So we launched last November a major campaign to recruit our athletes for the year 2020 so that they can benefit from our products and travel the roads of the world. We have received an incredible number of applications, proof of the trust you place in us, and for this we thank you once again.
Today, we would like to shed light on some of the athletes of Team WAA. They are the Team WAA Elite, made up of racers from all over the world, ready to collect the podiums and stack up outstanding performances. If you may already know some of them, you will discover our new athlete Maryline Nakache, the new nugget of the French trail, who is looking forward to making herself known even more this year.
Let's start with the one that many of you already follow, admire, and encourage throughout the year. Luca Papi continues to trust WAA this year and plans to drive the mileage and elevation gain meters crazy.
We're not introducing Luca Papi anymore. At 40 years old, this Italian who lives in France is a true bulimic of running. It was not until 2010 that he began the discipline of trail running but he quickly multiplied the number of races and kilometers. With between 40 and 50 races every year, he confides that there are not enough weekends in the year to do more. Luca takes a lot of pleasure in running and continues to get to know himself better and to progress.
WAA athlete since 2015, it is true that his image is closely linked to our brand. WAA will once again support him throughout his season, but with real freedom so that he can continue to enjoy himself as he pleases.
For this year 2020, Luca Papi has planned to be present on the TransGranCanaria at the beginning of March to attempt another double (which he achieved last year), but also on the TOR (Italy) this summer, and the Ultramarathon PT281 in Portugal. He will be keen to improve his marks on these three events. He will also be present on the Trans Aubrac, the UTTJ, the Diagonale des fous, and especially on the 2 races of the Half Marathon des Sables (Fuerteventura and Peru) where he will accompany his wife who will discover the event. And for those who haven't seen it yet, his 2020 season has already started last weekend with the Corsa della bora in Italy and its 170km where he signed a superb 3rd place!
Let's continue with another profile also amazing, after the year 2019 full of success, with his superb 6th place in the UTMB® and first place at Ushuaia by UTMB. From Ecuador, more precisely from the capital Quito, Joaquin Lopez is at 27 years old a specialist in races over 100km.
Continuons avec un autre profil tout aussi incroyable, sortant d’une année 2019 remplies de succès depuis sa superbe 6ème place sur la course de l’UTMB® et sa victoire à l’Ushuaia by UTMB®.
At the age of 13, thanks to his brother, Joaquin discovered a team sport combining mountain biking, trail and kayaking called adventure racing. First with the short 2-hour formats, then with races of up to 400km in total, Joaquin was immediately among the best in his country. And when the discipline of trail arrived in Ecuador when he was 19 years old, he immediately set off headlong for new challenges. With his first 100km at the age of 22, Joaquin continues to combine the two disciplines.
For 2020, Joaquin Lopez will start in Mexico with the 60km of Desafio de la Nubes, then will be present at the MIUT on the Portuguese island of Madeira at the end of April where he finished 7th in 2018 and the Half Marathon des Sables of Fuerteventura for the first time. "It will be a great experience," he tells us. Then, his end of the year will revolve around a multi-sport race in November in New Zealand, an adventure of 6 days and more than 700km in conditions that promise to be difficult.
We asked Joaquin if he had a little advice for the whole WAA community:
"I think the best advice I can give is to finish every race with your last bit of strength. Whether it's a 10km or 171km race, there is no better reward than crossing the finish line knowing you've given it all you've got. »
Let's move on to a British athlete who has been part of the WAA adventure for 5 years now. Anna-Marie Watson divides her time between the UK and the French Alps. In love with the mountains, she tells us that she considers a real chance to be part of the WAA Team. Her philosophy of life is completely in line with our slogan: "What An Adventure". For her, everyone can find a little adventure every day if you adopt the right spirit and challenge your limits.
Anna-Marie will start her 2020 season after a inter-season break on the TranGranCanaria (65km) in early March. Then she will leave for Nepal for the Mustang Trail, an 8-stage race in the Himalayan moutains, before coming back to take the start of the OCC (after having already run the CCC and the UTMB) at the end of August, to finish with the Diagonale des Fous on Reunion Island if she gets her race number.
Yeray Duran is a 42 year old Spaniard who knows all about the discipline of trail running. Before becoming a specialist of distances between 100 and 160km, he played for a long time on Basque pelota courts. If his 2020 calendar has not yet stopped, it is because of an injury he has been dragging since last year. Let's hope he will recover very quickly as his main goal for the year remains the UTMB. And to start the year, he will be present on the TranGranCanaria on the 128km race.
We also asked him for some advice for our community for the 2020 season: "The year will be long, so you have to take your time and accumulate the kilometers little by little to make the most of all these adventures. »
If you follow us closely throughout the year, you must have noticed that all the athletes we have just introduced were already part of the WAA Team last year.
Now it's time for our new athlete for the 2020 season. Maryline Nakache joins the Elite WAA Team and has the ambition in 2020 to make a name for herself on the international circuit. If the specialists already know her since her title of French champion of long trail in 2018, let's recall that this young 35 year old Frenchwoman is very recent in the discipline.
This year, Maryline will be keen to ward off the bad luck of the end of 2019 with 3 last-minute cancellations due to the weather. No doubt the sun will be out in 2020. Her main objective will be to participate in the UTWT (Ultra Trail World Tour) with the MIUT (Madeira), the Mozart 100 (Austria), the UTMB (France) and the Ultra Trail of Cape Town (South Africa). She will also be present on shorter races in France to prepare for her major events or simply because she loves to run in her region.
Concerning WAA, it is of course through Luca Papi that she discovered the brand. "He is an impressive and endearing character," she admits. Maryline immediately fell in love with the values of our brand, and she says she is very proud to be part of a team made up of athletes who are passionate about nature and adventure.
So much for our 5 portraits of the WAA Elite 2020 Team, now it's time for the 2020 season for our outstanding athletes. A season that promises to be very rich and exceptional in view of the ambitions of each one. WAA is delighted to support these athletes and accompany them in their goals, and we wish them good luck for the coming year!