While I (almost) never publish press releases, this one is too close to my heart not to do so. At the end of this month, Kilian Jornet will be attempting to run the Tahoe Rim Trail. While Kilian’s out there, he’ll surely know that Tim Tweitmeyer set the Tahoe Rim Trail speed record of 45 hours and 58 minutes back in the summer of 2005. (Read about Tim’s TRT run at Fastest Known Time) Back in July, I was over in Annecy, France talking with Salomon about assisting with and covering what was to be Kilian’s attempt run of the John Muir Trail. When I learned that the JMT plan fell through, I was saddened, but immediately thought of the Tahoe Rim Trail. I was quite excited when I learned that Kilian and Salomon had chosen the TRT for the next installment of Kilian’s Quest. I am even more excited that I’ll be headed up to Tahoe at the end of the month to join Kilian on the trail and cover the attempt when I’m not out there supporting KJ.
If you’re not familiar with Kilian Jornet, he’s a supremely talented Catalan trail runner, who excels at a wide range of distances. For instance, he has held the vertical kilometer record (31:52) and has now won the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc, the world’s largest 100 mile race, two years in a row! Check out the press release for more information on Kilian (also check out the Kilian’s Quest website and Jornet’s wikipedia entry) and his planned run of the Tahoe Rim Trail. Be sure to check back later for more information on iRunFar’s coverage of Kilian’s TRT run.
September 7th 2009
Initially slated for the John Muir Trail, permit constraints and a reluctance by authorities to endorse “competitive” activities along the trail forced a rethink and the decision was taken to move the Quest slightly further North to Lake Tahoe and the mountains that John Muir himself called the Range of Light… First proposed in 1978, The Tahoe Rim Trail, a 165-mile (266km) loop around the largest alpine lake in North America, was completed in 2001 almost entirely by volunteer work and is now firmly established as one of the world’s most spectacular mountain trails. Comprising of multiuse single-track, it winds from peak to peak along the ridge tops of the Lake Tahoe Basin, passing through two states (California and Nevada), six counties, one state park, three National Forests, and three Wilderness areas in the process. The trail ranges in elevation from 6,240 feet (1,900m) at the outlet of Lake Tahoe to 10,338 feet (3,151m) at Relay Peak in Nevada with a total elevation gain of over 7,000m. The current non-stop record for the trail was established in 2005 by ultra-runner Tim Twietmeyer and stands at 45hours 58 minutes. That component of the Quest is also on Kilian’s list of dreams and one he hopes to fulfill and dedicate to the “…efforts of thousands of volunteers who built and continue to maintain the trail.”
Prior to beginning his customary meticulously planning for September’s Quest run, Kilian has been training, competing and winning all summer. Clocking a minimum of rest and recovery after his successful GR20 record breaking run mid June, Kilian continued his winning spree by taking first place in the June 28th Andorran leg of the Skyrunning World Series. On July 26th he added another win in the World Series in Italy (GIIR DI MONT), setting an incredible new course record of 3h05’08” for the 32km course. On August 10th he beat out a field of around 3,000 other runners to win the men’s category of the 36th Sierre-Zinal Long Distance Mountain Running Championship in Zinal, Switzerland. Also referred to as the Race of Five 4,000m Peaks, the 31-kilometre race is considered to be one of the finest mountain races in the world. All this proved to be excellent preparation for what is widely considered as the race that ushered Kilian into trail-running’s antechamber of fame. Last August 29th, despite poor weather conditions and a field comprising the word’s elite, Kilian romped home in 21h33’ to win the 7th edition of The North Face Ultra-Trail Mont-Blanc, becoming only the second person ever to win the grueling, 166km run around the Mont Blanc Massif twice.
Having already left an indelible mark in the annals of trail-running phenomena, a successful record attempt in Nevada’s trail-running Nirvana will be a fitting finale to an undeniably fulfilling year.