Kilian Jornet has returned to race in the United States for the first time since his 2011 Western States 100 victory (interview). In doing so, he’ll face off against a great men’s field at the Speedgoat 50k in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains. In the following interview, find out what Kilian’s been up to since we last talked with him after his Zegama Marathon win (interview) and what his plans are for his month-long visit to the States.
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Kilian Jornet Pre-2012 Speedgoat 50k Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell here with Kilian Jornet before the 2012 Speedgoat 50k. How are you doing, Kilian?
Kilian Jornet: Fine, now.
iRF: I saw you last over at Zegama Marathon where you won. You’ve travelled a bunch since to a lot of different races. Where have you been since we saw you at Zegama?
Jornet: Yeah, after Zegama I was skiing. It was perfect conditions for skiing in the Alps, so we go for some steep and technical climbings and downhills. Then I ran in Mt. Blanc Marathon and some vertical kilometers before Dolomites. The Dolomites was a Sky Race and I think it was the highest level though without Marco DiGasperi, but it was a really tough race.
iRF: That was this past weekend, correct?
Jornet: Yeah, it was this past weekend.
iRF: How are your legs feeling? And you won that, correct?
Jornet: Yeah, I finished third in the vertical k, and I won the SkyRace. I feel good; it was a short race, so I’m not very tired for this.
iRF: When did you arrive in the U.S.?
Jornet: I arrived in the past morning (Wednesday). So today we went running on the Speedgoat track and then resting.
iRF: What do you think about the Speedgoat track?
Jornet: It’s fast. It’s not a technical race. It’s not flat, but it’s not very big climbing, so I think we’ll have a very fast race.
iRF: How fast do you think you guys might be able to run that course?
Jornet: I don’t know because I don’t know the full track. So I think it will be around 5 hours or maybe a little bit less.
iRF: That will be a very large chunk of time off the course record. It’s a great field; it’s a very deep field. So who do you think, aside from yourself, is going to be at the very front of the pack? Who could win the race this weekend?
Jornet: One that would run well this weekend is Max King—he’s one of the best and he’s really fast. I think he trained really well the race after Zegama. I think he likes to be strong in this distance. Let’s see Thomas [Lorblanchet] is here and also Anton [Krupicka]—we don’t know how he is, but he’s training a lot. I think Ricky [Gates]. We are 6 or 7… or 10 for the victory.
iRF: That’s great. It’s a good mix of the Americans and the Europeans. That’s great. You’re here for awhile in the U.S. How long are you here for?
Jornet: Yeah, I race here and to Pikes Peak Marathon. So I race here at Speedgoat and then I go for a trip to the Pikes Peak.
iRF: But you’re going to get some good travelling in between there? Where are you going on Sunday?
Jornet: Yeah, I think we like to go to Grand Teton for a little bit of climbing and running there. Then in Colorado, we go to meet Pablo Vigil, Scott [Jurek], and Anton [Krupicka]. I’d like to explore more of Colorado.
iRF: Sounds like you have a very exciting summer, and hopefully some time for you to rest as well—not running-wise, but to relax.
Jornet: Yeah, relax like climbing, slacklining…
iRF: Maybe a little less busy than you normally all.
Jornet: Yes, it’s great.
iRF: Well, it’s great to see you over here, and I wish you the best of luck this weekend.
Jornet: Thank you very much. See you there.