On May 28, 2021, 12 members of Santa Monica’s AMP Association Gym embarked on a 360 mile run from Los Angeles to Las Vegas to compete in The Speed Project—a unique, unsanctioned, invite-only race not for the weak of heart. For those of you unfamiliar with The Speed Project, the concept is simple: No rules. No spectators. No rest stations. No aid stations. Nothing. Your only mission? Run from LA to Vegas in alternating jaunts, with one foot in front of the other. Rest when you can, sleep when you can, eat if your body will allow you to eat. It’s simply you, your team and the dependability of your feet and ankles to get you from start to finish, which made Lasso performance socks the perfect tool for these gonzo athletes.
The AMP team crossed the finish line in Vegas in 41 hours and 29 minutes. Humbled as they were exhausted, the team admits the race was one of the most grueling and intense competitions they had ever faced. The desert terrain can be as unforgiving as it is rewarding, and this crew learned that first hand. Thankfully, each member utilized Lasso's benefits during their stretch of the race and while recovering. Nevertheless, this was an experience of a lifetime and not one to be taken lightly.
We caught up with AMP Association's Alex Hope, one of the participating racers, to get his perspective and to learn why Lasso socks were such an essential part of this impressive endeavor. Safe to say, the Stay Moving lifestyle is alive and well with this team!
“I'd personally never tried Lasso performance socks before and noticed the difference right away. The support was amazing and the way my feet felt afterwards was completely different.”
"The race was amazing,” said Alex. “Our target was 48 hours and we finished in 41:29. So we did better than expected!" The fact that this crew was able to set an ambitious goal and crush it with time to spare is wildly impressive. Those sevenish hours are like an eternity in the scope of a monstrous race like this. "We kept it all short and fast," adds Alex. "We came 8th overall—3rd in the freestyle division. Aside from a team that destroyed it in 29 hours, everyone was reasonably close, and several of the teams that beat us took a 35 mile shortcut." When they say no rules, they mean no rules. These shortcuts, though debatably just as—if not more—grueling as the route more often traveled, can really make or break your results. Researching routes is as important as training, and with this new knowledge, Alex and the team are already prepping for next year. "We're going to do it again next year with the aim of winning our division," he said. "We were severely oversized compared to all the run teams but our guys love to suffer. With a couple of changes to the team, better strategy and the shortcut—I think we can knock several hours of our time for sure.”
With quotes and themes from Hunter Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas beaming through the associated social feeds throughout the race, it felt absolutely appropriate. Without hesitation, the runners locked in to the road ahead without looking back. Unaware at most times where the other teams were currently placed, each team was racing themselves as much as the competing crews, making it all the more exciting to reach the champagne shower at the finish line.
The majority of the AMP team had never worn Lasso socks prior to the race, but quickly felt the benefits when it was time to run. “A few of us started wearing them for training and the others did just for the race,” explained Alex. “I'd personally never tried Lasso performance socks before and noticed the difference right away. The support was amazing and the way my feet felt afterwards was completely different.”
Lasso provides both recovery and non-recovery benefits to anyone moving on their feet all day and The Speed Project was the ultimate test. The recovery benefits that Lasso provides are unparalleled to other socks, especially for a race like this. You’re running until you can’t, and then you’re crammed in an RV trying to stretch, recover, replenish—sometimes it just won’t work. But the simple effectiveness of leaving on Lasso performance socks after any activity to reduce swelling and promote better circulation was a luxury that many of the runners might not have realized at first. “Honestly, everyone loved the socks. We were wearing them the entire time," said Alex. "We all pictured ourselves stretching and rolling out a lot but in reality the RV was too small. And it was too hot to be outside, so just having something on our feet that could help with us actively doing anything was a game changer!” Adding to this, he told us, “A big worry with several members of the team was tight calves... and the knee high Lasso socks definitely helped with that. During the runs and in recovery.”
"We all pictured ourselves stretching and rolling out a lot but in reality the RV was too small. And it was too hot to be outside, so just having something on our feet that could help with us actively doing anything was a game changer!”
As if a race like this is supposed to be a walk in the park, a few unexpected surprises rattled the team along the way. From a drunk driver crashing into the RV and flipping into a ditch, to ferocious desert dogs roaming around these small, secluded towns, the heat and space restrictions weren't the only things working against them. There were plenty of ups-and-downs from the Santa Monica pier to the Las Vegas strip, both figuratively and literally. “One of the RVs got hit by a drunk driver, luckily nobody got hurt,” Alex explained. “The other car flipped upside down into a ditch and our guys had to pull them out. The RV was out of action for a few hours while we waited for roadside assistance to change the wheel.” And if drunk drivers weren’t enough, these wild, desert dogs seemed to be harassing the crew around every corner. “We were chased by dogs a couple of times. Out in the middle of nowhere, dogs seem to just roam in front yards.”
The fact that something like The Speed Project exists is incredible. It's a true testament to the athletes involved and the gear they arm themselves with. Every competitor in this race is a maniac in the best, purest form. We make Lasso performance socks for people like them. For people like YOU. To have our socks put to the test on a feat like this only adds confidence to our movement. You can't fake these results and we're thrilled the team found a little added confidence during this 360 mile trek.
Most people would check this off the bucket list and move forward, content with some wild new stories and experiences, but as mentioned, Alex and the AMP crew are already gearing up for next year and we loved to hear it. "One-hundred percent we are already planning on next year and would love to have Lasso involved again!" exclaimed Alex. And we'll be right there with them, one foot in front of the other.
Long-distance running has many benefits and many runners utilize the benefits of Lasso on a daily basis. Running is an effective way to monitor weight, strengthen the heart and lungs, feet and ankles, improve stamina, and even help alleviate things like anxiety. In this case, it also gets you on the road less traveled and in the middle of raw adventure and exploration. It takes a certain kind of person to take on something like this, and we love those people. But with all that said, it’s also a sport that’s incredibly taxing for an athlete’s muscles.
This is where Lasso's tech can make an honest difference. Consistent stress and impacts on the lower legs and heels can cause ankle sprains, heel spurs, leg swelling, problems with circulation and muscle fatigue, which are all issues that Lasso socks help relieve. Our goal is to combat these issues safely and confidently so you can charge on without fear and keep logging miles.
We’re stoked that we were able to contribute to AMP Association's run through Bat Country and are excited for next year. Shout out to Alex and the AMP crew for including us and pushing the limits. Reflecting shortly after the race, Alex concluded, "It was just cool to train together, run together, work together and then party together in Vegas. We love to have our members put their fitness to the test wherever possible."