Imagine climbing Mt. Everest. Now, imagine doing it twice in one week — without fixed ropes or supplemental oxygen. Kilian Jornet achieved this incredible triumph in 2017, and shows no sign of slowing down. Jornet, an extreme endurance athlete, has broken five summiting records, won 10 world cup trail running races, and four world championship trail running races during his career — and he has just crushed another record.
Ultrarunner Kilian Jornet just smashed the Bob Graham Round record in a time of 12 hours and 52 minutes — beating the previous record of 13 hours and 53 minutes, which was accomplished by Billy Bland in 1982.
The 24-hour fell running challenge traverses 106km and 8,200m in elevation, all over a span of 42 of the highest peaks in the English Lake District. The challenge was named after Bob Graham who, in 1932, broke the Lakeland Fell record by traversing 42 fells within a 24-hour period.
Membership for the Bob Graham Round 24-hour Club is based on three principles: you must start at the Moot Hall in Keswick and travel the 42 summits of the Round (or more) on foot and return to the starting point within 24 hours of the starting time, you must have a witness at each summit, and you must record the time you reached each summit and the name of the witness. Only about 2,000 people have completed the feat, earning their spot in this highly esteemed running club.
This isn’t the first record that Kilian has broken in the world of endurance sports. He has the fastest recorded time for Matterhorn (4,478m/2hr 52min), Mont Blanc (4,808m/4hr and 57min), and Denali (6,144m/11hr and 48min).
This recent accomplishment was kept under wraps, with only rumours being circulated as to whether Jornet was attempting the challenge or not. But soon, word had spread that he was en route to breaking the record. The previous record holder, Billy Bland, even met up with Jornet on the route to wish him luck.
By Bri Doherty
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