Kilian Jornet rebounded from a rough final few kilometers at Transvulcania last week to win the 2012 Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon in near course record time. In the following interview, find out how his race went, how the conditions were out there, and what he thinks about the “rivalry” between the American and European runners.
Kilian Jornet 2012 Zegama-Aizkotti Marathon Champion Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell here with Kilian Jornet after his win at the 2012 Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon. How did it go out there today?
Kilian Jornet: Yeah, today is a great day. I said it was difficult because it was raining and snowing, but the champions today were not the athletes, but the spectators that come to the mountain in the cold and they stay to push us!
iRF: Yes, there were thousands of people out there. So you were really impressed with how many came out in the bad conditions.
Jornet: Yeah. Zegama is this: all the ambiance, the spectators, the thousands coming to the mountain. I think this is a special thing.
iRF: What do you think went better for you today than a week ago at Transvulcania?
Jornet: I think I feel the same. My form is the same as a week ago as there’s not the training yet. First of all the heat. Here was very cold and I feel better than in hot conditions. In Transvulcania, I felt really good but it was just the last 10km I fall, so I’m happy for this beginning of the season.
iRF: So maybe it’s an advantage to have a shorter race when you’re less trained (less running trained).
Jornet: Yes and it depends on the distance. In a 100km race, you’re fresh at 80km. In a marathon like here, at 10km from the end you are fresh, too. You think just about the distance. It’s not more tired with the longer distance.
iRF: How did the race actually go? How was the competition?
Jornet: The race was really high. We started really strong the first kilometers with Luis Hernando and Max King. In the first uphill, we go with Luis. Luis runs really fast in uphills with the poles. I say if we run together in the finish line, he’ll run really fast, too. I scored in the technical part, I took some risk for falling.
iRF: How was the downhill? It’s wet, there’s rocks… did you fall?
Jornet: It was perfect!
iRF: It’s like skiing?
Jornet: It was very technical because there’s a lot of rocks, a lot of water, very slippery, so we need to take really care and some risks to go fast.
iRF: One thing I wanted to talk to you about is on the internet, there are a lot of fans who make a big deal about US vs. Spain and US vs. Europe…
Jornet: It’s just the internet. The media is like this. Out there we are like a family. We are all the same. We love mountains; we love trying (training); we love competition. It is not if I’m Spanish or American or Frenchman, we think all the same. We’re friends.
iRF: Very good. I’m glad to hear that. Best of luck in your training for the next month, and I’ll see you in Squaw Valley!
Jornet: Yes! See you there!