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