The three-year agreement builds on an already successful partnership that began in October 2015, in which Altra was Western States’ exclusive footwear sponsor.
The new agreement, in addition to awarding Altra presenting sponsorship status, also gives Altra exclusive rights to serve again as Western States’ official footwear sponsor and gives Altra title sponsorship for the Golden Ticket races for entry into Western States.
“Altra exceeded all of our expectations over the past year,” Medinger said. “We have been really impressed with how responsive Altra has been as our partner. More generally, Altra is just such a fast-growing, progressive, future-minded company. They are as involved as a company can be in ultra running, and they truly understand the ethos of our sport.
“We are very excited to have Altra as Western States’ presenting sponsor.”
Western States race director Craig Thornley added: “We’ve developed a great relationship with Altra over the past year. In 2016 they were instrumental in helping us deliver one of the most memorable races we’ve ever had. Their engagement at each training run was unprecedented in my experience as race director. Altra’s representatives provided free shoe demos, and gave out free shoes. What was even more impressive was the human touch – when you have Altra’s people ─ well-respected reps such as Zach Bitter and Ben Bartley and Altra co-founder Brian Beckstead there in person ─ interacting with our runners, sharing stories, training tips and providing their perspective and encouragement, it makes for a truly memorable experience for our runners. I can’t compliment Altra enough for how involved they became last year.
“We’re thrilled to have this presenting sponsorship agreement with Altra in place.”
Altra was well represented in the 2016 Western States Endurance Run, with five of the Top 10 men: Jeff Browning (M3), Thomas Lorblanchet (M4), Ian Sharman (M6), Kyle Pietari (M8) and Jesse Haynes (M10) and two of the top 10 women: Meghan Arbogast (W6) and Maggie Guterl (W7).
“Altra is proud to renew and expand our partnership with the first and one of the greatest 100-mile ultra marathons in the world,” said Brian Beckstead, Altra’s co-founder and Global VP of sales. “Being part of the legendary Western States race in such a meaningful, long-term way is a dream come true for me as an ultrarunner. Altra is committed to running footwear innovation for the road, trail, track, treadmill and gym. As athletes, we fully understand the importance of footwear and have high expectations in our continued quest for footwear perfection.”
Altra Footwear is now the third largest trail shoe brand sold in run specialty with three of the top seven trail-running shoes, according to data from NPD: Altra Lone Peak, Superior and Olympus.
Altra’s running shoe innovations are born from long hard runs in the Wasatch range, just minutes from Altra’s Utah headquarters. Founder Golden Harper, a former All-American runner who loves to run to the top of difficult mountain summits, invented a cushioned Zero Drop shoe and a foot-shaped toe box, features that are now found on every Altra shoe. Co-founder and Global VP of Sales Brian Beckstead completes at least one ultramarathon each year, including Eco-Trail Norway in 2016, Ultra Trail Mont Blanc and the Wasatch 100 in 2015 and Ultra Trail Mt Fuji in 2014.
Altra’s recent awards the 2016 “40 Under 40 Award” from Sporting Goods Business for Harper and Beckstead; in July of 2016 the Altra Lone Peak 3.0 Neoshell MID won “The Apex Award” from Polartec and the original Lone Peak Neoshell won “Top Gear Picks” from Gear Junkie; the Altra Olympus 2.0 won “Editor’s Choice” from Trail Runner and “Comfiest Runner” from Backpacker; the Altra Performance Half Zip jacket won “Most Innovative” from UltraRunning magazine and many more.
Follow @AltraRunning and #ZeroLimits on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and at AltraRunning.com. Altra® Footwear is a brand of ICON Health & Fitness, the world’s leading health and fitness innovator, based in Logan, Utah.
ABOUT THE WESTERN STATES 100-MILE ENDURANCE RUN: The Western States 100-Mile Endurance run, first held in 1974, is the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail run. Held on the last weekend in June in Squaw Valley, California, Western States brings together approximately 360 runners from across the globe and from all 50 states for what is considered the world’s most competitive and prestigious 100-mile trail race.