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SmartWool Hits Stride as Official Sock of Ragnar Events, Three Iconic Colorado Trail Series

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (May 18, 2015) — Adventure runners on the road and trail demand the highest performing gear and SmartWool, the world’s leading Merino run sock and apparel company, is doubling down on its commitment to the sport this year through partnerships with Ragnar Events and three of the country’s most popular trail race series. The Steamboat Springs, Colorado-based brand will serve as the official sock supplier to the 2015 Gnar Runners, Steamboat Springs Running and Vail Mountain Trail Running Series, as well as the Ragnar Relay and Trail Series.

“These races are proving grounds for some of the best runners in the country and vibrant opportunities for athletes of all abilities to come together,” says SmartWool President Mark Satkiewicz. “We’re proud to show our support for these grassroots events and the thousands of athletes who tackle them each season.”

Ragnar Relay events feature teams of 12 runners tackling 200-mile point-to-point road routes. When not putting in their miles, teammates cheer through the night for their partners, often in costume, creating a unique atmosphere often described as “family” along the course. Ragnar Trail Relays utilize a similar format, with eight-person teams competing over 120 adventurous miles of dirt. Fourteen Relays and 10 Trail Relays will come throughout the summer, including stops in Southern California, Colorado, and Washington D.C.

“Few brands mix performance and comfort as well as SmartWool and Ragnar is excited to call them brand a partner,” states Ragnar co-founder Tanner Bell. “We’ve long been fans of the brand’s PhD® run socks, and our team of Ragnar Warriors and Ambassadors are energized around providing grassroots support for a key partner in SmartWool.”

The 13-event Steamboat Running Series opened its 19th season at the 8.4-mile Hayden Cog in nearby Hayden, Colorado, on May 9 and includes a variety of challenging races and fun runs ranging from 5 kilometers to 50 miles, over some of Colorado’s most spectacular terrain. The 18th annual La Sportiva Vail Mountain Trail Running Race Series is also well established and attracts top runners from around the country.  The seven-event calendar opened May 16 at the Boneyard Boogie 11k Trail Run in Eagle, Colorado. The Gnar Runner Series, a collection of trail and mountain races in Northern Colorado, kicks off June 14 at the Quad Rock 50 near Fort Collins, Colorado.

“Our events are all about promoting an enthusiasm and passion for the sport of mountain, trail and ultrarunning,” says Gnar Runners founder Nick Clark. “SmartWool embodies this ethos through a mix of thoughtfully designed performance apparel and an incredibly joyful spirit of adventure. Add to that their team of top elite athletes like Rob Krar, Darcy Piceu, Timothy Olsen, Paul Hamilton and Jason Schlarb, and the opportunity for our brands to align is one that we see benefiting our participants on race day and every day.” 

SmartWool will provide product giveaways at each series, as well as opportunities for athletes to try on product and interact with the brand’s Fan Field Tester team of elite runners and consumer reviewers. Event participants will be among the first runners to try SmartWool’s new PhD® Run sock line, which is the brand’s first to address the needs of men’s and women’s feet independently—helping runners run more comfortably than ever before. Engineered from the inside out to amplify the benefits of Merino and maximize performance with the foot in motion, the new gender-specific PhD® Run socks provide many benefits, including enhanced breathability and a more dense, yet lower profile, cushion built with 200-needle fabric construction.

About SmartWool: Based in Steamboat Springs, Colo., SmartWool is a 20-year-old apparel brand whose products are inspired by living and playing in the mountains. All SmartWool® products come with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee and are created to get the most out of the inherent benefits of Merino wool. For information on the full range of SmartWool® products or to find a dealer near you, please log onto www.SmartWool.com. SmartWool, a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of VF Corporation. For event and company updates visit us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/smartwool or Twitter: http://twitter.com/smartwool.

2015 Gnar Runner Series

·       Quad Rock 50: June 14

·       Never Summer 100: July 25

·       Black Squirrel Half: Sept. 4

·       Blue Sky Marathon: Oct. 4

2015 Steamboat Spring Running Series

·       Hayden Cog: May 9

·       Spirit Challenge: May 23

·       Steamboat Marathon: June 7

·       Howelsen Hill Train Run: June 20

·       Mountain Madness: July 4

·       Spring Creek Memorial: July 25

·       Steamboat Stinger: Aug. 16

·       Continental Divide Trail Run: Aug. 22

·       10K at 10,000 Feet: Sept. 6

·       Emerald Mtn Trail Run: Sept. 26

·       Steamboat Sneak: Oct. 17

·       Turkey Trot: Nov. 26

2015 Vail Mountain Tail Running Series

·       Bone Yard Boogie: May 16

·       Summer Solstice: June 20

·       Annual Vail Hill Climb: July 5

·       Vail Half Marathon: July 19

·       Berry Picker: Aug. 2

·       10K at 10,000 Feet: Aug. 23

·       Ever Gold: Sept. 13

 

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