HOKA ONE ONE, a division of Deckers Brands, has announced the ‘most established EMEA athlete team in its history, as 90 of the best triathletes, trail stars and road runners join forces with the high-performance footwear brand for the 2020 season.’
Increasing its overall team roster by 18%, HOKA has confirmed a plethora of triathletes will join its ranks for the first time, including Germans Anne Reischmann and Carolin Lehrieder, Britons George Goodwin, Elliot Smales and Thomas Davis, and Dutch favourite Tessa Kortekaas.
Meanwhile, a host of internationally-renowned athletes have re-signed with HOKA, including Transvulcania ultra-winner Thibaut Garrivier and UTMB legend Ludovic Pommeret (both France); IRONMAN champions Joe Skipper and Emma Pallant (UK); French triathlete stars Denis Chevrot, Arnaud Guilloux and Kevin Maurel; and Patrik Nilsson from Sweden.
“Our new athlete team is undoubtedly HOKA’s strongest ever for the EMEA [Europe, Middle East & Asia] region, and we’re incredibly proud and excited to be working with such an array of amazing talent from triathlon, road and trail,” said Elizabeth Brown, Sports Marketing Manager for HOKA in EMEA.
“Last year was the brand’s most successful season with an 85% increase in podium finishes by HOKA athletes and, with our new line-up of stars for 2020, we look forward to celebrating more successes with them on finish lines across the world.”
No fewer than 53 international and national class athletes combine to make up HOKA’s latest triathlon team. Re-signings include IRONMAN Sweden winner Boris Stein from Germany, Kona finalist Els Visser from the Netherlands, IRONMAN champions Joe Skipper, Emma Pallant and Simone Mitchell (all UK), French trio Denis Chevrot, Arnaud Guilloux and Kevin Maurel; and multiple IRONMAN victor, Patrik Nilsson (SWE).
They join existing HOKA athletes such as IRONMAN Hamburg title holder Susie Cheetham, two-time Kona podium finisher David McNamee (both UK), IRONMAN Barcelona runner up Laura Zimmermann (DE), former IRONMAN 70.3 Nice winner Manon Genet (FR) and Enneko Llanos (ESP).
The brand’s triathlon team also welcomes new, up-and-coming Brits, George Goodwin, Elliot Smales and Thomas Davis.
“I saw HOKA on the podium at most races I went to last year, and as soon as I tried them, I knew why,” said Thomas Davis, a competitor at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Nice last year.
George Goodwin – a British championship winner – said “I’ve consistently had some of the fastest runs in 70.3 races over the last season and I feel HOKA can help me make more gains in this discipline, and when I move up to full distance. It will be a bonus to enjoy the extra cushioning when needed and switch to a more stripped back HOKA shoe for faster training sessions.”
Elliott Smales, who recorded the fastest debut IRONMAN time for a British athlete at Barcelona last year, added “I’m excited to be signing with a brand that considers the subtle differences between the needs of triathletes and runners, whilst providing great products for both.”
A ‘more established’ British triathlete will be wearing HOKA for the first time next year. “You only have to look at the HOKA team roster to see how many high-profile athletes are training and racing in the shoes,” said 2019 IRONMAN Lanzarote winner Nikki Bartlett, who now laces up in HOKA. “I’ve been testing HOKA shoes for about six months now, and the range of choice is incredible,” concludes Bartlett, who will also aim to qualify for the Tokyo Paralympic Games as a Guide, with Alison Peasgood, in 2020.
Also teaming up with HOKA for the first time is rising German star Anne Reischmann, who, shortly after signing, said “I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity HOKA gives me as a young triathlete to be part of a team that features so many superstars in our sport”
Fellow German triathlete Carolin Lehrieder is another new addition to the HOKA team for this year. “I’m proud and excited to join the very accomplished team at HOKA,” said Lehrieder, who took top spot at IRONMAN Italy last year. “The variety of shoes the brand offers makes it easy to find the appropriate shoe for everyone’s individual needs. HOKA feels cushioned and comfortable, yet fast and dynamic.”
In the Benelux market, current IRONMAN Malaysia champion Tessa Kortekaas has teamed up with HOKA for the year ahead. “I’m proud and happy to be part of the HOKA team and hungry to keep improving on my marathon performance. For sure, 2020 is going to be an exciting year and I will be fully focused on the IRONMAN World Champs in Hawaii.”
HOKA has also bolstered its trail team for 2020, increasing its team to 25 off-road runners across EMEA. The team now includes new members like German Andreas Schindler and ultra-trail specialist Peter van der Zon from the Netherlands.
Schindler and van der Zon join an impressive list of trail athletes who have either re-signed with the brand for 2020 or continued on multi-year deals. Such stars include last year’s TDS winner Audrey Tanguy, former UTMB champ Ludovic Pommeret, French national team runner Nicolas Martin and the in-form Thibaut Garrivier who finished second in the most recent CCC race (all FR athletes).
Ahead of another big year, Thibaut Garrivier reflected “I’m really happy to re-sign with the HOKA family for 2020. My schedule will include some big marathon-distance events earlier on in the year, like Zegama and Mont-Blanc, but I’ll also be taking my learnings from ultra-trail into the Ourea 250km and CCC at UTMB – a perfect way to enjoy the whole HOKA range.”
Featuring athletes who specialise in half marathon, marathon, cross country and track disciplines, HOKA’s road team boasts 11 high-performance stars from the UK, France and Germany. Spearheaded by the likes of 2:12 marathoner Benjamin Malaty from France and 2:16 marathon runner Frank Schauer from Germany, the HOKA road team incorporates several established road runners who continue to boost the brand’s reputation within the category.
One ‘road’ athlete who continues to do just that is current Mountain Running World Cup holder, Andrew Douglas, who re-signs for 2020. “It’s been a real privilege to be supported by HOKA over the past few years, so it was a no-brainer for me to re-sign for 2020,” said the Scottish-based runner.
“I’ve been a big fan since I wore my first pair of Cliftons back in 2015, and HOKA have impressed me each time they bring out their innovative new designs and grow their range, which as someone who dabbles in road, cross country, trail as well as my main discipline of mountain running, it’s greatly appreciated to have such a variety to benefit from.”