Urban Zemmer: the fastest man in the world

29’42’’. What can we do in less than half an hour? It is the time it takes on average to leave the house in the morning, if you are quick. Otherwise, it is the time it takes to have breakfast, or the time it takes to get to work by car. In the case of Urban Zemmer however, these four digits represent the time it takes to become the fastest man in the world in the vertical kilometre. That’s crazy, right?

When we take a look at such numbers, the biggest mistake that can be made and one in which everyone, at some time or other has fallen, is to simply to assume “they are not normal”. What we sometimes forget is that these champions, seemingly so far from us from a sporting point of view, are ordinary people, just like us.

Urban Zemmer was born on the 4th of July 1970, at the foothills of the Siusi Alps and works as a farmer and a plumber. Urban’s daily life reflects the harsh rigour of bygone times: he wakes up at dawn, checks the stables and after having assured himself that everything is in place, goes to work. Similar to what the majority of us do. When he gets home in the evening he checks the barn again, gets changed, and leaves the house again to go running. What makes Urban “different” is that exactly one year ago in Fully, Switzerland, he went down in sporting history as being the only man, so far capable of breaking the 30 minute wall in a VerticalKm race. 1,000 metres height gain over the shortest possible distance and to be run, of course in the shortest possible time. That’s just about enough time to have breakfast, as we said.

What makes Urban Zemmer special is that this record was achieved not because he spends his days training or because he is in some way supernatural, halfway between Hercules and Clark Kent. He achieved this result after a doctor suggested that he should take up running after an accident that had compromised his knee, a sport that immediately became a passion. He did it by training when he could, driven by motives far removed from those of the competition world. He did it because as he says:”When you can go out to run, it means you’re still alive.”

With this video, we want to briefly put the spotlight on the values that make a great man become a great champion. These are similar to the values that, in parallel, have led La Sportiva to evolve from a small boot manufacturer to a large company, known worldwide: dedication, passion, and the ability to continue to grow without ever changing, because great victories are built day after day, and not just in sports.

Exactly one year after the great victory of the Vertical in Fully, our team will be in Switzerland on Saturday, October 24, to support this great champion, proud to continue to support athletes every day, ordinary men and women. Like us, Like you.

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