Kilian Jornet presents a very complete trail running season with a great variety of races and routes.
He aims to be as near top position as possible in the three Skyrunning World Series circuits and to take part in other emblematic races worldwide.
"It will be a very full summer, with races of different lengths where I will try to be as competitive as possible. I hope to run good races in all disciplines and to achieve top positions in all of them. I am especially excited about running the Hardrock and other European races that are a must, such as Zegama, Kima or Sierre Zinal" said Kilian Jornet
Pending the final round of the Ski Mountaineering World Cup, Kilian Jornet is already thinking about the summer. He has made known the calendar of the races he intends to take part in this 2014 trail running season. His main objective is to compete in the three events in the Skyrunning World Series circuit: the Vertical Kilometre, the Sky Race and the Ultra Marathon. However, the Catalan athlete does not want to miss running emblematic races and so he will compete in a total of 11 events throughout the season. Kilian Jornet commented: "Another trail season is coming up. "It will be a very full summer, with races of different lengths where I will try to be as competitive as possible. I hope to run good races in all disciplines and to achieve top positions in all three circuits. Out of circuit, I am especially excited about running the Hardrock and other European races that are a must.”
Once again, Kilian will put away his skis sometime in May, as he himself commented: "I'll start training the first week of May. I don’t like to run when there is still snow, especially not in late April or early May when, once the World Cup has finished, you can still do a lot of trails and extreme downhill skiing, as days get longer and weather conditions are favourable. So I think I will begin to train a week before the Transvulcania.”
So, the season will start in May with the Transvulcania, where Kilian will take part in both the Vertical Kilometre and the Ultra Marathon (83km, 8,525m D+): "Although it is quite a new race, the atmosphere runners experience in La Palma has turned it into a recognised race calendar date." After La Palma, Jornet does not want to miss Zegama (42km, 3,835m D +), one of his favourite events: "What can I say about Zegama! It will be the seventh time I’ve taken part in that race. One must always go back to Zegama, for both the atmosphere and the local people…"
In late May, Kilian will leave for Alaska to attempt the summit of McKinley as part of his personal project Summits of My Life. He plans to spend a few weeks there and to return in time for the Sky Running World Championships to be held in late June in Chamonix (France). The athlete intends to participate in the Vertical Kilometre and in the marathon: "I guess I'll be a bit tired after McKinley, but I hope to be in good shape to run both races, as I am very familiar with both routes."
One of the most eagerly-awaited events will take place in July. After three years trying for a place, Jornet has finally got into the Hardrock 100 (160km, 10,000 D+), an American race that is accessed via a strict draw: "Finally! It is a race I have always dreamed of taking part in, yet never been able to run. This year I have been lucky. The route and the scenery in these mountains, to my mind the most beautiful in continental America, are breathtaking. Also, top athletes such as Tim Olson, Chorier Julien, Seb Chaigneau, and Dakota Jones, to name just a few, will be there."
After the Hardrock, two races will complete the month of July in Italy, both along routes Jornet knows well: the Dolomites Skyrace, where he will participate in the Vertical Kilometre and the Sky Race (22km, 1,750 m D+) and the Giir di Mont (32km, 2,650 D+): "I think the Dolomites Skyrace is one of the races that defines what sky running truly is: technique and speed to reach the summit. It is undoubtedly a must. I am also very happy to be running in the Giir di Mont again after a two –year break. It is a great race, very tough and very fast, and one where I have fought the best battles against Marco de Gasperi."
Kilian will begin the month of August in Switzerland taking part in the classic Sierre Zinal (31km, 2,200 D+): "A race not to be missed. Sierre Zinal is the living history of mountain races: a very athletic route that will need sound training to be able to run fast." In late August, Jornet will participate in the Kima Trophy (50km, 3,800m D+), a race in very alpine terrain he is really looking forward to: "It is a race with a capital R: it’s long, technical, with very few participants and very wild!"
In September, the Catalan athlete will return to the United States to participate in the Rutt Ultra (50km, 3,048 m D+), the final event of the Ultra series: "It will be the first-time running of an event which seems to be an authentic Sky Race in America." To conclude the sky race series and vertical kilometre races, Jornet will run the Limone Extreme (23.5 km, 2,000 m D+), in the vicinity of Lake Garda in Italy in October: "This race is run through the beautiful landscapes of bourgeois Italy. A dizzying mountain range along a very dynamic route which, like everything else in Italy, will be lived passionately."
Kilian Jornet hopes to end the season racing once again in the Diagonale des Fous (170km, 9,500 D+) on Reunion Island: "If I end the season in shape, I want to be in the Grand Raid. It's a race to be experienced, not only for the environment but also for its magnificent route amongst volcanoes."
After all that, and before getting back on his skis, Kilian Jornet will travel to Argentina to attempt the ascent record on Aconcagua, with which he will bring an end to the 2014 challenges in the Summits of My Life.
Again, a full calendar with 11 varied races run in five different countries. Many kilometres and many metres of uphill climbs that will put the athlete’s strength and resilience to the test.