UTMB – Salomon 1st, 2nd

Kilian Jornet proves his dominance and talent at UTMB, running in the front all night and day to win in 20:36. Salomon teammate, Iker Karrera, cruises in shortly afterward for 2nd. The North Face’s Sebastien Chaigneau sweeps in for 3rd.  Did you follow it?  What are your thoughts?

Ultra Runner of the Year, Kilian Jornet. Lights out, next topic. (photo: Megan Hicks)

28 thoughts on “UTMB – Salomon 1st, 2nd

  1. Rick Merriman

    Killian just seems to run, no taper. He’s truly what it means to be a runner. If he comes to Pikes Peak next year I fully expect him to run on Sat and Sun. Nothing, other than being a little under prepaired at WS100 in 2010, seems to bother him. He just runs – awesome!


  2. n

    Dear InsideTrail,
    I understand that you are upset because the majority of the well-known american runners dropped.
    But it is not a reason to be angry against this race and to say that UTMB is just a salomon ad.
    I think we did see a beautiful course with a lot of great runners (and not only the salomon runners) : Chaigneau, Kaburaki, Csaba, Sa, … and an incredible performance of Lizzie Hawker.
    I have a question for you: why Mike Foote and Nicholas Pedatella (not known as the best american runners) did run better than the other american runners ?

    (Sorry for my poor english)


    1. Hi Christophe,

      Upset?? Not upset at all. I’m very happy for Kilian, Iker, and the Salomon team. They’ve obviously done all the work this year and it’s paid off. They are outstanding athletes and deserve this win, just like all the others. I’m not your typical American who denies true talent if it’s not shown by a fellow American. I appreciate the sport and the athletes’ abilities, regardless of their nationalities.

      I’m good friends with Nick Pedatella and have raced with Mike Foote. Nick is one of the most consistent ultra runners I know. Take a look at some of his achievements http://ultrasignup.com/results_participant.aspx?fname=Nick&lname=Pedatella&age=0 (this isn’t all his races but most of them). Also, he doesn’t quit. It’s difficult to beat someone who never gives up. I raced the Bear 100 last September, the race in which Mike Foote won and beat Geoff Roes’ course record. Mike’s a quick guy and with some more experience he’ll be considered a contender at big races.

      Thanks so much for your comment. It’s appreciated. See you in Chamonix next year.


      1. n

        Yes! I want to run UTMB next year. (if the lottery is my friend)
        I would also mention that i have a big respect for Mike Wolfe. He don’t give up even if he came to Chamonix for a podium. He is a real champion! I think there are a lot of runners who would have dropped in similar situations.


      2. Totally agree, Christophe. I’ve been seeing a surge of dnfs when things just aren’t going a runner’s way. I don’t mind dnfs and feel that it’s up to the individual what he does or doesn’t do but it has to be taken into account when in consideration for any sort of accolades (like “Ultra Runner of the Year”….).
        Keep your hopes up on getting in utmb! I didn’t think I’d get into Hardrock and there I was, suffering along with everyone else!


  3. Dylan Bowman

    I agree Tim. It’s really inspiring to see the way Salomon has grabbed our sport by the balls. Other companies will have no choice but to step their game up now if they want to compete. That’s just the nature of business. The end result: limits get pushed, records get crushed, sport continues to grow, humanity improves, everybody wins. It’s a very exciting time.

    Hope the move went well.


  4. Robert

    The end result: limits get pushed, records get crushed, sport continues to grow, humanity improves, everybody wins. It’s a very exciting time.

    I liked this line.

    Could I add one more? ‘And more salomon shoes are purchased!’

    Seriously, these ultra running events being approached with all the science and preparation like a regular marathon. Records will continue to tumble until we get down to a bare minimum 100 mile time (maybe somewhat like the unbeatable 2hr marathon time)


  5. My .02: Ryan Sandes spend 6(?) weeks in Leadville, Chorier spends a month (I think I’m right on that) in Silverton–both win their respective races. D. Jones spends 6 weeks in Silverton, places second. Geoff Roes gets to Chamonix Monday or so before the race, the others weren’t there for long either. Maybe what Salomon is doing is paying for these guys to acclimate, and learn courses.

    These pieces aren’t exclusive: Nick Clark is surely whooped after a tough summer of racing, and didn’t acclimate much to Hardrock. Kilian is on another planet. Mike Wolfe ran the UTMB course ahead of time (besides last year’s experience on much of the course), though he didn’t spend a month doing so. The much stated race fatigue of Americans who race too often comes into play–Chorier doesn’t run many races, and even Kilian ran much shorter races leading into UTMB. Don’t know much about Sandes, but he didn’t run Western States. It just seems like the Salomon folks strategize race schedules, training, acclimatization and race strategies better.

    Ned Barrett


    1. Hi Ned,
      Well, I agree with some of what you say. Course knowledge is good to have. Julien Chorier spent a month in Colorado but not all in Silverton. Roes’ bedroom is higher than almost all of UTMB’s course. Same with Clark. Dakota sleeps higher than UTMB. Many of the Americans who dropped spent nearly a month there beforehand.

      People were saying Kilian was overtrained/over raced before WS, so I don’t buy it that the guys who dropped were over raced. All of them? Nick Pedatella ran/raced as much as any of them this year. 14th overall.

      I’ll agree Salomon is doing something right. You’ll see this later this week in an interview we’ve done at Inside Trail with Salomon’s team management…


  6. I am not convinced other vendors will step up and attempt to dominate the way Salomon has.

    Who do that? PI? Brooks? Maybe Montrail, or Inov8?

    I guess I just don’t see the business model – at least for their US markets. In the US markets, what sells is not necessarily performance in terms of wins or sport dominance, but instead the charisma and allure of what is being sold. If performance sold, guys like Mackey and Roes would be much bigger names than Karnazes.

    That is not a shot against Dean. It is a point that say that I see little gain for a company like PI to look to dominate a market in terms of performance in what is already a niche sport, where people are pretty particularly as to what they choose.

    Maybe it works for Salomon in Europe, but I am not sure it works for PI or others in the US.


    1. Hey George,
      You have to remember that Salomon’s team captain lives about 4 miles from you. The team marketing manager lives in Utah. One of their big runners, Rickey, lives just over the hill from you. The woman’s national 50 mile champion (usatf) lives in the Bay area. It’s a dynamic and varied team that dominates, not a certain foreign entity that is conspiring to dominate the US.

      I guarantee Salomon’s model will be emulated at many levels by other teams. They’d be sadly remiss to ignore or resist taking a peak at the success and wanting to match it.


      1. Thanks Tim.

        Regardless of where they are at, I still don’t get the marketing.

        I am glad that those guys and gals are getting some level of support, but I often don’t see the connection between the product and the athlete.

        Tony has probably moved some NB shoes. KJ has probably helped sell some white spandex. Dave M and Simon might have drive some Hokas out there.

        I guess I am saying if I were head of the Hangnine shoe department, while I may personally be interested in helping the top athletes – the top athletes are not necessarily the most marketable.

        Look a little outside of MUT for example … how many even hard core runners you know can name 10 current high placing Kenyan runners? Probably few. Why? Because frankly, they are BORING. They are crazy ass fast but you don’t buy Nikes because of them. You are probably a lot more influenced by what the guy or gal in the running store pushes at you than some advert with Kipsang.

        MUT has some characters that sell – but most don’t. That is not a shot at who they are, it is just a fact of what they are.

        Point is this: is Salomon wants to dominate, who cares? What difference if it is that or PI or Montrail or Inov8 or Brooks or NB? Are any of you going to buy more Salomon product because their team has kicked ass this year? I certainly ain’t.

        Side note – at least in Colorado, because of the verbal word that goes around, guys like Scott and Nick probably do get some folks to buy some PI. But again, that is not outrightly because of their performances, but instead because they GOOD guys.


  7. Even if vendors don’t step-up, athletes can and will respond to the competition. It happens in every sport.

    The travel and leisure argument of Salomon guys (having the means to train) doesn’t hold-up when many of them have regular jobs back home and a solid American contingent spent plenty of time in the Alps prior to UTMB;and they come from high altitude anyways.

    Team support is a factor and so is the fact that this kind of running in the U.S. is a true niche, even marginalized somewhat.

    But, athletes should and will respond. Americans are tough. The challenge has been issued loud and clear.


    1. Look I think KJ is on another planet as much as anyone. I’d love to see him run Pikes next year. I don’t see him taking the 2:01 down but I think he rips a previously unseen downhill.

      But loud and clear?

      In the US, money talks. NF 50 is going to get some guys out because of the 10k in bones there.

      HR? No cash. How much was on the line for UTMB?

      Pikes throws out some cash but in comparison to what is out there guys, it ain’t loud and clear – it is a whisper.

      And to be clear – I like it that way.


  8. Michael

    I wonder how this year’s showing will influence the Americans for 2012? Though Geoff’s 2010 WS win over Killian was pretty epic, I would say the “W” at UTMB holds much more prestige.

    Because HR will not allow a “Championship” race, and the UROC (though dubbed the Super Bowl of races) remains to be seen, will UTMB become the “obsession” for some of the top American runners? I wonder if it’ll be like the Tour de France where minus a few Americans, will be dominated by European athletes…

    Just a thought.


    1. Totally bullshit and not funny. I hope if you are going throw that crap out there you put your name on that image as well – because I didn’t see your name at the top of any results.


  9. Todd Otanicar

    I think the large number of DNFs also has to be attributed to the competitiveness of the event particularly at the elite level. These guys whether American or European are going to have a high DNF rate because of the demands of racing that hard for that distance. If you look at other Pro endurance sports (cycling, marathon…) you see a large number of DNFs at the elite level, or sitting up in a race for cycling, because when you have an off day you can’t afford to tank the rest of your season for a bad result. For amateurs like me you grind out because a finish is great. For guys like Roes, Clark, etc. finishing 30th or 50th isn’t a great result especially if they grind themselves to nothing to do it. I am sure they all want to finish but at that level you have to balance a poor finish that leads to serious physical damage versus cutting your losses. I don’t think this is unique to Americans or Europeans but is the result of these events becoming increasingly competitive and becoming full on running events (I saw plenty of top Euro’s who DNFed).

    As for the pic of the Americans at the finish having a good time, who can blame them. I am sure they are upset about DNFing but at least they are out there supporting their support instead of sulking about.


  10. Rick Merriman

    GZ – I like what you said about the sponsorships and I think it’s absolutely true. The big one that I can think of is North Face. Why can they put on/sponsor the races they do, but not put up the money for a team to compete for the wins? Perhaps I’ve missed something, but really haven’t noticed any of these top guys being sponsored by NF. Am I wrong?


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