Profeet Takes World Record for Fastest 100m in Ski Boots -

‘17.65 seconds for 100m while wearing ski boots? That doesn’t seem that fast!’

When the team at the Profeet Ski Lab in Fulham heard about the current world record, set by German Andre Ortolf in 2015, they immediately felt it would be possible to go faster and so the challenge of setting a new world’s fastest time began.

The Runners
The Profeet team set about organising the attempt and Emma Kirk-Odunubi, assistant footwear manager, and Max Willcocks, one of our ambassadors, were selected to do the hard graft and bring the record to Britain.

Emma is 24 and from Brighton. Her degree in Sports Science segued into a job at the Profeet Run Lab. She is a county level discus thrower, regular runner and is currently the youngest person in the world to complete the 24-hour burpee challenge.

Max is 34 and is based in London. He is a highly accomplished ultra-runner with podiums in many races including the Thames Path 100, South Downs Way 100 and Race to the Stones. When not taking part in events such as The Arctic Challenge he works as a fitness model.

The Boots
Almost as important as athletic ability was the choice of ski boot. Max had recently spent four weeks in Austria wearing the Atomic Backland while ski touring.

“I felt really comfortable with the boot and we knew it was light and flexible,” Max said.

The Atomic Backland is super light at just 1161g per boot, but what makes it stand out is the natural movement it offers. Features such as the Frictionless Pivot and Free/Lock 2.0 mechanism are great for ski touring – and also for sprinting as they offer much more flexibility than Alpine ski boots.

The Preparation
Just how do you prepare to run 100m as fast as you can in ski boots?

Max was straightforward about his preparation: “I’ll be honest and say that other than my normal training for running races and a lot of ski touring, I didn’t put any specific training in.”

“I’d skied and toured in the Backland a lot so I knew the boot, but the only times I had ever run in them before was while running away from lifties when we were night touring!”

Emma was more circumspect prior to the event. “I wasn’t sure how I would get on,” she said. “I knew as a 13-year-old I could run 100 metres in around 14 seconds. I had no idea how much more time putting ski boots on my feet would add!”

“At the time I was doing some speed endurance and strength training in preparation for the Amsterdam Marathon, but I didn’t do any specific training for the 100m attempt,” Emma admitted.

The Location
The nearest track to Profeet’s store on the Fulham Road is on the other side of the Thames at Barn Elms in Barnes.

After checking that the boots would not mark the track and obtaining the relevant permissions to use and film at the track, the team arrived on an overcast May morning.

It’s fair to say that Barn Elms has seen better days and there are probably few running tracks in the country that include goose poo as a hazard, but Emma and Max focused on the task at hand and were led in a warm-up by Dr Craig McLean from Putney Chiropractic.

After the warm up it was time for action. To make sure any record set would be 100% official, Profeet had arranged for electronic timing equipment to be in place. Then it was up to Emma and Max…and both hit the mark perfectly.

New Men’s World Record
Max smashed Herr Ortolf’s existing time of 17.65, taking over three and half seconds off the men’s world record to cross the line in 14.09 seconds.

New Women’s World Record
Emma set an inaugural women’s record in 16.86 seconds – itself faster than the previous men’s best time.

“It’s seriously hard on the hip flexors…”

“It was the initial powerful driving start phase that I found the hardest,” said Emma. “Maintaining high leg turnover as the fatigue hit me 80-90m in was really tough.”

Max agreed that it was a demanding challenge: “I don’t think I’ll be running full tilt in ski boots anymore: it’s seriously hard on the hip flexors.”

‘Something I dreamed of as a child’
Emma was delighted when she found out she’d achieved the record: “Setting a world record is something I dreamed of as a child after reading the ‘Guinness Book of Records’. I’m super happy to have done it as a passionate member of Team Profeet.”

Ski Boot Fitting…for skiing, not running!
The Profeet Ski Lab offers expert ski boot fittingski boot modifications and advice on buying the right ski boots…although just for skiing, not running!!!

Photos courtesy of Konrad Bartelski 

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