Sunday, June 26, 2011

Europeans conquer Western States 100

At last Europe's number uno ultra trail runner Kilian Jornet of Spain (23) was successful Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, perhaps thanks to his new flexible handheld water bottles.

It's a downhill course, and it always gets hot down in the canyons. Last year he dropped to third place due to dehydration issues. Now this time his performance was solid all the way through, as far as I could tell from the webcast.

Here's Bryon Powell's pre-race interview with Kilian. Notice how Kilian mentions the course is too flat for him, but he wants to race it anyway because it's such a historic race (it was the first '100-miler').

By the way, Bryon also competed himself, and did very well too: at the time of writing this, he was within 10 miles of finish, placed 32nd. I just finished reading his ultra running guide book 'Relentless Forward Progress'; if you wish to run ultras like Kilian (or Ellie), read it!

Here's a video made by Kilian's main sponsor Salomon. I don't currently use any of their equipment, but I must say they have done a great job supporting this young dude.

I missed Kilian's victory on the live stream video, but I did catch Ellie Greenwood (32) crossing the finish line as the first lady in 17:55. Someone said they saw a bear during the last four miles, and Ellie said she was the one who chased the bear up a tree!

Ellie lives in Canada, but she is a Scot originally. She was 4th at Comrades Marathon in May, but has never run a 100-mile ultra trail before. She won Canadian Death Race in 2010 though, which is 125 km. And she has won a bunch of other shorter races as well.

Congratulations to both Kilian and Ellie, Europe's biggest trail running stars!

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