Runners can enter for a chance to compete in the brand's Fastest Known Time challenge to become a sponsored brand athlete

ROCKFORD, Mich., July 27, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Merrell®, the world's leading hike and outdoor footwear brand, announced a contest for trail runners to win a chance to race for a spot on its elite, international athlete roster as part of its Get Fastest Known Time (FKT) challenge. The two new Merrell athletes will be signed for the 2024 season and work first-hand with the brand's product research and development test lab.


Merrell launched its "Get FKT" marketing campaign in tandem with the Merrell Test Lab (MTL) Skyfire 2 debut in April 2023, which is on pace to become the trail running shoe with the most FKTs – the fastest known time on a certain route that is at least five miles long or has 500 feet of climbing, set in the world.

To prove they are the ultimate race day shoe, Merrell is hosting a challenge for trail runners to race and become signed Merrell athletes by setting a brand new FKT route while wearing the MTL Skyfire 2. The MTL Skyfire 2 is powerfully fast and practically weightless as the lightest plated trail running shoe on the market – coming in at under 7 oz. while maintaining 5mm lugs.

"Think you're fast? Put your miles where your mouth is and enter for a chance to race for a spot on our elite roster of sponsored athletes," said Merrell Senior Brand Marketing Specialist Ben Stark. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for runners who wouldn't traditionally have an opportunity to work with a brand at this scale."

Merrell's online sweepstakes to attend the challenge runs from Thursday, July 27, 2023, through Friday, August 18, 2023. To enter, visit Details include:

  • Six applicants (three male, three female) will be selected to race for a spot to become a member of the brand's sponsored athlete team at an exclusive Get FKT event.
  • Contestants will put the MTL Skyfire 2s to the test in the Get FKT challenge on the 3.2-mile route with 2,201 feet of climbing.
  • The one male and one female trail runners who set the FKT at the event will be crowned Merrell's Get FKT challenge winners.
  • The two Get FKT challenge winners will each earn a sponsored spot on Merrell's global trail team.

"We have been at the forefront of studying the unpredictable nature of the trail for more than 40 years, from varying terrain types and changing weather conditions across a multitude of climates. MTL's materials and technologies help athletes adapt and overcome the ever-changing nature of the trail. Our core knowledge and legacy continue to set the tone for rapid breakthroughs in the trail run space that other brands are now chasing," said Stark.

MTL is the brand's in-house product incubator where its most technical and category disruptive innovations are conceived. The MTL collection is lab verified and athlete validated – working with athletes worldwide on rigorous prototype testing to refine and create products that continue to push the boundaries in the outdoor space.

"Being a Merrell athlete has made my dreams come true and it's exciting to offer that chance to two new trail runners," said Merrell Athlete Rachel Tomajczyk. "I'm able to test MTL products and give feedback on gear so I know I'm racing in the best shoes on the trail and setting the bar high for elite performance."

Tomajczyk has set more than a dozen FKTs wearing the MTL Skyfire 2 and its prototypes to date.

"On your mark, get FKT," said Tomajczyk.

To enter, applicants must be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen, and complete the online submission form by Friday, August 18, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. EST. Merrell's Get FKT challenge will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in Steamboat Springs, CO. Sweepstakes winners will receive compensated travel and lodging accommodations to attend the race.

Athlete endorsement agreements can include but are not limited to base compensation, Merrell product credit, participation in Merrell's Affiliate Program, social content, exclusivity rights, working with product development on new prototype testing and feedback, reimbursement of travel expenses and race entry fee coverage.

For more information on Merrell, please visit For more information on the Merrell Test Lab, visit To enter the contest for a chance to attend the Merrell FKT race, visit


Merrell exists to share the simple power of being outside and is committed to building an inclusive and sustainable environment for future generations to enjoy. As the global leader in outdoor active footwear with the Moab hiking boot and Jungle Moc, Merrell is focused on merging performance, styling, and comfort to empower all people to confidently explore the outdoors. The brand was recently named Footwear News' 2022 Brand of the Year for promoting a more diverse vision of the outdoors. Visit or follow us on social @Merrell. Merrell is a division of Wolverine World Wide, Inc. (NYSE: WWW), one of the world's leading marketers and licensors of branded casual, active lifestyle, work, outdoor sport, athletic, children's and uniform footwear and apparel.


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