There’s a new Strava Pro in the ranks… and he’s taking running to places it’s never been before. Literally.
Kílian Jornet spent his childhood in a mountain refuge 2000m (6,500ft) above sea level in the Catalonian Pyrenees in northern Spain. Somewhere we all might dream of growing up, perhaps – and if it can ever be said that someone was born in the right place for his natural abilities and mindset, it’s Kílian. Even as a kid he was taking the road less travelled, first competing as a ski mountaineer, then he got into climbing, mountain running, trail running, ultra-distance races and more. And he’s reached new heights in every field of endeavour: seven-times Skyrunner World Series champion; multiple ski-mountaineering world champion; the world record in the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc, he’s got them all and then some.
Record-holder for the ascent and descent of the 4,560m Matterhorn? Check. He ran it in 2h52”, beating Bruno Brunod’s record by 20 minutes. Record holder for the ascent and descent of Alaska’s Mt. McKinley? Check. He scaled the 6,168m (20,237ft) peak in 11h40’, more than five hours quicker than the previous record. Record holder for the ascent and descent of both Africa and Western Europe’s highest peaks, smashing the previous records? Check. He ran the 5,895m (19,340ft) Mount Kilimanjaro in 7h14’ and the 4,810m (15,871ft) Mont Blanc in 4h57’. 800km across the Pyrenees, the Tahoe Rim trail, we could go on…
Welcome to Strava, Kílian! (Note to Strava Engineering department: guys, we’re gonna have to make some new segments.)
And he’s done it all his own way. What’s as impressive as Kílian’s results is his sense of adventure and the spirit in which he undertakes these challenges. He treats his running, skiing and climbing as playtime in the mountains, and has developed a deep sense of kinship with the terrain in which he trains and competes.
It’s not the extreme [nature of the challenges] that motivates me,” Kílian said when he sat down with Strava recently. “It’s the exploring and discovering, inside myself – new distances, new feelings, new mental challenges – and outside: new mountains, new landscapes, new colours.
In the past year or two Kílian has been developing a personal project – Summits of My Life. As part of the project, Kilian will try to set ascent and descent records for the most important mountains on the planet with the series planned to culminate with a record attempt on Mount Everest.
The project is closely linked to certain values and to a purist and minimalist way of understanding mountains. Summits of My Life will be recorded in different films, which will document the experiences of each year.
Kilian said he was looking forward to sharing with the Strava community all his training and racing, which he records with a Suunto Ambit 3, as well as his amazing plans for 2015.
Strava is a really great tool as it allows me to share my adventures with a community of athletes,” he said, “and to see and do some nice loops and trails in the regions I visit. The connection between Suunto’s Movescount and Strava makes it easy to share the trails I’m running and see the training that everybody is doing.” He continued: “2015 will be an interesting year…
But for more on his plans for next year and many other topics, you’ll have to watch this space: we will be posting the rest of our conversation with Kílian soon.
In the meantime don’t forget to follow him and share in his adventures.
Follow Kilian on
ISMF Press Office – R&C Sport Communication