Kilian did it again. The Catalan runner won his 4th victory in the UTMB, the most prestigious trail race in the world, with a record time of 19 hours 49 minutes and 30 seconds, crossing the 20-hour barrier for the first time. In second place comes French Matthew Blanchard just 5 minutes apart.
“I had a great evening, even if I didn’t have an easy minute of the whole race,” said the winner after the race.
— Running (@Running_es) August 27, 2022
It hasn’t been an easy week for the Sabadell-born athlete, whose participation was uncertain until the last minute due to his covid infection. However, given the absence of symptoms and in good physical condition, Jornet decided to start the race with the more than 2,300 runners starting from Friendship Triangle Square from Chamonix on Saturday at 6 p.m.
“It was a great experience to share all those kilometers with Jim and Mathieu. It is a moment that I will keep in my memory. The management of my career was particularly complicated. My health was at the limit, and I had to take care of it first, ”said the champion in front of a crowd who applauded him from the streets and balconies of Chamonix.
high level career
The UTMB, a 171-kilometre race with 10,000 meters of elevation gain, has this year seen major figures in international trail running such as the North American Jim Walmsleywho finished 4th, the Frenchman Thibaut Garrivier (10th) or the British Thomas Evanswho ended up on the podium in third place with a time of 20:34:35.
Another of the Spaniards who started as favorite was Paul Capell, winner of the 2019 edition, but this year he came with some physical problems that did not allow him to finish the race. He was to start again at kilometer 126, near Champex.
Kilian Jornet he surpassed each of his rivals with his technique, speed and stamina. Around kilometer 130, the race becomes a duel between Jornet and Blanchard, until the ascent of the Head to the Winds the big favorite stepped on the accelerator to gain a 5-minute gap on his pursuer and reach the finish line alone.
The founder of NNormal thus equals the French record Francois D’Haene with 4 victories in the queen event of the UTMB Mont-Blanc and confirms his legend as the best mountain runner of all time.
Americans dominate among women
The winner of the UTMB has once again become an American runner. In the absence of the last champion, Courtney Dauwalter, her compatriot katie schide He took the win with a time of 23 hours and 15 minutes, placing 22nd overall.
“I started coming back on the climb to Champex. I said to myself that then a new career was starting and that I had three big challenges left for me to come back”, said the winner in reference to the duel she had with the Canadian Marianne Hoganwhich eventually came second with 24:31:22.
The third came Kaytlyn Gerbinalso from the United States, with a time of 25:07:44.