MEET HOKA / Athletes

At its core, HOKA ONE ONE is a brand that has evolved from the sport of ultraracing and ultrarunning.

The initial idea behind HOKA ONE ONE came from Nicolas Mermoud, an ultra runner in France who wanted a shoe that would enable him to go downhill faster. He brought the idea to Jean-Luc Diard, who was experimenting with bringing oversize design concepts to running shoes. Both had worked at Salomon, where Diard at one time was president of Salomon Group. The shoe launched in 2009 in Europe and soon came to the states.

HOKA ONE ONE soon gained an authentic following with ultrarunners. HOKA ONE ONE is committed to not only supporting the sport of ultrarunning, but also the great athletes that make up the sport. Triathletes are realizing the benefits of HOKA ONE ONE running shoes as well. The brand’s commitment to great athletes will be increased going forward, as HOKA ONE ONE focuses on supporting an amazing team of ultrarunners and triathletes.

Britta Martin - Triathlete


I’ve always had an interest in sports. It was while I was studying for my sports science degree at Munich University that I became passionate about triathlon and cycling.

In 2007 I took a big step towards realising my dream of becoming a full time athlete. I quit my job and spent the year racing for a professional cycling team in Europe. Racing on a team was a fantastic experience but during this time I decided that triathlon was the sport I really loved. I’ve been living in New Zealand since 2007 as a professional triathlete.


7th Ironman South Africa
17th Ironman World Championships Hawaii, Kona
1st Marlborough Half Ironman, New Zealand
7th Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast, Australia
22nd Ironman 70.3 Racine, two punctures on the bike

1st Ironman WA (8:56.03) Race Record
1st Challenge Taiwan (9:02hrs)
1st Ironman Wisconsin
2nd Half Ironman New Plymouth, New Zealand
8th Ironman 70.3. Wiesbaden, European Championships

Vajin Armstrong - Ultramarathon Runner


I have been running seriously for 15 years and I am still learning and improving. It has been a very long and challenging road which has taught me much about myself and has made me an infinitely better person. For me the practice of running is all about the journey of Self Transcendence, I am always seeking to challenge and go beyond what I have achieved before and what I think is possible for myself.


Two Bays Trail run, Melbourne, Australia (AURA Australaian Trail Running Championships) - 56km 1st Place 4.12 New CR
Tarawera Ultra Marathon - 100km 4th Place 8.26 PB
Southern Lakes Half Marathon, Wanaka, 2nd Place 1.09.38 PB
Boston Marathon - 2.28.18 PB
TNF100, Blue Mountains, Australia - 100km 6th Place 9.22
Swiss Alpine Marathon 78km, Davos, Switzerland - 3rd Place 6.38

Hong Kong 100, Hong Kong - 100km 4th Place 10.18
Tarawera Ultra Marathon - 74km 3rd Place 5.57
Buffalo Stampede Sky Marathon, Bright, Australia - 1st Place 4.25
Transvulcania, La Palma, Canary Islands -73km 13th Place 7.49
White River 50mile, Washington, USA - 3rd Place 6.57
Southland Marathon, 1st Place
Buller Marathon, 1st Place
Tarawera Ultra Marathon - 100km 3rd Place
Zeramtt Marathon (one of the most presitious and competitive mountain races in Europe)- 7th Place 3.17
Swiss Alpine Marathon 78km, Davos, Switzerland - 2nd Place 6.21
Kepler Challenge, Te Anau, New Zealand - 60km 2nd Place 4.55

Curly Jacobs - Ultra Runner & Healthy Living Advocate


The following is adapted from Dean Taylor's article that originally appeared in the Te Awamutu Courier: "Ultra record in sight", January 13, 2015.

Grant 'Curly' Jacobs has been a sportsman his whole life - running and cycling mainly, but for the past few years an ultra runner. This latest passion began around 4 years ago when Curly was living in Taranaki and met Kiwi legend Ziggy Bauer - holder of the 40-year old record for running the length of New Zealand (18 days). Curly had been back into running for about three years at the time, and thought ultra running sounded like a great challenge. He did a bit of training and entered the solo section of the Around the Mountain Relay - a 100 mile race around Mount Taranaki. He says he wanted to see if he could run that far.  Not only could he run 100 miles (160km), but he won. Curly has since run the length of New Zealand twice, plus the width of the North Island, with his dog Buddy simply for the adventure. But this year he has his sights on the record - and he wants to knock a full two days off it. In order to do this he will need run the equivalent of three marathons per day (18-19 hours of running) for 16 days which he hopes to achieve this Spring.

Hannah Lawerence - Professional Half Ironman and Pilates Instructor


I am an Auckland based Professional Half-Ironman Triathlete, and a Pilates Instructor. I came into the sport of Triathlon rather late in the game from a running background. I raced cross country, track and marathons and spent 6 years living in Gunnison Colorado firstly on an athletic scholarship at Western State University then racing marathons on the elite road racing circuit.

Through frustrations of injury I moved back to NZ and decided to give triathlon a go. I wasn't a great swimmer and I had to learn how to ride a bike and at that stage wasn't allowed to run as I was getting over an injury, so of course I decided to start training for the NZ Ironman!

I had my first ride on a borrowed bike, in borrowed kit and shoes that were too big for me in June and then raced the Taupo Ironman the following March. It was a massive eye opener to endurance sport, with particular highlights been my rather impressive crowd silencing power chucking episode along with my picnic/meltdown on the side of the road with the Saint Johns Ambulance Worker! 

Needless to say it wasn't the “fairytale fall in love with Ironman can't wait to do another one affair” and I didn’t rush back to the full Ironman distance! but it did ignite my passion for the sport of Triathlon and from there I have trained for and raced the Half Ironman both nationally and internationally. I am currently training with my Boulder Based coach Michael Lovato as part of the Lovato Performance Team.

The two things that impress me the most about Hoka One One Shoes (specifically the Clifton 2) is firstly the amount of spring and responsiveness of the shoe despite the fact that you have ample cushioning in forefoot. I am a mid foot striker and I am pretty hard on my shoes so I like a decent amount of cushioning in the mid to forefoot area of a shoe. In the past I have had to compromise between getting that cushioning but sacrificing the lightness or responsiveness of the shoe. The Clifton 2 gives you both.

Secondly even though the shoe provides the forefoot cushioning it still has a great underfoot feel. Running in the Clifton, my feet feel super light, and cushioned yet I still have the feel of the under foot terrain so I feel very agile in my footing. Where I have noticed the impact of the shoe the most is running off the bike when my legs are feeling the heaviest and dead. The Hoka One One shoes give you that feeling of spring and lightness and the combination of the cushioning and responsiveness helps reduce the impact of the loading on your legs, helping you to keep moving forward. Honestly these shoe Rock!!

To learn more about HOKA ONE ONE International sponsored athletes, click here.