Western States 2011: "Ultra Trail was born with this race 38 years ago" - Kilian Jornet

Posted in Dishing the Dirt by Matt Ward on Tue 21 Jun '11

© www.salomonrunning.com

Kilian on the Western States trail

The Western States 100 isn’t entirely Kilian Jornet’s cup of tea. He likes things a bit more mountainous when it comes to racing. However, the young Catalan sees can see the magnitude of the event, and how it has embossed itself on trail running history…

When asked for his thoughts on the 2010 event, Kilian states:

I learnt a lot on this race last year, it’s in the defeat that we learn most. It was my first race in the US, and their way of trail running is completely different from Europe.

The race is more rolling, faster and the runners didn’t stop even for just 30” at the feed-zone! So, it was really new for me to manage the hydration versus the warm conditions, 50°C under the sun.

The American Trail Runners have a different approach to Europeans, with Geoff Roes and Anton Krupicka, we talked over many kilometers without any stress or competition, just to have the pleasure of sharing good moments together.

© www.salomonrunning.com

Kilian and Anton locked in battle

Our talks focused on our environment and our links with nature. I really felt close to what they were saying. It was a good chance for me to meet and talk with these two exceptional athletes and an opportunity to observe their body language and how they managed their speed throughout the race.

On why he has returned in 2011, Kilian has this to say:

It’s not a race that I can relate to, there are not enough mountains, it is not technical and it’s too warm…But I have come back ! It’s the race history which has made me return.

Ultra-trail was born with this race 38 years ago and I can feel that historic atmosphere when I run the Western States ! It is important for me to know the origin of my sport to help me understand it better. The WS100 is a myth, a mountain ; )

© www.sacbee.com

Reactions so far
  1. Mark Brotherton Jun 21, 04:11 PM

    Thank you Kilian for not belittling this grand race just because of your personal racing inclinations. This 100 miler was the first, and for many important reasons. Thank you for revering the wonder of such an historical route. It is the event which made and continues to make strong our inclinations to discover while running all day under the sun. It is the fact that only a few can continuously run it from start to finish that causes so many to measure their reach and strength here year after year. As for the rest of the world, the ‘myth’ affords room for those who are bound by the fear of failure to dream of greatness. Do you have enough greatness to share with us Kilian?

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