I know a number of you have been rejoicing in the fact that the famous Cougar and Gold Buckle from this years WS100 went to Europe and was finally plucked from the decades long grasp of the US. In fact a number of non Americans featured in the top 10
Kilian Jornet returned to the race this year after leading in the 2010 race for a large majority of time before fading to third. This year his performance was almost faultless apart from a small detour from the course. As usual Kilian was very well supported by his Salomon Team and this level of detail and planning and to some extent different thinking about how to run 100 miles was very evident on the road from Squaw to Auburn. In the coming weeks I will post my observations of what made his race so strong with footage of his aid station rituals, views form his pacers and what his competitors thought.
But first I have been given an exciting opportunity to enter the inner workings of how Kilian operates and what drives him and how his running dominance was born. As I write, I am currently in California waiting to fly to Barcelona and onto the Pyrenees as a guest of Salomon Running.
My attendance and participation at the Kilan Classik running festival in the French Pyrenees will be a week long expose of why trail and mountain running is such a major sport in Europe and how companies like Salomon aim to share this spirit amongst not just the elites but the whole community. From Ultra168’s perspective, sharing a passion for trail running is what we are all about, and to see an event of this size and format definitely gets our vote. As Andrew is oft quoted “It will be like the Disneyland of Running.”
I am being joined by Australia’s own Stu Gibson, Anna Frost (Winner of Six Foot 2011) and pretty much everyone of the Salomon running athletes from around the world. We will be given an opportunity to look at the latest advances in running gear (Dan’s favourite topic), spend time with the athletes and also to get in some competitive running.
Look out for regular video updates from Europe as the week unfolds as I give you my perspective on the talent on display from Kilian’s own backyard. If you have any questions to ask these runners, gear developers and community managers please make contact via the comments box and I will do my best to seek out a response direct from the source.