By now, it’s hard for any of us to be surprised at the things Kilian Jornet pulls off while training, competing, or climbing in the mountains. But this past weekend, the trail runner/mountaineer added yet another chapter to his growing legend when he not only one the Hardrock 100 trail race for the fourth straight year, but he did so with a dislocated shoulder.
Heading into the race, Jornet was once again the favorite. He as been running well this year, despite taking time off to travel to the Himalaya where he managed to summit Everest without oxygen within a span of five days, and set a new speed record in the process. But, it looked like his fourth title might be in jeopardy early on when he fell 13 miles into the race, dislocating his shoulder. Jornet says that he was able to pop it back into place on his own. Later, he received some assistance at an aid station, where the arm was wrapped in a sling, but he received no medication.
For most of us, such an injury would have been enough to put us out of the competition, but for Jornet it was just another challenge to overcome. In the end, he managed to complete the 100.5 mile (161 km) course in a time of 24 hours, 32 minutes, and 32 seconds. That was enough to finish ahead of Mike Foote, who shadowed Kilian much of the way, but ended up finishing in second place 23 minutes back.
The 2017 female champion at the Hardrock wasn’t without her challenges either. French runner Caroline Chaverot finished with a time of 28 hours, 31 minutes, and 50 seconds, although she spent about 90 of those minutes lost on the trail. She had led for much of the race up until that point, but wandered off the trail in the dark. Eventually she found her way back to the route, learned that she was still in the lead, and was able to collect herself to get to the finish line ahead of any of the other women in the race.
After the race was over, Jornet indicated that he was in a lot of pain and that his shoulder was incredibly sore, but of course he wasn’t about to give up. He said that he had suffered a similar injury in the past and knew what to expect. Whether or not the injury will have an impact on his competition schedule this year remains to be seen, but at the moment he is still the best mountain runner in the world, even with one hand tied behind his back.
See Kilian cross the finish line and conduct a post race interview in the video below.