Trail Team Esprit Montagne
The sponsoring means that they can stay the night here for free if they come here to train and that I will try to assist them at races if I happen to be in the area. There are the team members that enjoying scampering in the mountains as often as possible.
Talented mountain goat‘In 2016, I fell in love with trail running, but when I went running in the mountains for the first time last year, I was immediately sold. The experiences at various small races, the Skyrunning national championship in Switzerland and the Skyrunning world championship in Scotland have left me not wanting to do anything else. For me, skyrunning and trail running are both a battle and a collaboration with the elements of nature, which offers me a physical and mental challenge. I love a good dose of vertical metres, technical paths and getting good and lost from time to time. In 2019, I want to move towards 20 to 30-kilometer and 2000-3000 D+ skyrunning races to gain experience and to train a bit more to build up speed’.
‘Living in the flatlands, feeling alive in the mountains’
The youngest member of the Team Esprit Montagne family and only woman, but a true super talent in the mountains. She only recently discovered running in the mountains, but she has taken to it with a lot of class. She earned her first silver medal in her very first Skyrunning 2018 national championship, therefore qualifying for her first Skyrunning World Cup in Scotland. At the world cup, she earned a respectable 25th place in a very competitive field. At the Vertical KM world cup, she even finished in an impressive 18th place. What is particularly impressive is the way in which the 23-year-old Wageningen native prepares for races, training and route scouting and organizes her ‘trail career’.
2nd Trail des Hauts Forts 23km, 2018
3rd Montafon-Arlberg Marathon, 2018
Ultra climberWe first met at the first Vertical KM national championship in Fully in October 2013 and we immediately clicked. So, when he announced in early 2014 that he wants to work towards being among the world’s best in the sport of Skyrunning, I actually called him immediately and told him that he would never succeed if he trained only in that flat landscape and so he should come here to train as often as possible. That led to a sponsor and friendly relationship that has translated into many sleepovers, hikes, trails and, in particular, more and more climbing and scrambling in the mountains.
His passion is increasingly for races with tracks that are long, steep, inhospitable and difficult. And in between he looks for long climbing trips in which the focus is not on speed, but on adventure with friends.
Winner EMI 2016, 2017 & 2018
Winner Dead Sheep 2018
Netherlands Champion Ultra Skyrunning 2018
All-round ibex‘I’m Kaj Derks, I live in Berg en Dal, the Netherlands, which by Dutch standards is the perfect training environment. Without ever having seen an athletics track from up close, I started running to improve my physical condition for Alpine adventures. Since then, my priorities have shifted to running, but an annual Alpine adventure is still on the schedule. Running in the mountains presents me with new worlds with every step I take, new solutions for every obstacle on a ride and a warning to be careful on every peak. To me, running in the mountains is mainly a primary means of transport from point A to point B, but the faster you go the more fun it is. Finishing is more meaningful when you have travelled the entire distance yourself. And although a competitive streak is not one of my main characteristics, I can really run a race in good time. If I have my way, I’d like to turn up the heat a bit.
Kaj was the surprising winner of EMI 2015, where he bounds through the mountains in his now-familiar cheerful way. Since then, he has also become a member of Team Esprit Montagne. Although he has had some trouble with injuries in the subsequent years, he has certainly earned his place in Dutch skyrunning. In fact, he runs all distances, as long as it offers him the chance to “climb high & play hard”. But, he also still has time for a good old-fashioned trip through the mountains with a backpack, food and a tent. Whether it’s with his brother in the snow in the Alps or the more adventurous routes, such as the Drakenberg Traverse or Nolans 14, a good time is guaranteed.
Winner EMI, 2015
2nd Devils Trail Nijmegen 33km, 2018
3rd Ketelwald Trail 30km, 2018
Wannebe FC Specialist
Begonnen met het alpinisme en daarna gepassioneerd geraakt voor het skyrunnen door de beelden van de VK Fully en de daar op volgende eerste deelname in 2012. Aangezien rennen niet echt hard gaat, zijn het vooral de Verticale Kilometers waar ik het meeste plezier in heb, met daarbij af en toe een uitstapje naar een wat langere Skyrace. In de winter vertaalt zich dit in de ski alpinisme wedstrijdjes die ook vaak kort en alleen omhoog gaan. Maar eigenlijk hou ik nog het meest van de lange dagen al klimmend en klauterend door de bergen, het liefst met vrienden, maar ook alleen kan ik me dan prima vermaken.
Ook haal ik heel veel plezier uit het helpen bij de nationale selecties tijdens WK’s & EK’s trailrunning en skyrunning en het organiseren van evenementen zoals de Esprit Montagne Invitational en het opzetten van het NK Skyrunning. Het geeft mij net zo veel voldoening om iemand een super prestatie te zien neerzetten en dat je daarbij mocht helpen in de begeleiding daarvan. Vandaar ook het sponsoren van deze atleten.