A little while ago, professional trail and adventure racer Emma Roca came to South Africa. She gave a talk at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa. At the time, Emma was about to complete her dissertation and then begin working on her thesis on the physiological and biochemical profile of an ultra-distance athlete. Emma included her friend Kilian in a few of the studies that she conducted, but with a VO2 Max of 92ml/kg/min Kilian was an absolute outlier to her studies, and his results could never be included.
He’s just too…. Out there!
Last month, Kilian went up Everest twice in a week, without fixed ropes or oxygen. He came home and said, “Everest is pretty high. Even the big mountains seem small from up there. But it’s pretty tough as there’s very little oxygen. But apart from that, it’s a mountain like any other – albeit taller”. (Source: Theguardian.com)
Pretty high, he says?
A few weeks later he won the Mont Blanc Marathon, and, just as we thought he might take a nice break, put his feet up and have a beer, Killian went and won the Hardrock 100 with a dislocated shoulder.
The Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance Run is an ultramarathon in Silverton, Colorado, of 100.5 miles in length, plus 33,050 feet of climb and 33,050 feet of descent. It was his fourth-straight Hardrock win. After falling at around the 40-mile mark, he continued with his arm strapped against his chest using his Salomon running vest as support, and a single running pole, for 60 grueling miles.
Social media went wild, with well-known US running coach David Roche tweeting, “Salomon Executive: We’d like to become a medical supply company, but don’t know how to get started. Kilian: Hold my beer…”
These are the stories that make us want to push further, climb higher, and ask more of our bodies. Kilian should probably come with a “Don’t Try This at Home, Kids” disclaimer, but we are grateful for the inspiration that he dishes out in gigantic scoops.