The challenge Kilian Jornet's most exaggerated challenge: a whole day running more than 300 kilometers on the track
In the days of his challenges in the Himalayas,
recognized that a characteristic of his prevented him from surrendering to the heights, that an attribute kept him from a life as a mountaineer: he loves competition.
Since he was a teenager, competing -in trail running or cross-country skiing- has filled him the most, more than any ascent with ice axes, more than any expedition.
And this spring, in the days of confinement in Norway, he found himself faced with an absolutely blank calendar: no race in all of 2020, no goal with which to organize his training.
Against this background, he could challenge racing records, as
Pau Capell did
with the UTMB or the Camí de Cavalls, but he had already done that before.
Against this background, it could be measured against historical roads, such as the Bob Graham Round or the Trans-Pyrenees, but it had also done that before.
So in the end he decided to get away from the mountains and do what he had delayed so much: testing himself on the asphalt.
Before the pandemic, he had already flirted with the idea, but it remained a distant goal: if he felt like it after returning to the Himalayas in the spring and winning the Zegama, the Sierre-Zinal or the Pikes Peak in the summer, he would still try to run a marathon in autumn.
After the pandemic, it was already the only possible plan.
At the end of the confinement, while many runners threw themselves into the mountains in search of space, Jornet focused on finding his limits on the flat and began to devise challenges.
Always with the Valencia marathon in December as a possibility, and copying his method in the mountains, he first participated in a 10-kilometer race and then a 24-hour test was planned.
A short distance and a very long one: let's see what the body said.
And in both cases he asked for mercy.
If in his debut in the 10 kilometers he did not get the time he expected due to previous discomfort, in the 24-hour test this Friday he ended up dizzy.
On the Mandalen track, near his home in Norway, and in freezing cold, Jornet felt unwell after the 10-hour challenge and ended up retiring.
He had covered the first marathon in just over three hours, had covered the first 100 kilometers in seven hours and 23 minutes, but the world record for 24 hours was far, far away.
For the second time in a row, the plain recalled that it requires a long adaptation and that the change from the soft terrain of the mountains to the hardness of the asphalt or the track is difficult.
If in the coming years Jornet wants to abandon the unevenness and focus on this type of event, he will surely do so successfully, but for now the season is ending with pain and bad feelings.
Now the future only depends on him, his motivations and obviously the pandemic.
If the world advance continues to cancel races week in and week out, perhaps Jornet, competitive animal, will organize a challenge again to test himself on the track in his town.
If the coronavirus remits, or at least is controlled, and the Zegama, the Sierre-Zinal and the Pikes Peak return, perhaps Jornet will fly again in his territory.
The plain has already shown you its rawness and it may also be that that multiplies the appeal of the challenge it presents you.
According to the criteria of The Trust Project
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