Friday, October 1, 2010

Kilian Jornet makes mountaineers around the world look silly
I honestly think this is the most mindboggling running feat I have ever heard of. Kilian Jornet (the Spaniard that won Tour du Mont Blanc twice, won the Skyrunning World Cup 3 times, ran the entire Pyrenee Mountain Range in 9 days, and took 3rd at WS100, after leading for 80+ miles) just ran up and down Mount Kilimanjaro in 7 hours and 14 minutes. It's a 47 mile round trip going from under 6000' to over 19300'. He ran the up part in 5:23:50, took about a 10 minute break, and returned in 1:41. That's right, 23.5 miles in 1:41. Yes, it's down a pretty steep mountain, but I don't care how steep it is, that's still 4:18/mile for 23.5 miles, starting at an elevation that would leave most people unable to breath, after running up one of the biggest climbs in the world. This dude is an absolute machine.


The Other BG said...

I don't want to poo on your parade, but I didn't believe the descent time, so I looked into the Kilimanjaro routes a bit. Assuming he took the most popular route, Marangu, Wikipedia says it's 39.8 miles round trip (so, 5:05/mi for the descent). The second most popular route is only 30.4 miles, which is even more sensible.

While this guy is definitely a beast, now I don't have to accuse him of using a Performance Enhancing Mountain Bike on the descent.

alyssa said...

For what it's worth, I think Collin is actually right. Well, you're both probably right in your own way. BG - While the facts on the distances are probably correct, I'm guessing he didn't take an actual "route" up or down the mountain, which made it somewhat shorter. He can probably withstand steeper grades than the average hiker - going in both directions - and used that to his advantage. But until someone can translate the French websites for us we may never know, as everything in English is fairly vague.

The Other BG said...

Alyssa, I'm sure he did take a standard route. If he didn't, he'd be fighting bad footing the whole way. Besides that, I'm not sure if steeper is better in this context. Nice footing and a steady incline could be better, depending on the person. I've never done a reliable comparison on very steep terrain.

Though, the comments on this web page:
say he took the Umbwe route, which is the "shortest and steepest" at 23 miles total.

And, I think at least one of us has to be smart enough to find this information on a french web site, if it exists.

alyssa said...

I agree that he did take mostly a main route, but I also think if he could have cut corners, he would have. In the mountain races I have done, you clearly have to stay on the marked trail to go the whole distance. Going off the trail would be cheating. In this case though I think it just matters he gets to the top/bottom, so I am fairly certain that if he could have made any shortcuts he would have. I suppose only he knows.