Monday, July 14, 2014

Kilian Jornet Sets New Speed Record for the Hardrock 100

Writing about Kilian Jornet is starting to sound a bit like a broken record. This past weekend, the ultrarunner/mountaineer set a new speed record, this time while competing in the Hardrock 100 ultra-marathon, one of the toughest long distance races in the world. As the name implies, the race, which takes place in the San Juan Mountain Range of southern Colorado, covers a distance of 100.5 miles (161.7 km), and mixes in nearly 34,000 feet of vertical gain, and descents. 

The previous record for the Hardrock was set back in 2008 by Kyle Skaggs, who covered the course in an impressive time of 23 hours, 23 minutes. Since then, no one has really come all that close to equalling that mark, at least until Jornet took to the course this past weekend. He not only managed to beat Skaggs' mark, he completely smashed it, crossing the finish line in an unbelievable time of 22 hours, 41 minutes, 35 seconds. 

For his part, Jornet says that the Hardrock was the last ultra-marathon on his list that he had yet to conquer. While the Spanish endurance athlete is always looking for new challenges, over the past few years he has managed to notch wins in nearly every major ultra on the planet. But in recent months, his attention has turned increasingly towards his alpine pursuits, looking to set speed records on the tallest mountain on each continent. Just last month, he set a new record for climbing Denali, the highest peak in North America, and he already has plans to attempt Elbrus in Europe, and Aconcagua in South America, before going for the record on Everest as well. 

At this point in his career, Kilian isn't just making a case for being the best endurance athlete on the planet, as many would say that he has already done that. He seems to be simply increasing the gap between himself, and everyone else. It is difficult not to be impressed with the accomplishments of this man, and I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of times he posts on the remaining seven summits, especially Everest. 

Congratulations once again to Kilian. He continues to be an inspiration to outdoor athletes everywhere. 

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