An Evening with World Champion Kilian Jornet, presented by Boulder Running Company, Salomon and Competitor magazine
Thursday, Sept. 26, 6-7:30 p.m.
Boulder Running Company, 2775 Pearl St., Boulder
Tickets $5; book $14
Go to boulderrunningcompany.com
Kilian Jornet, 25, might be the best trail runner—ever. At just five years old, he accomplished more than most adults athletes by ascending Aneto, the highest peak in the Pyrenees in his home country, Spain. This early taste of mountain air set Jornet up for the rest of his ultrarunning and trail running career—he’s a four-time champion of Europe’s Skyrunner World Series, three-time champion of the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, and 2011 winner of the 100-mile Western States Endurance Run in California’s Sierra Nevada. Not only is this 25-year-old killing it in ultras, he’s also set speeds records for Mount Kilmanjaro, with many more records on the world’s highest peaks, hopefully including Everest, to come.
Before Jornet sets off for the Ultra Race of Champions this Saturday in Breckenridge, he’ll sit down with the editor-in-chief of Competitor magazine for a Q&A session this Thursday evening at the Boulder Running Company. Between preparing for race day and seeing Colorado, we were able to get a few answers (via email) from Jornet about what he expects from this weekend’s race.
How did being raised at such a high altitude contribute to your skills in ultra running and mountain running?
Jornet: I was in contact with nature since I was a kid and we used to do a lot of excursions with my parents, so from the very beginning I was running and climbing in the mountains. I guess this has helped me through the years. The mountains are the landscape I know and where I feel comfortable, so it’s also my favorite playground.
Mentally, how do you get through such long and tough races?
I try not to think about the whole track, because when it’s so long you can easily get overwhelmed. I try to put little goals all along the track, and think “Ok, when I reach that summit I’ll stop.” I never do it, but it helps me. Also, when I feel that my legs won’t move I try to fool my mind so I can keep going. For example, I sing songs or I invent stories.
What inspired you to begin the Summits for My Life project?
Summits of My Life is a dream from my childhood. It’s going to the mountains in a different way, respecting it and with the values that inspire me. We’ll try to set up speed records in different summits around the world with the littlest material possible and without assistance, but always with respect, learning and being humble up there.
Where is your favorite place or country that you have raced?
It’s difficult to tell! But I think Zegama in the Basque Country is one of my favorite races and also in La Reunion Island, it’s always magical.
What do you expect or hope for the Ultra Race of Champions?
I was in Russia last week so I’m arriving with respect and I’ll try to do my best, trying to cross the finish line. It’s going to be a great race, with great competitors so I hope I’ll be able to do my best.
Will you be able to get out for a run with some of our local runners that you normally compete against?