It seems I missed quite a bit while I was away.
Back in December, Spanish mountain runner Kilian Jornet impressed us all with his amazing run up and down Aconcagua, the highest mountain in South America at 6962 meters (22,841 ft). At the time, Jornet destroyed the old record by more than three hours, posting a total time for the roundtrip at 12 hours and 49 minutes. As impressive as that effort was however, the new speed record was short lived, as it has already been broken by another very talented mountain athlete.
According to reports, Ecuadorian-Swiss sky runner Karl Egloff shaved nearly an hour off Jornet’s time, by running to the summit and back in a mind-blowing 11 hours and 52 minutes. Both men used the same route up and down the mountain, covering some 40 km (25 miles), and notching up 4062 meters (13,327 ft) of vertical gain in the process.
While not quite as well known as Jornet, Egloff continues to add to his impressive resume. Back in 2013, the Spaniard ran up and down Kilimanjaro in just 7 hours and 14 minutes. Egloff would later break that record as well, besting Jornet by more than 30 minutes.
It seems that Jornet has a rival to keep him on his toes at long last. The Spanish runner is busy preparing to attempt a speed record on Everest this spring, and is probably completely focused on that effort. Both of these men are supreme mountain athletes of course, and I’d love to see them compete head-to-head on a trail with one another. For now though, we’ll probably have to be satisfied with each of them pushing harder on these speed record runs.