Ultra-Runner Profile – Kilian Jornet

The top ultra-runner on planet earth - Kilian Jornet Burgada.
The top ultra-runner on planet earth – Kilian Jornet Burgada.

It’s almost a shame to categorize Kilian Jornet Burgada as just an ultra-runner, he also skies, mountain bikes, and runs Sky Races on the circuit. He has some exceptional vertical mile times, and sometimes does a Sky Race within days of a 50 or 100 mile race on the trails. He said he recovers from the grueling 100 mile Western States race in just two days.

Kilian much prefers running trails on the mountain. Flat trails and anything paved – brings him down. Down as in, he lacks motivation to run such terrain.

Kilian is a virtuoso on the mountain trails. He has seemingly infinite stores of energy and speed for distances of 100 miles or more. His descending speeds over technical terrain are absolutely legendary. Someone remarked that watching Kilian descend a mountain once, they thought he was falling down it, he was so smooth and fast.

Crucial tidbits about Kilian follow in a bulleted list below, then some more information about his race results over the past few years.

Full Name: Kílian Jornet Burgada

Website: KilianJornet.com; Twitter: ; Facebook: ; Instagram:

Nicknames:

City – Country Born: Sabadell, Catalonia, Spain

Citizen of: Spain

Date of Birth: 10/27/87

Languages Spoken: Spanish, French, English ((( more? German?

Height: 5’7″ (1.71 meters)

Weight: 123 lbs (56 kilograms; 8.8 stone)

Siblings: Sister – Naila Jornet Burgada

Dating: Emelie Forsberg, one of the top female ultra-runners in the world, also on the Salomon Running Team.

Education: University of Perpignan where he majored in _______

Parents: Eduard Jornet, Núria Burgada

VO2Max: One of the highest ever measured in human beings – 92 ml/kg/min!

Corporate Sponsors: Salomon Running (SalomonRunning.com)

Gels: Energix

Shoes: Salomon

Socks

Running Vest

Diet considerations: He said himself he survives on pizza, sandwiches, and Nutella!

Training Weeks Typical Vertical Gain: 10,000 to 20,000 meters (32,808 to 65,617 feet) during 30 hours of training. During the week before a race, typically about half that, he says in the video below. But then he states that the week before the Western States 100 mile race he put in 35 hours and 22,000 meters (72,178 feet) gain.

During a typical season, Kilian puts in 1,000 hours of training and 520,000 meters of vertical gain. That’s 1.7 million feet of gain!

Books Written: Run or Die

Kilian drew up a list of mountain peaks he wanted to attempt running the fastest known times for.

Fastest Known Time Records Held on 8/24/14:

Mount McKinley “Denali” – On 6/2014 Kilian set the fastest known time for ascending and descending this 20,237 feet (6,168 meters) mountain peak in Alaska, USA in just 11 hours and 40 minutes, breaking the previous record by 5 hours and 6 minutes.

Matterhorn Peak – Italy – On 8/2013 Kilian set the fastest known time for climbing up and down the Matterhorn’s 14,962 feet (4,560 meters) peak in a record time of 2 hours and 52 minutes. This surpassed the previous record set in 1995 by Bruno Brunod. Kilian made the summit in just 1 hour 56 minutes using the Lion Ridge from the Italian side of the mountain. Video of part of the ascent – Kilian’s Matterhorn Record.

Mount Kinabalu – Malaysia

Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, Africa – held by Simon M’Tuy 8 hours 27 minutes. Here is a documentary about Kilian breaking the record. The video is in English, Spanish, and French. He is guided up the mountain by the previous winner.

Mt. Everest – In 2015 this will be the final attempt at an FKT in the Summits of my Life series. Mt. Everest is, of course, the highest peak in the world. Kilian will attempt the fastest time up and down. I wouldn’t bet against him!

Aconcagua Peak, Argentina – In December 2014 Kilian is planning on a FKT attempt here. This peak is the highest mountain in the Southern and Western Hemispheres topping out at 6,960.8 meters. It is part of the spectacular Andes mountains range, in the province of Mendoza, Argentina. Elevation: 22,841 feet (6,962 meters). Will update as I get the info.

Placement in top ultra-running and other running races:

2014 – 26 years old
2nd, Transvulcania, Spain
1st, Zegama-Aizkorri, Spain
1st, Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance Run, Colorado, USA
1st, Marathon du Mont Blanc, France
1st, Sierre-Zinal, Switzerland

2013 – 25 years old
1st, Transvulcania, Spain
1st, Zegama-Aizkorri, Spain
1st, Marathon du Mont Blanc, France
1st, Ice Trail Tarantaise, France
1st, Dolomites Vertical Kilometer, Italy
1st, Dolomites SkyRace, Italy
1st, Trans D’Havet, Italy
1st, Matterhorn Ultraks, Switzerland
1st, Limone SkyRace Extreme, Italy

2012 – 24 years old
1st, 26th Mt. Kinabalu Climbathon in Borneo, Malaysia (2:11:45)
1st, Pikes Peak Marathon, Colorado, USA.
1st, Grand Raid de la Réunion

2011 – 23 years old
1st, The North Face 100, Blue Mountains, Australia. Course Record
1st, Western States Endurance Run
1st, Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc

2010 – 22 years old
3rd, Western States Endurance Run
1st, Sierre-Zinal “La course des cinq 4000” 31 km (Switzerland)
World Record, Mount Kilimanjaro Ascent and combined Ascent/Descent (5:23:50, 7:14:00)
1st, Grand Raid de la Réunion

2009 – 21 years old
Champion, Skyrunner World Series
1st, 23rd Mt. Kinabalu Climbathon (in Borneo – Malaysia)
1st, Ultra Trail Andorra [1]
1st, Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc

2008 – 20 years old
Champion of the year and three times 1st, Skyrunner World Series
1st, Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc

2007 – 19 years old
Champion of the year and four times 1st, Skyrunner World Series [10]
1st, Mount Ontake Skyrace (Japan)
2nd, Orobie Skyrace team race (Italy) together with Jordi Martin Pascual and Xavier Zapater Bargue

2006 – 18 years old
1st, International Championship team race, SkyGames (FSA)
1st, French Championships of Mountainrunning, “junior” class race, FFA
6th, World Championship of Skyrunning

2005 – 17 years old
1st, and 2nd in the combined ranking at the “Cuita al Sol” race (in Catalonia)
1st, and course record, Dôme de Neige des Écrins (France)
2nd, “Cross Vertical”, in Andorra
2nd, Prueba de Copa de España“ race, Buff-Salomon Vallnord

Kilian Jornet Quotes

The strongest one does not always win, as there is a very important mental aspect.

I think that the most important thing is to try to fool your mind in order to distract it.

Here is an excellent video – “How I Prepare for an Ultra” by Kilian:

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