Photo credit: Jordi Canyameres.
By Alice Morrison
Kilian Jornet is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, ultra runner on the planet. This year his calendar looks as exciting as ever. He has announced that he will be running in the Salomon Glen Coe Skyline™ 2017 and that he has ambitions to complete the Bob Graham round. He also wants to take on Everest once again, having had to pull out in 2016 and he has UTMB in his sights.
It was UTMB that catapulted him to fame with three wins to his credit in 2008, 2009 and 2011. It is the race that all the mountain runners want to run and as the UTMB team says about this year’s edition, “The brawl is going to be beautiful”.
He’ll be up against a whole host of big names: the best of the Americans with Jim Walmsley, Sage Canaday and David Laney; the Spaniards Luis Alberto Hernando and Miguel Heras; the Lithuanian Gediminas Grinius; and, of course, the French superstars François D'Haene and Xavier Thévenard.
Salomon Glen Coe Skyline™ 2017, is one of only three EXTREME rated Skyrunner® World Series races globally. It is famous for its technical, exposed, and rough terrain, and Jornet is known for his daredevil approach to exposed ridges. He will almost certainly be considered the favourite at the event this September in the Scottish Highlands.
Kilian said, “I have heard about Glen Coe since the first year Emelie run and she just said, “you must go there”. The technical ridges and the culture of mountain running in England (sic) really attracts me to run Glen Coe and I can’t wait to the moment of being here!"
However, many of the top 10 from 2016 will be returning to challenge Kilian, including the 2016 winner and EXTREME Skyrunner® World Series champion Jonathon Albon; 2015 British fellrunning champion Finlay Wild; and the world-class Glasgow based Tom Owens, who finished second in 2016.
Kinlochleven will certainly be the place to head this September 15-17th!
Kilian has said that he is very keen to become a member of the Bob Graham Round Club. Entering this club is not easy, as you first have to complete a turn through 42 hills in the Lake District region of the UK, covering a total of 119km and 8,700m of positive gradient. You have to do it in less than 24 hours and the current record is held by Billy Bland with a time of 13:53.
Although Kilian holds the fastest known times for ascending and descending some of the world’s highest mountains including the Matterhorn, Mont Blanc and Denali, we reckon the Bob Graham Round will still give him a run for his money.
If you’re wondering if he might be flying past you on your next ultra here’s a few other races Kilian has signed up for: Mont Blanc Marathon (France), Hardrock 100 Endurance Run (USA), Sierre Zinal (Switzerland) and Ultra Pirineu (Spain).