Kilian Jornet Pre-2010 Western States 100 Interview

We caught up with Kilian Jornet two days before the Western States 100. Kilian talks about his desire to run Western States 100, winning the ski mountaineering world championships (he was humble about it), and his training for Western States. He also give advice to beginning (and all) ultramarathoners. Here you go!

There are 31 comments

  1. Michael Helton

    Awesome interview Bryon! It is exclusive articles and videos such as this which make the best trail runner site on the internet.

  2. George Zack

    Cross language interviews are tough, and in light of that, I think you did as well as you could (I am reminded of the recent marathontalk interview with Sammy W).

    Bryon – did you make specific picks? (sorry if that is redundant to some other post, comment).

    1. Bryon Powell

      George, the really cool thing is how much Kilian's English has improved in the past 9 months. I never would have thought of interviewing him one-on-one last September and had actually tried to coordinate with Salomon to get a translator ahead of time… but his language skills have improved SO much that it's awesome.

      Oh, and I've made specific picks… except they're not public yet. That said, I've confirmed Kilian and Devon Crosby-Helms as my picks to win.

  3. Tatiana

    Thanks for the interview Bryon! That will be really interesting race…

    … and thanks a lot for the bumper sticker! got it yesterday


  4. Meghan

    Bryon, thanks for awesome interviews! Thanks for the hard work you do for this sport! Both this interview and Andy's were fun to watch.

    Trailgirl, constructive criticism and a thank you would likely go a lot further than your current comment, methinks! Didja know that the interviewer is doing stuff like this for pretty much free for people like you?!

    1. Trailgirl

      You're right Meghan and my apologies to Bryon as well for the kneejerk post. Been following this stuff religiously on irunfar and definitely appreciate the interview.

  5. Josh

    Kilian seems to be a very soulful runner/mountaineer/person. I'm excited to see what he will do in the Western States (I think 2nd or 3rd), but his adventures will be inspiring no matter what happens. I've become a big fan in the last few months!

  6. mayayo

    Excellent interview, Bryon!

    Given his past performances, I was most surprised when our spaniard wonderboy did not come up as the #1 favorite for WS.

    I understand he might not (yet) be that popular among the USA ultra community.

    He sure is an inspiration to all ultrarunners in Europe, particularly to us spaniards.

    His Pyrenees feat, I believe, made no sense from a training/competitive perspective looking at WS. He went for it out of sheer love of the mountains. And what a magnificent adventure it has been!

    ¡Gracias Kilian! Even if it might have undermined your winning chances at WS100, it was truly beautiful.

    Best of luck to all WS100 fighters tomorrow…and may the best one win.

    ¡Vamos Kilian!

    1. megatomic

      Great post mayayo. The guy is incredible. I can't wait to see what he does at WS100. It's gonna be a great race with such a solid field of elites!

      Bryon, I got my bumper sticker the other day, thanks. It looks great on the wife's car.

  7. spanjaard

    Mayayo, what a funny name!

    It also strucks me how unknown this fellow still is outside Europe. Provided all the media support Salomon has given, I am tempted to think that the States Trail community remains yet inward-looking.

    But this chatter is precisely the contrary: open, international and launched to the blogshpere. So congrats lads & peeps at the other side of the Atlantic!

    Will follow the online race. Sure.



  8. RICKY

    …It´s incredible, last 2 years he won with authority the Ultra Trail du MontBlanc and now we have to wait and see how is he in this faster race. But keep in mind he has got almost everything to be the best Trailrunner of history.

    He is really a mountain Beast.

    Keep pushing guy!!!!!!

  9. Mark Ryan

    Kilian is an interesting study, so much raw talent and only 22 when a lot of ultra runners don't hit their stride until 30 or so it seems. My only issue is he's so pimped out by Salomon it just seems like over commercialization of a sport that has its roots in purity and sheer enjoyment. Like the 7 new pairs of shoes and socks that Kilian will have for the race, I mean do all the pros change their shoes that often??

    Given all that I think it is between Kilian and Anton.

    1. Brad G.

      Good points Mark but keep in mind that mountain sports are much bigger in EU. They are extremely popular with young and old alike. Their stars are like our NBA or NFL stars. It is a different vibe for sure. The difference between UTMB and Hardrock is a case in point. The money comes when the audience is there. I hope we never reach that level of commercialism in the US but if I were a pro athlete, it might be nice to have some of that support.

      The seven shoes reminds me of the team car in pro cycling, bristling with fresh wheels and bikes. Quite different from pro MTB racing that has a much more self-sufficient ethos. To each their own I suppose.

      Tomorrow is sure going to be fun to watch!

      1. Mark Ryan

        I got the 7 number from the Salomon's FB Page, 7 new pairs of shoes and 7 new pairs of socks. 2 seems a little more reasonable.

        1. Xavi Corredor

          As you can see here!/

          There are in fact 7 pairs of shoes. But of course all these shoes are not new.

          The important is that he protects his feet until the arrival by avoiding running with the wet feet.

          So the idea is that he will have the chance to change them in every check-point if he needs it.

          You have to understand it, he is simply the best. Could you imagine Nadal or Federer going to play Wimbledon's final with only 1 racket?

          1. Bryon Powell

            This is very different than the approach that is usually taken at a 100 miler in the US. It would be extraordinary for any top competitor to change his or her shoes more than once… and unlikely even that. Plus, aside from sweat, his feet won't get wet after mile 35 once he's off the snow. Racers are crossing the American River by boat this year.

  10. Charles

    Good stuff. I think it would've been better if the interviewer was looking just at Killian and not paying attention to the camera so much. Other than that, A-OK!

  11. Joshua Tilford

    Watched this throwback on account of AJW’s article on Kilian’s 2010 season. Wow, iRunFar and Kilian have developed a lot over the past 9 years. Love seeing the progression of different aspects of the sport.

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