Kílian Jornet: Summiting The Mind Of The World’s Greatest Mountain Runner

The Rich Roll Podcast

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Kílian Jornet: Summiting The Mind Of The World’s Greatest Mountain Runner

The Rich Roll Podcast

“Conquering mountains is an ironic phrase. We are not conquering them. We can never pretend to be fighting nature because we are part of it.”

Kílian Jornet

Never meet your heroes, they say.

Fortunately, this entire podcast is based on ignoring that advice. And today, that's a good thing. First, Kílian Jornet — one of the most humble, accomplished and inspiring athletes in the world — rarely sits for long form press. Second, this hero lives up to the hype. And this conversation is everything I hoped it would be.

For the uninitiated, Kílian Jornet is inarguably the most prolific and dominant mountain runner of all time and amongst the world's greatest athletes, period. Born and raised at 6,000 feet above sea level in the Spanish Pyrenees, at age 5 he climbed an 11,000 foot mountain — the highest mountain in the region. Now Jornet adores the mountains with the same ferocity with which he runs them. Racking up wins in most of the world's premier ultramarathons, his many accomplishments include:

* 4x champion of Europe’s Skyrunner World Series;

* 3x champion of the grueling Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc;

* 2011 winner, Western States 100; and

* 4x consecutive winner, Hardrock 100; and

* 2017 winner at Hardrock 100 despite dislocating his shoulder at mile 14

In search of inspiration outside formal competition, Kílian embarked on a self-styled adventure project dubbed Summits of My Life — establishing the fastest known recorded times (“FKT”) to ascend and descend the world's most challenging peaks, including the Matterhorn, Kilimanjaro, Mont Blanc, Denali and even the planet's tallest summit. Not only did Kílian set the Mt. Everest FKT at 26 hours from base camp, he did it without supplemental oxygen or ropes. A mere six days later, he repeated the performance — an accomplishment that inspired Adventurer of the Year accolades from National Geographic.

Kílian's feats of poetic athletic prowess are beautifully depicted in his gripping memoir Run Or Die*, the new documentary Path To Everest, and his latest book Summits of My Life* — all of which I urge you to check out.

Today he shares his remarkable story. This is a conversation about what drives one of the planet's most uniquely gifted fleet of foot — a man devoted to redefining what is possible, continually pushing the limits of human ability, and never failing to astonish competitors with his near-superhuman fitness and ability.

So what lies behind the success? Kílian's motivation isn't what you might imagine. It has nothing to do with race results. And his happiness derives not from victory. Instead, it's adventure that sparks Kílian's joy. Immersion in nature. Living outside the comfort zone. And always, always exploring.

A truly amazing human, what strikes me most about this other-worldly athlete is his profound humility. Kiílian's passion and respect for nature's prowess is earned. Refreshingly grounded, he lives simply, an ethic and aesthetic reflected in the minimalistic purity of his athletic pursuits.

Today I'm glad I met a hero. I think you will be too.

For the visually inclined, you can watch our entire conversation on YouTube at

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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“Conquering mountains is an ironic phrase. We are not conquering them. We can never pretend to be fighting nature because we are part of it.”

Kílian Jornet

Never meet your heroes, they say.

Fortunately, this entire podcast is based on ignoring that advice. And today, that's a good thing. First, Kílian Jornet — one of the most humble, accomplished and inspiring athletes in the world — rarely sits for long form press. Second, this hero lives up to the hype. And this conversation is everything I hoped it would be.

For the uninitiated, Kílian Jornet is inarguably the most prolific and dominant mountain runner of all time and amongst the world's greatest athletes, period. Born and raised at 6,000 feet above sea level in the Spanish Pyrenees, at age 5 he climbed an 11,000 foot mountain — the highest mountain in the region. Now Jornet adores the mountains with the same ferocity with which he runs them. Racking up wins in most of the world's premier ultramarathons, his many accomplishments include:

* 4x champion of Europe’s Skyrunner World Series;

* 3x champion of the grueling Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc;

* 2011 winner, Western States 100; and

* 4x consecutive winner, Hardrock 100; and

* 2017 winner at Hardrock 100 despite dislocating his shoulder at mile 14

In search of inspiration outside formal competition, Kílian embarked on a self-styled adventure project dubbed Summits of My Life — establishing the fastest known recorded times (“FKT”) to ascend and descend the world's most challenging peaks, including the Matterhorn, Kilimanjaro, Mont Blanc, Denali and even the planet's tallest summit. Not only did Kílian set the Mt. Everest FKT at 26 hours from base camp, he did it without supplemental oxygen or ropes. A mere six days later, he repeated the performance — an accomplishment that inspired Adventurer of the Year accolades from National Geographic.

Kílian's feats of poetic athletic prowess are beautifully depicted in his gripping memoir Run Or Die*, the new documentary Path To Everest, and his latest book Summits of My Life* — all of which I urge you to check out.

Today he shares his remarkable story. This is a conversation about what drives one of the planet's most uniquely gifted fleet of foot — a man devoted to redefining what is possible, continually pushing the limits of human ability, and never failing to astonish competitors with his near-superhuman fitness and ability.

So what lies behind the success? Kílian's motivation isn't what you might imagine. It has nothing to do with race results. And his happiness derives not from victory. Instead, it's adventure that sparks Kílian's joy. Immersion in nature. Living outside the comfort zone. And always, always exploring.

A truly amazing human, what strikes me most about this other-worldly athlete is his profound humility. Kiílian's passion and respect for nature's prowess is earned. Refreshingly grounded, he lives simply, an ethic and aesthetic reflected in the minimalistic purity of his athletic pursuits.

Today I'm glad I met a hero. I think you will be too.

For the visually inclined, you can watch our entire conversation on YouTube at

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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