Rickey Gates November 18, 2011 TWEET COMMENTS 0

Just Kilian - Page 2

One Namer

He fills in his race entry form as Kilian Jornet Burgada. By the time the start list has been finalized his mother's name, Burgada, is usually dropped for brevity's sake. Increasingly, though, as his fame has rapidly grown, he is being elevated to the ranks of Madonna, Bono and other one namers, and is known as just Kilian.

Soft-spoken Kilian.

Humble Kilian.

Kilian with the short, black hair and the soft chin.

Kilian with the calm and quiet presence of a librarian. A presence that allows him to go unnoticed on a crowded starting line.

In 2007 Kilian won his first of four consecutive Skyrunning World Series—a sequence of highly technical up-and-down races of up to a marathon in distance scattered around Europe and beyond. In 2008 he won, what is generally considered to be the most competitive 100-miler in the world, the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, starting and finishing in Chamonix, France. He broke the course record by nearly an hour. In 2009, Kilian won the Sierre-Zinal in Switzerland, a 32K mountain race that prides itself in lining the starting line with several sub-2:15 marathoners from Mexico, Ethiopia, Colombia and beyond, each year. In June of 2011 Kilian became the first overseas winner of North America's most competitive 100-miler—California's Western States 100.

Having either won races, broken records or both on five continents, Kilian is arguably the most accomplished and recognized trail runner in the world.

In addition to being the sole star in his own on-line trail-running series, over July 2nd and 3rd 2011, the first annual Kilian's Classik was launched—a casual race weekend where fans could run and chat with Kilian himself. The release of his book, Córrer o Morir (Run or Die, available in Spanish, French and Catalan for now), followed later that month. Oh, and he's 23 years old.

Likely Beginnings

Eduard Jornet and Nuria Burgada raised Kilian and his younger sister, Naila, in the Catalonian Pyrenees. Both Kilian and Naila had skis on their feet before they took their first steps.

"The fact that I took on mountain sports is no coincidence," says Kilian. When their parents were working, Kilian and Naila would run around the hills and woods surrounding the mountain town of Lles de Cerdanya in the far eastern corner of Spain. When time allowed, their parents would take them up a mountain ... if not several.


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