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Young Scottish mountain runner takes on Europe

Written by Fiona June 19 2013

Aged just 21, inov-8 athlete Robbie Simpson is one of the hottest properties in UK running. Now he plans to stamp his name all over the European scene. The Scot will spend the summer racing and training at altitude in the Alps, and is targeting a big performance at next month’s European Mountain Running Championships in Bulgaria.

get-attachment-32Robbie, the youngest winner of the International Snowdon Race when aged 18, said: “I want to test myself racing against the top guys in Europe, and hopefully become one of them. I’m going to be in the Alps until September, learning from some of the best and pushing my own boundaries.”

On the back of an outstanding winter which saw Banchory-based Robbie win the Scottish 10-mile road title and finish second in the national cross-country championships north of the border, he returned to the mountains last month.

His first major assignment was the European Mountain Running Championship trial race held at Keswick, where, despite sickness, he finished third, thus guaranteeing a place in the Great Britain team for the high-profile uphill-only event in Bulgaria.

Robbie then began his European summer adventure with a fifth-place finish in the World Mountain Running Association Grand Prix’s traditional season opener at La Montee du Grand Ballon in France. Not only was Robbie the first Briton, he also took the scalps of notable previous European and World Championship medalists.

And just last weekend he finished a superb second-place among a classy field at the Neirivue – Le Moleson mountain race in Switzerland. Robbie said:  “The trail at Keswick didn’t go as well as I’d hoped. I ate something that made me feel really sick and that troubled me during the race.

“The Grand Ballon went much better. Again it was uphill only, for about 14km, but it was a world-class field, so to come fifth and run strongly was really good. I then had another strong run at Neirivue – Le Moleson.

“The European Championships is what I have been training hard for. Last year I was 19th, but this year I want to get in the top 10, and then who knows what can happen. Some of the guys I was racing, and not far behind, at Grand Ballon are among the favourites to win in Bulgaria, so I’m feeling good about how things are going.”

Robbie, who has high hopes for August’s prestigious 31km Sierre-Zinal race in Switzerland, also spent much of his 2012 summer in the Alps, recording several outstanding results, including a ninth-place finish at the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships.

 Inov-8 running retreat

Robbie will also join inov-8’s first-ever athlete’s retreat, to be held in Chamonix, France, between June 27 and July 5. He’ll train with a number of fellow inov-8 athletes, many of who will race the Mount-Blanc Marathon on June 30, in testing innovative new product.

He is also excited about the updated versions of the classic X-talon shoe range, which inov-8 will deliver later this year. Robbie said: “The X-talon 212 is my favourite of all running shoes. Lightweight and supportive, the X-talon 212 has awesome grip and speed. It has the lot.

“If I’m not in the X-talon 212, I’m usually wearing the X-talon 190 or the Road-x 233, both of which are super fast.”

More details about the updated versions of the X-talon 212 and 190, both new for autumn/winter, will be released soon. See
























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