One last push for Kilian...

Posted in At the Races by Matt Ward on Fri 21 Oct '11

© AROC Twitter

Kilian in Australia in early 2011

This weekend sees the final ‘leg’ of Kilian Jornet’s 5 Continent visitation in 2011. The Catalan is attempting to not only win big trail races on all 5 zones, but also engage with the communities and learn a little more about global trail running…

We reported a few weeks back that his tough schedule was starting to take its toll and he retreated to Mont Blanc to regain his energy levels.

This Sunday sees the final push on his quest at the Skyrunner SuperCup in Malaysia and the Kinabalu Climbathon. The 21km race with a 2300 metre upward slope puts an end to Kilian’s personal challenge: 5 Races 5 Continents, where the Catalan athlete has taken part in the most important race on each continent.


The Kinabalu Climbathon route

“After my break at Cavalls del Vent, I’m highly motivated and in good physical condition” says Kilian “Kinabalu” is a race that I like, but the level will be very high with rivals such as Marco de Gasperi among many others”.

The project began in Australia with his victory in The North Face 100km, continued with a triumph in Western State 100mile event in the USA. Then, in Europe he won the UTMB and finally came first in the South African Table Mountains. On the 23rd October Kilian will try to close the circle with an Asian victory in Kota Kinabalu.

The Cerdanya athlete comments that, after his forced abandonment in Cavalls del Vent due to built-up fatigue, he has been recovering over the last two weeks and feels very motivated facing his last challenge of the season.

“In the last weeks, I did a good training. One week I trained for 35 hours and the other 27 hours, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I spent plenty of time in the mountains feeling calm, which what Ineeded. I woke up and went running, with no programme to follow. Once up the summit, if I felt like carrying on running I did but otherwise, I returned home. I trained with friends, ran up the mountains and watched the sun setting. I had the time to enjoy being in the mountains. It made me much good”.

© Droz photo

Kilian training in the Kinabalu jungle this week...

Jornet also comments “I’m in good physical conditions and in a strong mental shape. This is the last race of the season. I’m glad to race Kinabalu, I really enjoy it, and I will strive for a victory.”

Kilian knows it will be hard work to win in Kinabalu. He’ll have to overcome Marco de Gasperi, with whom he had spectacular neck-to-neck battles at Sierre Zinal and Giir di Mont.


Kilian Jornet and Marco De Gasperi - sparring partners

“Competing against Marco is always a big motivation. He’s not just a good friend but the biggest rival I’ve never met this season. We had good duels in Sierre Zinal, Giir Di Mont and in Vertical Kilometre in Manigood, which I thoroughly enjoyed.”

Speaking about the technical aspects of Kinabalu, Kilian says

“It is a very technical race, with sharp slopes. The rocky part at the top is very slippery as it is usually wet and one must be very careful there. There is an important upward slope of over 2000 meters, which must be done walking. The going down is long and very technical. It takes more than one hour to go down and one mustn’t lose concentration or take one’s eyes off of the floor as there are steps, rocky bits, etc.”

The runners will set off from Kinabalu Park on Sunday 23rd October at 7.00am Malaysian time (23.00 CET)…

© Droz photo

Mt Kinabalu - after the rain!

Reactions so far
  1. Roger Henke Oct 23, 07:29 AM

    Kilian won it, Marco second place:
    Spain’s Burgada wins Kinabalu International Climbathon
    Looking forward to hear how well my Nepali friends Sudip Kulung Rai and Upendra Sunwar ran…

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