Last year's OCC winner is aiming to add the CCC and UTMB titles in the next two years
World trail running champion Jon Albon has signed with The North Face to help his bid to become the first person to break 20 hours for the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc.
The Brit, who won the 55km OCC race at the UTMB last year and is entered for the 100km CCC this summer, has an ambitious plan to complete a triple by running the main 171km UTMB race in 2023.
As a multiple world obstacle course racing champion, Albon intends to use The North Face shoes, clothing and equipment across not only OCR and trail running but ski-mountaineering too.
He said: “Ultrarunning in general is becoming increasingly more competitive. There is already a healthy field of experienced racers, but more and more shorter-distance athletes are stepping up to run the 100km+ courses.
“These athletes are typically faster, but running for 10-plus hours requires as much strategy, planning and experience as speed.
“I’m therefore taking my time to increase the distance each year, whilst not compromising on my quest for pace.
“Last year I won the OCC (55km), this year my focus will be on the CCC (101km) and if all goes to plan, the full UTMB course (171km) in 2023.
“By this time, I believe it will be necessary to run under 20 hours in order to win.
“Having already run over 100 miles in an obstacle course race, I know I can go the distance.”
We’re excited to announce Jon Albon as the new addition to The North Face team. The multiple World and European Trail, Ultra, Sky Running and OCR Champion has already had an illustrious career since he started running competitively in 2012. Welcome, Jon! #NeverStopExploring pic.twitter.com/j5iOgvX9Om— The North Face EU (@TheNorthFaceEU) April 13, 2022
Albon believes the carbon plate technology that has revolutionised road running will also have a big impact on the trails in years to come.
He said: “Shoe technology, in particular the use of carbon plates, is making as much of an impact in the trail running world as on the road.
“The North Face have been leading this innovation for the past years and have been pioneering how to best utilise carbon plate technology within trail running, resulting in a fast shoe that doesn’t compromise on responsiveness.
“It was this that first drew me to The North Face, and I have already reaped the benefits, setting a new course record using the Flight VECTIV during the OCC.
“It also gave me confidence on the descents at the Grand Trail des Templiers, reducing impact and leaving my legs fresh for the climbs."