At 34 years old, Kilian Jornet has a rich career in the world of trail running where he has made history in the world's biggest race, the UTMB, while setting records on a multitude of trails around the world.
If François D'Haene is the king of the UTMB with a fourth victory last year on the Alps, Kilian Jornet remains the undisputed figure of the trail and the most emblematic runner of the discipline. The Spaniard (three times winner of the UTMB) has won most of the races in which he participated in the first part of his career. The 2007-2012 period being the most successful with numerous victories in the Skyrunner World Series, the UTMB or the Diagonale des fous. It is after all these victories acquired on the biggest races of the planet that the Spaniard started to look for records on the emblematic trails of the discipline. Here is a look at the most mythical of them.
When he was only 22 years old in 2009, Kilian Jornet was already a reference in the world of trail running with a victory the year before in the UTMB. On June 16, 2009, the Spaniard tackled the GR20 in Corsica. On the program, 190 km and 12,800 m of ascent to try to finish this course in a record time. Finally, Jornet will take 32h54mn to reach the end of this journey and beat the record held until then by the local Pierrot Santucci. This reference of Jornet will be beaten in June 2021 by Lambert Santelli in 30h25.
In September 2010, Kilian Jornet tackled the highest peak in Africa. With an altitude of 5,895 m, the latter can be climbed to its summit without too many technical difficulties. In 7 hours and 14 minutes, the Spaniard set a new benchmark and beat the record set by local climber Mweka Gate, who also assisted him in his feat. Three years later, the Swiss-Ecuadorian Karl Egloff did better in 6h42.
On July 11, 2013, accompanied by Frenchman Mathéo Jacquemoud, Kilian Jornet left Chamonix for a round trip to Mont Blanc (about 28 km and 3,773 meters of elevation gain). If the French traileur stops in the descent because of an injury, the Spaniard continues his effort until the end and manages in 4h57 to realize a new record of the ascent in round trip.
It is probably one of his most emblematic records. That of the Matterhorn in Switzerland on this world famous mountain. On August 21, 2013, Jornet took only 2 hours and 52 minutes to complete the round trip between Cervinia and the Swiss summit (located at 4,478 m altitude). Bruno Brunod's record is broken after an ascent of 2,471m of D+.
It is within the framework of "Summits of my life" (a four-year project during which the Spaniard tried to beat the records of ascent of mythical summits in the world) that Kilian Jornet succeeded in 2014 a new reference on the Aconcagua, the highest summit in America (6962m), in 12 hours and 49 minutes. Karl Egloff will also do better there a few weeks after the Spaniard in 11h52.
On May 21 and 22, 2017, it was on the roof of the world that Jornet achieved a new round trip record. The last challenge of his project "Summits of my Life" started in 2012 takes him to 8,848 m of altitude by the North Face after 26 hours of effort, accompanied until 7,600 m by Seb Montaz. Starting at an altitude of 5,100 meters from the Rongbuk monastery, he made the round trip without sleeping on the intermediate altitude camps. He will even climb Everest twice in less than a week.