Kilian Jornet to attempt 24-Hour World Track Record

Kilian running his first official 10km on the road.

Kilian Jornet to attempt the 24-hour track record at the Moonvalley 24-Hour, Norway, on November, 8thMåndalen Stadium.

Important update: 26th October PM:

“Right now I’m pretty injured, trying to start running ok again in a week or so. I had plan to do different road distances during this year but for the moment I need to recover well 😦 Maybe in the future, if injures allow would be fun to try to run that far… :)” – Kilian Jornet via whatsapp

Kilian goes on to say… “No problem! This running roads thing is so hard to manage on staying injury free! Looking forward for next year climbing more again 😅”

2020 has been a stange year, races have been cancelled, the FKT scene is booming and mountain running star, Kilian Jornet ran his first official 10km on the road clocking a 29:59 – report HERE.

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Warming up.

For many, Kilian running on the road was a surprise, only a couple of year’s ago, the thought of this was but a dream. Even Kilian himself thought a road race to be highly unlikely.

Coronavirus, restricted travel, no races and embracing new challenges seem to be the new normal. And Kilian is no exception…

Yiannis Kouros, the legend of ultra running has always been treated as a god in long-distance running, his stats speak for themselves. In 1984 he won Spartathlon in a record time. What followed set the benchmark for road and track running. His ability to run remarkabkle distances and times over 100-miles. 1000km, 1000-miles, 12hr, 24hr, 48hr and 6-days are incredible.

“When other people get tired, they stop. I don’t. I take over my body with my mind. I tell it that it is not tired and it listens.”

Yiannis Kouros stats : Image wikipedia

In 24-hours, he has run 180.335 on the road and 188.590 (1997) on the track. He has a 100-mile personal best of 11:46:37.

Camille Herron holds the women’s record 167.842 miles from the 2019 worlds in Albi. For perspective, Camille believes the record is possible and she has great ambitions for over 170-miles personally.

Scott Jurek, the ultra-running legend mixed road and trail, he ran 165.7-miles in 2010 for 24-hours. But many have come along and mixed disciplines, Mike Morton and Zach Bitter to name just two. Anatoliy Kruglikov ran 171.48-miles in 1995, besides Yiannis Kourus, he is the only one to come close on a track.

“I think 24 is unique enough and Yannis’ mark stout enough that it will likely take anyone more than one try. If anyone can get it on round one though, it’s Kilian. Norway did seem a bit strange with weather, but I suppose he is staying true to limited travel. That would be a bit cooler than I would like even with warmer clothes. Rather have that than too warm, but still not ideal.” – Zach Bitter

The news that Kilian will run a 24-hour race on a track is a real surprise. The additional news that he will attempt the 188.590-mile distance set by Yiannis Kouros is mind-blowing. To be held at the Måndalen Stadium, the race will potentially happen on November 8th with the provision of +/- 2-days to allow for weather. The stadium is outdoor and this in itself brings a whole new dynamic to any 24-hour, especially in Norway during November. Daylight will be minimal, temperatures will fluctuate greatly and the evening has the potential to be very cold.

For a any performance to stand in regards to records, certain criteria must be met and Måndalen IL and Salomon will guarantee that the necessary protocols are in place. Of course, situations my arise that make the attempt not possible.

For perspective, to break the Yiannis Kouros world record, any runner would need to be abale to cover an incredible 7.875-miles per hour. Statistics show that from the ‘test’ run by Kilian earlier in August 2020 that this objective may be possible. He ran 84.89km in 5:58:13 with an average 4:13/km pace. Many looked on and wondered, why would Kilian run on a track….? It would appear we have an answer.

Image Kilian Jornet Strava

“Progression comes from adaptations, adaptations come from training and resting. Training comes from knowledge and knowledge comes from testing. Yesterday I did a nutrition test. On a stable environment (a track) and an easy but steady effort I was testing different fueling and hydration protocols that I hope can help me to improve the energy levels during different goals….”

“…From a race where we can have access to fluid and food (almost) when we want, or, to a high climb where we have very limited food and fuel since we need to carry all. I believe testing is important to have better knowledge of oneself and to apply knowledge in training, racing or projects.”

This challenge is something I thought I would never see. I would imagine it’s a challenge Kilian never imagined he would undertake. But, here we are discussing the possibility of what may happen come early November…

The numbers speak for themselves, it’s a huge undertaking, especially on an outdoor tack. However, it is going to be fascinating to see what happens with each journey of the 400m loop at Måndalen Stadium.

Before the 10km road race in Norway, Kilian had a slight injury and that did impact on his race. However, post-race he took time off to recover. I guess the big question mark will be how that recovery has gone and what impact that will have over a 24-hour period. Maybe the injury will require to delay or cancel the attempt?

“I don’t think the injury is a real problem but I need to rest a little and get rid of it. When I run a VK the effort is typically 30-minutes but this is different. In terms of cardio, for me it was kind of easy all the time. It’s the legs, you need to feel light and keep the speed. It’s very different. The first 4 to 5km with more people was a challenge as you are almost cm’s from the other runners. I need to get used to that. I learned a great deal. I will try again, at least in the short term, but next year I want to climb… I have some specific goals. I just need more experience.”

The reality is 756 laps of a 400m track – we wish Kilian well with his new undertaking!

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Spartathlon Preview

Twenty fours hours ago I sat down to write just a brief preview of two other races that would be taking place this weekend for those who may not be following Cavalls del Vent (not sure why that would happen). Firstly, Spartathlon.

Spartathlon is due to start as I write this, 0700 Friday. I guess ‘the race’ that got us all running! It is iconic in the ultra world for many reasons. The distance at 153 miles needs no explanation… it’s a long way. Taking place pretty much all on uninspiring road they throw in a tough mountain at around the 100 mile mark just to mess you up a little more oh and then they have cut off times throughout the race that you must achieve if you want to keep going.

2012 represents the races 30th birthday of the race that is conducted in the footsteps of Pheidippides, the ancient Athenian runner. Pheidippides was sent to Sparta in 490 BC, before the battle of Marathon, to ask for help in the war led by the Greeks against the Persians. According to Herodotus, Pheidippides arrived in Sparta the day after his departure from Athens.

The race has iconic winners and I guess the most notable are Yiannis Kouros who still has the record of 20:25 and Scott Jurek who won the race three times.

Just over 350 will take part this year and they represent over 30 countries. Greece always has plenty of participants but the race is also iconic within Japan. Many of the contenders such as , Noto Kimi winner in 04/05, Akiko Sakamoto winner in 07 and then 4 years earlier in 03, Sumie Inagaki who won in 09 and finally Hiroko Okiyama who I guess is an outsider as she won the race some 12 years ago in 2000. Last years winner though, Szilvia Lubics from Hungary is returning. Notable 2012 entrant is Lizzy Hawker, I spoke to Lizzy several times in recent weeks and months and she is fired up for this iconic race. Her prep was going to be UTMB and then come to Spartathlon, but with UTMB being shortened (she won again) she decided to squeeze in the gap a 100 mile race (as you do) the Run Rabbit Run (which she won). Anybody else and you would think 100 miler just a few weeks before Spartathlon; crazy! But we are talking about Lizzy! Her main issue is a fall she took early in RRR in which she banged her knee seriously. Just a few days ago she sent me a message and I quote:

“Hi Ian, thanks so so much for your good wishes for Spartathlon!!!! I’m really grateful …. need a little bit of magic out there 🙂 knee improves every day, but will it be good enough? & the head & heart?!! enjoy Cavals, I’ll be thinking of you all there :). best, Lizzy”

Lizzy at 2012 UTMB

If Lizzy has a ‘Lizzy’ day then she will be incredible. No doubt. Her 100k and 24hr times are prove enough of what she can do. Another UK entrant, Claire Shelley may well figure well. She has won the Grand Union Canal race in the UK which is 145 miles running up and down the Canal systems of the Midlands (I still don’t understand why?)

The mens race will be a battle. I just wish Mike Morton was toeing the line… after his Badwater performance and his 24 hour record I would love to see what he could do here.

Ivan Cudin from Italy, returns to defend his title but notably Valmir Nunes from Brazil, winner in 01 returns. Valmir holds the CR at Badwater which Morton missed by 75 seconds in the 2012 edition. Markus Thalmann from Austria won in 03 and had great races in 04 and 05.

My money is on Cudin and Hawker… and you?

You can follow the race live HERE

The 2012 program is available as a PDF HERE

 

 

The Morton Machine

 

Mike Morton made history at the weekend breaking Scott Jurek’s 24 hour distance and going past 170 miles ! Yes, 170+ miles in 24 hours…

His actual distance was 172.4576 miles.

He had this to say on his Facebook page:

Well words can not say how grateful I am for all the messages and comments I have been getting! I got home around 2 AM EST and there is no place like home! All three of us were out like lights!
The weekend has not fully sank in just yet. What has is a feeling of accomplishment. Twenty six months ago (or so) I committed to myself to put an effort back into running and the goal was to raise the bar on the 24 hour American Record. There have been other priorities along the way but I was able to stay on task and follow my plan about 90% of the time. The road to accomplishing my goal brought some great races in route and it all culminated last weekend. It feels odd having finished but I feel relieved and fulfilled. I’m free in a sense of a self imposed “monkey on the back”. I feel more motivated now, I’m able to get a new canvas to work with…
Not once have I felt nothing but an overwhelming amount of support from every runner along the way, I thank you all for that. I won’t even try to describe the thanks I have for my Wife and Daughter, they just remain devoted to me while I exploit their tolerance.
Thanks for all the support and comments!

You may remember that we caught up with MikeMorton way back in Episode 7. You can listen to the interview again, HERE or oniTunes HERE