Kilian Jornet smashes the record at Sierre-Zinal

Kilian Jornet smashes the record at Sierre-Zinal

Kilian Jornet smashes the record at Sierre-Zinal

Jornet breaks the race record set in 2003 and crosses the line in 2h25’35’’ to win the Sierre-Zinal for the seventh time

The race, the fourth in the Golden Trail Series, was run at a very high level over 31km and 2,200m of overall ascent.

“I felt great and I noticed the difference from training and competing less. From the start my legs felt very fresh and I forged on ahead. It’s fantastic that in my ninth year here it’s possible to get better year after year,” Jornet said.

16 years later Kilian Jornet faced the challenge of breaking the record set by Jonathan Wyatt in 2003. Jornet crossed the finish line in a time of 2h25’35’’, three minutes faster than the New Zealand runner (2h29’12’’). ““I felt great and I noticed the difference from training and competing less. From the start my legs felt very fresh and I forged on ahead. It’s fantastic that in my ninth year here it’s possible to get better year after year,” Jornet said.  So now the Cerdanya runner has won one of his favourite races – the fourth in the Golden Trail World Series – for the seventh time.

The Eritrean Petro Mamu was second in a time of 2h26’31’’, also breaking the record, with the American Jim Walmsley third at 2h31’52’’.

The starting pistol for “the race of the five 4,000”, as it’s known, was fired at 10h in  Sierre (585m) and the race ended in Zinal (1,685m). Among the top runners on the starting line were Rémi Bonnet, Jim Walmsley, Davide Magnini, Andrew Douglas, Petter Engdahl and Bart Przedwojewski, among many others.

Jornet set a steady but comfortable pace from the start and in due course broke the record. On a very hot day and in a very fast race the Cerdanya athlete led from the start with the Eritrean Petro Mamu two minutes behind, forcing Jornet to accelerate to ensure victory.

Jornet becomes the new record-holder and the only athlete to win the legendary Swiss event seven times, in 2009, 2010, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 and now 2019.

Jornet’s next event will be on August 25 in Pikes Peak, the fifth event in the Golden Trail World Series, run over 42km with 2,382m of overall ascent.

Photo: Martina Valmassoi