Stories / August 2022
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Chamonix has once again been the epicentre of world trail running. For the first time, NNormal was at this celebration that brings together thousands of mountain enthusiasts every year.
This was the stage chosen to present Kjerag, our first top-performance trail shoe.
The first footwear samples were on display at NNormal's stand at the runner's fair, allowing those who wanted to test the product for the first time to do so. The excitement of seeing this first shoe come out was confirmed by the excellent reception it received. In addition to the product, the stand was also the focus of our No Trace Program campaign; our end-of-life solution for products.
However, the two stars of NNormal’s presence at the Chamonix race were our athletes Tòfol Castanyer and Kilian Jornet. They are the ones who have tested the product the most, and it is their results and feelings that encourage us to see a brilliant future for Kjerag.
Tòfol Castanyer once again represented Mallorca at the Chamonix races. Runner-up in the 100-mile race in 2011, he took part in this year's 145 km event after his 10th place in 2019 and his 4th place in 2018. At 50 years of age, Castanyer never ceases to amaze. He managed to stop the clock at 21:07:07, a time that earned him eighth place and put him in the top 10 in one of the most prestigious long-distance races in the world. The race was won by Frenchman Ludovic Pommeret, who is proving to be in great form.
“We returned to Chamonix, the mecca of trail running, 3 years later, without needing to prove anything to anyone. But I was filled with desire to prove to myself, and indirectly to the brand, NNormal, that at 50 years old I can still be in the running.”
Three days later, and after much uncertainty due to a recent positive Covid test result, Kilian Jornet was at the starting line of the main race. 170 km long, the race covers the Mont Blanc massif in France, Italy and Switzerland.
Unsure of how his body would respond, Jornet decided to put on his Kjerag shoes and venture out on what would prove to be one of his toughest 100 miles to date. The race started at a frenetic pace with American Jim Wamsley in the lead.
Jornet and the rest of the competitors were hot on his heels, but the infernal pace caused more than one casualty among the main favourites, including Wamsley himself, who with 40 km to go had to give up his podium chances and make his best effort to finish the race. Jornet also had to pay the consequences of this fast pace, coupled with his convalescence from the virus, and had serious thoughts of abandoning the race at Champex (km 145). Just before he reached the refreshment point, Frenchman Mathieu Blanchard overtook him. What some would see as confirmation to quit, he took as the motivation he needed to pull himself together and attempt to finish the race.
So, after taking some good refreshment, Jornet regained his legendary willpower and completed a brilliant last 40 km. He went from strength to strength, overtook Blanchard and led the race alone until Chamonix, where the crowd welcomed him with the affection and euphoria of the greatest of moments.
“It is one of the races in which I suffered the most, so I am happy with the result and the race management. By eating and keeping my energy up all the way, I was able to push myself at the end.”
The “No Trace” Program was born out of NNormal's commitment to people and the planet. The program seeks a solution to the end of life of sport equipment.
The program’s first initiative took place at the NNormal stand in Chamonix. A container was provided where used shoes and sport equipment could be left. All this equipment has been sent to Recircled, a company that specialises in fashion and the circular economy. There are different options for each item, from recycling (dividing up the different parts of the products by material) to resale of products that can have a second life.
This was a test run for an initiative that collected around 90 pairs of shoes and will continue in the coming months. For anyone interested in joining the program, it will be available online from October on the NNormal website.
This action was the first grain of sand on a long road in which NNormal will seek not only to promote the responsible use of sport equipment, but also offer end-of-life solutions. The community will thus be encouraged to join the project and together contribute to this transformation of the industry.
At Zegama we managed to connect with around 300 users and at Chamonix we added a thousand people to the community. Our Telegram group allowed us to be by your side, providing exclusive content about our products, our athletes and of course, all of you. In total, almost 3,000 messages were sent, mostly in Spanish and English.
This group will remain active for upcoming races, events and so on. If you would like to join it, it is very easy.
Simply register on the link below.
See you soon!
Photography: Nick Danielson
Film: Diego Sanz Casasnovas
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