight, more background info and more scrutiny going forward.
If anyone has any insight they want to share, off or on the record, please do reach out.