Monday 12 September 2011

My kind of 'Hollywood'

Yesterday I spent the day at a Salomon do. They've got a roadshow thing happening (in Durbs next and then CT) and they've brought out Kilian Jornet and Anna Frost (superb skyrunner), joining Ryan Sandes, who is now home after his recent Leadville 100 victory. These three are members of Salomon's team of international athletes. It was also a super opportunity for me to meet local runner Linda Doke in person; we've chatted on email but had never met before. She's one of Salomon's local runners. Same with Ryan, who I'd never met in person.

I've been following Kilian's running for some time now. He's had this thing going for a while, Kilian's Quest, where he slams records on courses left, right and centre. One I really enjoyed following was when he ran the 165-mile (264 kilometres) Tahoe Rim Trail. He was paced by a guy who I know, Adam Chase (an ARer and also Salomon team runner), and they had super online live coverage. Kilian's new record of 38 hours 32 minutes bettered the previous record by seven-and-a-half hours!

Watching some of the video clips of Kilian running... better than poetry; better than dance; better than music... beautiful.

He a youngster - only 23 (turning 24 later this month). He grew up in the mountains and spends six months of the year skiing (winter) and the other six running. I've seen on a site that he's a World Champ ski mountaineer too (multiple world champ).

He's fresh from winning Tour du Mont Blanc and, before that, Western States 100. The achievements that this guy has notched... quite phenomenal.

Last year Kilian set a new speed record for Kilimanjaro ascent: 7 hours and 14 minutes to run from base camp to Uhuru Peak and back in 7 hours, 14 minutes and back. The previous record was held by Tanzanian ultra runner and mountain guide Simon Mtuy in 8 hours, 27 minutes.

Kilian is, as you would expect, a small guy. He's lean and small built. It's always cool seeing these runners in person; they look average sized in photos - well proportioned, athletic - but they're really smaller in reality, as befits the sport.

The Kilian's Quest videos on the Salomon site are fabulous to watch and, if you're going to watch anything, do watch this teaser video for Season 3. In this season Kilian goes back to the roots of mountain running - and the videos are online, linked from the page above.

Salomon team and crew, thank you for a lovely day yesterday.


Stijn said...

Get this guy to the Berg for a crack at the GT record! Now that would be awesome :-)

adventurelisa said...

My thoughts exactly! Maybe for Kilian's Quest next year?

Stijn said...

Is he into off-trail stuff too? Cause the GT is certainly no trail run...

Maybe Ryno can pace him? :-)

adventurelisa said...

He's very off-trail. Ryno, you, Cobus, Nic, Nathan... great pacers. He'd certainly need to spend some time scouting and getting to know the place to give it a good shot.

Anonymous said...

Very good article on the incredible Kilian. Now an interesting comment you made on Ninja blog about a year ago - I think Ryan has just done what you urged him to do - win Leadville!
Lisa de Speville
Posted July 22, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Permalink
Great interview. Ryan is certainly the world’s leading STAGED ULTRA marathon runner (especially across desert terrain) and, in time, I’d love to see him become the world’s leading ultra marathon runner. Ryan, add Western States 100 and Leadville to that list ;) Chris

adventurelisa said...

Chris - exactly. Ryan has matured into the most wonderful runner over the last 18 months. He's always had talent but now that he has been cultivating it - beautiful! I have another blog cooking - I hope to write it tonight - and it is around the theme of 'Singular focus', which is in part based on what Ryan has accomplished.

Anonymous said...

Tks Lisa -cool - will read as i believe all these top runners have great 'bottle'- esp going back Bruce in Comrades and now Sandes. The Salomon dominance in the states in WS100,HR100 & L100 caused some concern with their top runners - blogs make v.interesting reading but best IMHO - While we are all in awe of KJ his record in US races (perhaps heat?) is not as dominant as it is on Euro alpine trails - Mike Wolfe was only 2 mins behind in WS100. Hope RS follows Bruce advice to him and go for the WS double. Chris
PS ur blogs as always create great debate - keep going!)