To Catch a Rising Star - in Japan
PUMA signs Japanese sprint sensation Hakim Sani Brown
9:00pm. It is the last day of June and the five competing teams have lined up at the starting line somewhere near the Franconian city of Bamberg. Ahead of them lies a run, which is worthy of the title “Genuine Badass” and finds it’s finish line in Nuremberg. It’s nothing for the weak and the teams are required to be self-sufficient. All runners are equipped with GPS devices, reflective clothing, head lamps and flash lights. And they’re off!
“So, it’s 6:30 am. You’ve been awake and running all night long. What you don’t want right now is your GPS and mobile phone to die. Well, congratulations, because that’s exactly what happened to me. Lost in the forest and literally “out of bread crumbs” to follow, I trusted my instincts and let my nose guide me to the nearest village’s bakery”, Jack Goodloe-Hassmann, PUMA Biomechanical Engineer Innovation and organiser of the run, recalls. Luckily for him, he swiftly got back on the event’s track that, ironically, he had planned himself. “I guess that’s what you call tasting your own medicine, right?”, he laughs.
Underlining PUMA’s ambition to be “Forever Faster”, the winning team reaches the finishing line in Nuremberg at 10 am the next day. Finisher Niklas Buehner recalls: “Despite getting lost a few times and one of my team mates being chased by dogs at 6 am in the morning, we made it through the race pretty smoothly. The downside of being “Forever Faster” in this instance was that we had to wait for our spare ribs until noon”, the PUMA Junior Manager Sports Marketing Running chuckles.
The post-challenge celebrations have become a tradition and the teams celebrated their success together, with PUMA’s Product Line Manager Sportstyle Footwear, Lena Raps beaming:
“Frankenweg Relay 2018? Hell yeah, count me in! #nomatterwhat”, and continues: “One of the hardest and most thrilling experiences ever. Not just the tough technical trails across open fields, forestry roads and the elevation gain, also the lack of sleep challenges your body and mind.”