Hal Koerner Joins The North Face Athlete Team

The North Face reinforces its ultrarunning heritage, welcoming one of the world’s best runners to its team

SAN LEANDRO, California—December 2, 2009— The North Face, the world's premier supplier of authentic, innovative and technically advanced outdoor apparel, equipment and footwear, today announced ultrarunner Hal Koerner has joined its global athlete team. The North Face has a team of more than 60 professional global athletes which includes runners, snowboarders, skiers, rock climbers and mountaineers.

“Hal embodies the passion of The North Face,” said Aaron Carpenter, Vice President of Marketing for The North Face. “His determination, enthusiasm and fresh take on the ultrarunning scene not only inspires the running community, but the entire family at The North Face. We are excited to work with Hal in accomplishing his goals.”

A world-renowned runner, Koerner has raced in almost 100 ultramarathons (classified as anything longer than 26.2 miles) and has placed in the top three in 75 percent of them. Koerner set the speed record for the Colorado Trail (≈500 miles, topping out at 13,334 feet) in 2003 with a time of 9 days, 10 hours and 19 minutes. Koerner is a two-time champion of the Angeles Crest 100 mile Endurance Run and five time champion of the Bear 100. He set course records at the Whiskeytown 50k Trail Run in 2006 and the World of Hurt 50k in 2007.

Just in 2009 Koerner placed first in the MacDonald Forest 50k Trail Run and the grueling Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run (his second win of the race). He took third in the Chuckanut Mountain 50k Race and sixth in the epic Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run. For 2010, Koerner will attempt to win his third consecutive Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run, his favorite ultra race, in hopes of completing in less than 16 hours.

“There is a thread in all races where the juxtaposition of dirt and air, camaraderie and solitude, adrenaline and guts, winning and losing all go away, it's then that you know you love it,” said Koerner. “I'm excited to run for a team that has so much talent, breadth and combined experience.”

Koerner will be making his debut as a team athlete for The North Face this coming weekend, December 5, 2010, at The North Face Endurance Challenge Championships in San Francisco, California, taking a shot at the $10,000 grand prize. The North Face Endurance Challenge is a nationwide series featuring four course lengths - 10K, Half Marathon, 50K and 50-Mile – designed to push people to run farther than they ever have. It will be his second time running the race.

“The North Face has been committed to the ultra scene for some time now and hasn't backed down. I'm attracted to this characteristic and would love to make trail running a more familiar activity,” said Koerner. “I think that enthusiasm creates motivation. I like to promote ultrarunning as much as one person can and hopefully steer more people into making the uncommon, common.”

Koerner, the owner of a successful running store in Ashland, Oregon, will be working closely with The North Face Research, Design and Development team, especially on footwear. His expertise and experience will add to the rapidly developing collection. When he's not running or at the store, Koerner can be found hanging out at home or at a concert in Ashland, Oregon, with his fiancé, Carly, and their dog, Abbey. He organizes a number of races that help foster running and trail work in the greater Rogue Valley of Oregon.

For more than 40 years The North Face has teamed up with the world's finest ultrarunners, mountaineers, alpinists, climbers, skiers, snowboarders and endurance adventurers who have defined the limits of what is humanly possible. The North Face Ultrarunning Team includes Nikki Kimball, Diane Van Deren, Lizzy Hawker, Kami Semick, Dean Karnazes, Sam Thompson, Tim Twietmeyer, Michael Wardian, Tsuyoshi Kaburaki and Sébastien Chaigneau. The North Face Athlete team works closely with Research, Design & Development, creating innovative designs that push new technologies and inspire cutting-edge products.

For more information on the The North Face Running Team and The North Face Endurance Challenge, check out www.thenorthface.com

About The North Face®
The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., was founded in 1968. Headquartered in San Leandro, California, the company offers the most technically advanced products in the market to accomplished climbers, mountaineers, snowsport athletes, endurance athletes, and explorers. The company's products are sold in specialty mountaineering, backpacking, running, and snowsport retailers, premium-sporting goods retailers and major outdoor specialty retail chains.