The idea of the company Mountain and Trail was created by Anthony Bethell a passionate Mountain Ultra Trail Runner in 2013 after he had started using a Raidlight RL30 rucksack on Mountain Marathons in 2011 and a Raidlight Olmo 5 backpack on his 3rd ever ultra the Tor des Geants in 2012. Not only did he like and love the Raidlight products he was enthused to see that the spirit of the brand was to be inclusive to all.
Raidlight was the first trail running brand to have an Open Team that allowed runners of all abilities to join and race under the brands name but it also encouraged its users to share their ideas and to get involved with product development. As such he travelled to the Raidlight Headquarters in Chartreuse in 2013 where he met Raidlight’s CEO and Founder Benoit Laval. It was following this meeting that a partnership was born between Raidlight and Anthony to help promote the brand to all ultra, trail, mountain and fell runners within the UK. Raidlight was already well known by Desert racing runners who specialised in events like the Marathon des Sables but outside of this area of competitors it was still a relatively unknown brand.
Anthony continued to promote Team Raidlight UK before receiving a formal contract with Raidlight in 2014. This lead to Anthony’s brother, David Bethell, another seasoned athlete, joining the company. With Anthony taking control of business and David specializing in marketing and the design of promotion materials, they decided to take Mountain and Trail to the next level and register it as a limited company. This allowed them to progress as a company and further their relationship with Raidlight as they began sponsoring races as well as maintaining social media pages such as Facebook and Twitter. At this stage they enlisted the help of Joanne Hudson as a translator for the company, so that the UK market could receive up to date news from Raidlight in the form of newsletters and advertisements. Over the years, Joanne has played an essential part in the company’s growth before becoming a shareholder and partner in the company in 2017.
In 2015, Mountain and Trail decided to develop the first ever Raidlight UK performance team, made up of 5 Team GB athletes, Tracy Dean, Beth Pascall, Joasia Zakrzewski, Kim Collinson and Dan Lawson, along with club athletes Janson Heath and Ute Baird, who are sponsored by Team Raidlight UK. This helped to raise the profile of the brand further and increased exposure of the Raidlight products throughout the trail community.
In 2016, Mountain and Trail started to expand the portfolio of brands it distributes to include Vertical, another outdoor brand owned by Benoit Laval selling outdoor clothing and equipment for activities such as hiking, climbing and skiing. With already a good relationship between Mountain and Trail and Benoit Laval, negotiations went smoothly and we quickly begun acting to promote the brand and build a following in the UK.
Later the same year, Anthony came across a brand called La Chaussette de France whilst participating at the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) selling high quality sports socks. He then discovered one of his friends, Thomas Paris was a sponsored athlete for the brand, who then set up a meeting between Anthony and Benoit Seguin. Following this meeting, sound relations were formed and Mountain and Trail became the sole UK distributor for the brand.
With all of this in place, 2017 is the year that Anthony and the team decided to set up an online shop to sell these innovative, quality brands to the consumer. Further to this, a new office and showroom has been set up in Cheadle, Staffordshire that anybody interested in seeing the products can visit on an appointment basis. To visit the Mountain and Trail shop, click here, or to get in touch, contact us now.
At Mountain and Trail our main aim is to provide a friendly and welcoming environment in which individuals can share ideas and experiences, whilst promoting and delivering, high quality brands to athletes of all abilities.
Our values are simple. We aim to support and nourish our community, incorporating athletes of all levels and abilities. Honesty is an essential part of our philosophy therefore we are transparent in all that we do here. Finally, for the good of our loyal community, we aim to continually develop, constantly chasing leads or searching for new brands in which we can bridge the gaps between the firm and you, the customer.