VANCOUVER, British Columbia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--At a gathering at its headquarters in Vancouver, lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU) today announced a new initiative – FURTHER – that celebrates human possibility and demonstrates how far women can go when they’re supported with resources and product innovations typically reserved for men. The initiative will culminate in a multi-day ultramarathon that begins on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2024.
The six-day FURTHER ultramarathon is expected to include 10 women from the brand’s global ambassador collective, spanning APAC, China, and North America, including five new Ambassadors: Camille Herron, Devon Yanko, Leah Yingling, Stefanie Flippin, and Montana Farrah-Seaton. Each will run the furthest distance of their careers with the opportunity to set world records. The feat will take place on a certified looped course with the location to be announced.
FURTHER will also include a holistic scientific research program addressing the existing sex and gender data gap on endurance performance, new women-first product innovations, community activations, and a giveback component to support young women.
“Women are historically underserved when it comes to opportunities to compete, research devoted to the pursuit of their goals, and product innovations built with them in mind, yet they continue to push the boundaries of human possibility in sport regardless of the inequities they face,” said Nikki Neuburger, Chief Brand Officer, lululemon. “FURTHER is grounded in our purpose at lululemon to unlock greater possibility and wellbeing for all, and we see it as an opportunity to better serve women, solving for their specific unmet needs. With FURTHER, we aim to inspire belief in what is possible for women when they’re supported with resources typically reserved for men.”
Research into Unmet Needs
In partnership with Canadian Sport Institute Pacific and the brand’s research network, lululemon plans to conduct a series of research studies to better understand female endurance performance and human endurance performance in general. Women are typically under-represented in scientific research; an audit of select sport science and sports medicine journals found only 4 to 13% of published studies were female only1. This new body of research is intended to address the limited knowledge around female athletes while bringing awareness to the need for additional research.
Trent Stellingwerff, Senior Advisor, Innovation & Research, Canadian Sports Institute Pacific, said, “Women are continuously setting new ultramarathon records, with the difference between male and female performance appearing to get smaller the further humans run. However, there is limited research in this space which creates a biased understanding of human endurance as women are heavily under-represented in sports science and in medical research at large.”
“In partnership with Canadian Sport Institute Pacific, we aim to inspire and unlock new understanding around female endurance performance while addressing the sex and gender data gap in sports medicine. We’ll also uncover insights into the performance requirements of running products, which can shape our pipeline of future women-first innovations,” said Chantelle Murnaghan, Vice President, Research and Product Innovation, lululemon.
Each Ambassador will have access to leading sport science and medicine support to inform personalized training programs spanning physical, mental, and emotional support, with research taking place throughout their training journey and during the ultramarathon event. Findings will be published beginning March 2024.
Head-to-toe product kits, including new apparel and footwear innovations (to be announced), will be developed in partnership with the athletes and shaped by the brand’s history and expertise in designing for women. The participants include:
- Camille Herron (Age: 41): Ultrarunner, World Record Holder
- Devon Yanko (Age: 40): Ultrarunner, Podcast Host
- Kayla Jeter (Age: 33): Strength & Wellness Coach, Mindfulness Strategist, Runner
- Leah Yingling (Age: 32): Ultrarunner, Biomedical Engineer, Women’s Advocate
- Mirna Valerio (Age: 47): Ultrarunner, Author, Adventurer
- Montana Farrah-Seaton (Age: 26): Ultrarunner, Strength and Conditioning Coach, Model
- Stefanie Flippin (Age: 33): Coach and Ultrarunner, BIPOC Advocate, Doctor
- Vriko Kwok (Age: 31): Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Athlete, Entrepreneur, Friend
- Xiaomeng Jia (Age: 38): Marathon Runner, World Traveller
- Yoon Young Kang (Age: 43): Ultrarunner, Judo Black Belt, Joy Seeker
Camille Herron said: “Women are continuing to redefine what’s possible. It’s important we have the platform and opportunities to showcase what we’re capable of. FURTHER represents this to me. I’m honoured to join this phenomenal group of athletes, elevate women’s running, and celebrate our human potential.”
New Women-First Innovations and Girls Opportunity Alliance Contribution
To support guests in going further and unlocking greater possibility, the brand is introducing new product and footwear innovations, along with community activations.
Launching today is lululemon’s first-ever road-to-trail running shoe, blissfeel trail. It offers traction and durability with an upper featuring a protective film and a rugged outsole for enhanced traction and grip. This innovation joins blissfeel 2, as part of the brand’s next chapter of running shoes designed to support women as they go further on their runs.
On June 2nd, ahead of Global Running Day, lululemon will launch a three-week Strava challenge for community participants to run a collective 1 million kilometers. In honour of the running community’s efforts, lululemon’s Centre for Social Impact will make a $1 million USD contribution to the Girls Opportunity Alliance, a program of the Obama Foundation, to empower adolescent girls globally through education and wellbeing tools, allowing them to achieve their full potential and transform their families, communities, and countries.
For more information on FURTHER, the lululemon Ambassadors taking on this feat, and blissfeel trail, visit https://shop.lululemon.com/story/run-further.
lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU) is a technical athletic apparel, footwear and accessories company for yoga, running, training, and most other activities, creating transformational products and experiences that build meaningful connections, unlocking greater possibility and wellbeing for all. Setting the bar in innovation of fabrics and functional designs, lululemon works with yogis and athletes in local communities around the world for continuous research and product feedback. For more information, visit lululemon.com.
About Canadian Sport Institute Pacific
Offering world-class Olympic and Paralympic training environments in Vancouver, Whistler and Victoria, Canadian Sport Institute Pacific (www.csipacific.ca) is committed to Powering Performance. Inspiring Excellence. Working with national sport organizations and fueled by our national and provincial partners such as Sport Canada, viaSport, Own the Podium, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee and the Coaches Association of Canada, we are driven by our mantra to Collaborate. Serve. Innovate. Perform. Our team of sport science, sport medicine, coaching & life services experts provide leading-edge programs and services to athletes and coaches to ensure they have every advantage to win medals for Canada. Learn more: www.csipacific.ca
1 Costello JT, Bieuzen F, Bleakley CM. Where are all the female participants in Sports and Exercise Medicine research? Eur J Sport Sci 2014;14(8):847-51. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2014.911354