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Kilian – National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year?

© Sébastien Montaz-Rosset

Skyrunning’s most famous ambassador, Kilian Jornet, takes us on a trip to National Geographic Magazine, which has selected him as a candidate for Adventurer of the Year. The magazine enjoys a worldwide circulation of 8.3 million with 5 million readers in the USA.

Join us in voting for Kilian for this prestigious award as winner of the People's Choice Adventurer of the Year which requires voting here on a daily basis until the announcement of the winner in February 2014.

Here’s an extract from the article:

“Sky Runner Kilian Jornet

A prolific mountain athlete takes his sport to the vertical realm.

Marino Giacometti, skyrunning founder starts Kilian's Matterhorn record. (C) ISFClothed in a T-shirt and a pair of running shorts, Catalan Kilian Jornet, 26, bounded up the last few meters of the 14,692-foot Matterhorn before tapping the metal cross that garnishes the summit, turning around, and tracing the fixed lines down the Matterhorn’s rocky Lion’s Ridge with astounding speed and agility. For the last few meters of his descent, he was joined, in a gesture of support, by his childhood hero, champion sky runner Bruno Brunod. Since he began racing as a sky runner at age 17, Jornet had dreamed of beating Brunod’s 1995 speed record on the peak.

"Bruno was a big inspiration," Jornet says, "When I started, he was winning everything. And in Europe, [the Matterhorn] is a very symbolic mountain."

On August 21, 2013, Jornet sprinted out of the crowd of spectators gathered in Breuil-Cervinia to begin his attempt, and ran up and down the mountain’s 8,100 vertical feet, beating Brunod's longstanding record by 22 minutes. Jornet's time: 2 hours and 52 minutes. The push typically takes climbers around 12 hours.

Jornet did not invent "sky running," a cross between mountaineering and trail running that involves ascending technical terrain at a runner’s pace. The sport dates back to Italian mountaineer Marino Giacometti's speed records in the Italian Alps in the early '90s. Jornet has, however, taken sky running into the public eye with his unprecedented streak of breaking records and winning races. In the past three years alone, he set a new speed record on Mount Kilimanjaro, and, six weeks before his Matterhorn record, he completed a speed ascent and descent of Mont Blanc, an elevation change of 12,378 feet, in 4 hours and 57 minutes.

"Trail runners have always searched out mountains. There has been a shift in the sport, however, as sky running illuminated a desire that many have to push beyond the defined single-track, upwards into the craggy rock," says American ultra-runner Hal Koerner. "Kilian’s worldly ascents have definitely highlighted and helped to kick-start the new trend but, more importantly, I think the proficiency of his prolificacy and vice versa has caused many to rethink what is possible…”

Read the full article here

© National Geographic