December 7 2017
Our squad of testers put the latest running and fitness gear to the sweat test to determine the winners of our 2017 Tech Awards.
Remember when Oiselle put together an all-female team and become the first of its kind to win The Speed Project? Before them, no all-female team at taken on the task, let alone win the competition.
Now, together with Polartec, a company with cooling fabric products that helped sponsor the team, the Seattle-based apparel company is releasing Birdstrike, a short film about their 340-mile journey from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.
The team formed by the two companies included six racers and six crew members, comprising a mix of amateurs and professional Oiselle runners, such as Lauren Fleshman and Devon Yanko. After Oiselle announced the team, all-female squads were also created by Nike and Strava. There was more than 20 teams who descended on the course, a route that took the racers through Death Valley during peak temperatures. Success in such extreme temperatures required intense body temperature regulation, which included Oiselle’s apparel made with Polartec Delta, a special fiber and yarn construction engineered to enhance the body’s natural evaporative cooling process.
“Oiselle’s pursuit of creating quality products for female runners sets them apart in a crowded market and has led to exciting collaborative development work with Polartec,” says Polartec CEO Gary Smith. “They continuously ask for our best when designing for the athletes they serve, and as such they’ve become a valued customer.”
“We’ve always been interested in women charting new territory,” says Oiselle Founder and CEO Sally Bergesen. “The Speed Project was an opportunity to show women’s skills and ability, both individually and as a team, on a new stage. Polartec’s support and technology were key in our participation in this race. That course demanded everything of our athletes, and the apparel, like the women, stood up to the challenge.”
The team’s experience is documented in the short film, which will debut at REI as a part of their Force Of Nature campaign. The film will be exclusively screened at REI Flagship stores prior to a digital release on June 23. The evenings will include a never-before-seen look at the short film, a panel with the team, crew and Polartec fabric specialists, as well as a special reveal of what’s next for Team Birdstrike.