Zegama is Zegama

03 June 2019
Zegama is Zegama

The intense heat and strong sunlight didn’t stop Kilian Jornet this Sunday when, in his tenth race in the event, secured a ninth victory in the Zegama-Aizkorri (42km and 2,736m of overall ascent) in a time of 03’52’’47. He last ran the Zegama in 2016, when he also won. After a two-year absence, Jornet has reclaimed the throne in one of his favourite races. 

“It was a really tough race and the main rival was the heat which without doubt meant the event got harder and harder,” Kilian Jornet said.

The podium was completed by two runners from the Salomon Team. The Pole Bartlomiej Przedwojewski (03’55’’36) was second, with Thibaut Baronian (03’56’’20) third after a close battle for the podium places. 

The runners left Zegama at 09.00h faced with the prospect of a very hot day. The organisers had already warned some runners to take special care with hydration. In spite of this, the race got off to one of its fastest starts and from the beginning Kilian jornet, along with the American Andy Wacker, set a frenetic pace which threatened to break the record set by Stian Angermund-Vik. The two runners shared the lead going through Ultzama (8.5km) and Atabarreta (13.5km) but on the ascent at Aratz (16.1km) Kilian built up a two-minute lead over Wacker. 

From this point on Kilian Jornet set a solid pace and had a three-minute lead at  Sancti Spiritu (19.6km) and Aizkorri (22km).  

Although the passes at Urbia (28,5km) and the ascent to the peak at Andraitz (30km) made it difficult to believe that the Norwegian’s record would be broken, Kilian continued to consolidate his lead, maintaining his advantage over Bart and Thibaut who were competing for second and third. 

At the descent to Andraitz the Cerdaña runner crossed the line at Zegama for the 10th time for his ninth victory in a time of 03’52’’47. 

“We set off very quickly and I was afraid I’d be made to pay in the second half of the race but I managed it well. In any case, what really makes the Zegama isn’t the runners but the public and the organisers who make it a very special race,” Kilian Jornet added at the finish.

Kilian has always had a passion for the the Zegama-Aizkorri, a marathon with 2,700m of overall ascent that has earned its place among the top mountain races. “Zegama is Zegama” is a phrase he often uses when asked to describe the race, having often said how much he likes the event, the atmosphere and the mud and rain that are usually a part of it, in contrast to this year where the high temperature was the key protagonist.  

08 May 2019

Trail running season 2019