Kilian Jornet sets his sights on 24-Hour Running Challenge
November 16, 2020
Decorated Salomon athlete trades the mountains for the track to launch the Phantasm 24 Project
OGDEN, Utah (November 16, 2020)– Today, Kilian Jornet, the most decorated athlete in the history of the trail running, embarks on a new challenge: completing as many laps as possible around a 400-meter track in Måndalen, Norway for 24 consecutive hours. The Phantasm 24 running challenge, named after the new Salomon S/Lab Phantasm road racing shoes that will carry Jornet through this attempt, will begin Saturday, November 21 and will be available to live stream on the Salomon website.
“My motivation is to go outside of my comfort zone, to try different things and see what I am able to do, whether that is climbing at high altitude or, in this case, running on flat ground,” Jornet said. “It’s fun to discover different things I can do, and training on the flat is a good test as well as an opportunity to learn more about nutrition and pacing, and then try to apply those things to different activities, like even mountaineering projects.”
The stadium will be closed to spectators during the run to adhere to Covid-19 health and safety precautions, but fans will be able to watch Kilian’s Phantasm 24 running challenge via a live feed at www.Salomon.com/phantasm24. As the project is weather dependent, the current target date of November 21-22 is subject to change. Check the social media channels of Salomon and Kilian Jornet for the exact date and time of the run, as well as previews into Jornet’s run preparation.
Although Jornet has had his eyes on this 24-hour running challenge for some time, he is choosing not to set expectations for how far he’ll be able to run. Officially, the longest distance ever run in 24 hours was set in 1997 by Yiannis Kouros, who ran 188.59 miles.
“It’s so many miles that I cannot even visualize it,” Jornet said. “I’ve seen Yiannis’ splits so I want to keep up with that as long as I can. I know the speed I need to keep every hour, so then I know the pace for every mile and every lap. Of course, the first 10 hours will be a bit faster and will then slow down every hour after, so I have a plan and I know what I want to run every hour. The big thing is to not have any muscle problems and be able to eat without having big down periods.”
Accustomed to running famed races like Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB), Hardrock 100, Western States 100 and countless mountain marathons around the globe, Jornet has sought expert advice from coaches and physios as he incorporated more speed work into his training.
“For mountain athletes, we have a big motor, so the cardio and endurance come more easily,” Jornet says. “It’s mostly working on the speed, because my legs aren’t used to moving this fast. To prepare, I’ve been doing three days of speed work each week at the track or on roads. Additionally, the form you run with on the flat is very different from how you run in the mountains, where you have to pass over obstacles and adapt to terrain changes.”
Much of Jornet’s training research has centered around minimizing injuries that might come with the repetitive motion of flat-ground running. In fact, he was forced to delay the 24-hour attempt in recent weeks due to some nagging muscle injuries that cropped up prior to his first 10 km road race, the famed Hytteplanmila race in Norway, which he finished in 29:59 in mid-October.
“I think the biggest challenge is to be able to train consistently and not have injuries because the transition to flat ground is very hard for the muscles,” Jornet says. “The training has been a bit frustrating the last few months going from injury to injury to injury. I have had good blocks of training and then I would get injured and have to rest. After the 10 km race, I had to stop training and rest due to an injury. Now, the plan is to do one good week of training and see how my body feels, then rest the muscle tissues and recover for the attempt.”
In his 24-hour attempt, Jornet will use Salomon’s new S/LAB Phantasm, a super lightweight road racing shoe that will be released in the spring of 2021. He has been using the shoe for several months during his track and road running training sessions.
“I tested the prototypes of the S/LAB Phantasm a year ago and now I’m using the same shoe that will be available in spring to the public,” Jornet says. “It’s great for road running. It’s a light, very reactive and well-balanced shoe with good cushioning, which is important when you are training longer on hard surfaces. And the grip is really good, even in wet conditions, which is important.”
A dynamic racing flat that was developed with top athletes with a 6mm drop, the S/LAB Phantasm focuses on weight, breathability and a fast transition, which is achieved with a curved, rocker profile and Salomon’s lightest, most responsive foam, called Energy Surge. A nearly invisible upper made of TPU Mesh gives the shoe a breathable, lightweight design that comes in at only 199g.
“It’s cool to see Salomon doing different things like this now in running footwear,” Jornet says. “Some things that they learned from their mountain-specific footwear—such as lightness, ideal shape and the breathability of the upper—have been applied here with the Phantasm. And some things from the road, like cushioning, will help improve their mountain footwear.”
On the day of the attempt, Jornet will switch directions every four hours on the track he now knows well. In preparation for the unpredictable Norwegian weather, he has selected a variety of Salomon apparel to have ready on the day including S/Lab NSO Tee, Sense Longsleeve Tee, S/Lab Shorts, S/Lab NSO Mid Tights, the Active Beanie, the Pulse Gloves and a couple of jackets: Haloes Down Hybrid Hoodie and Outline Down Agile FZ.
Suunto, the Finnish sports timepiece company who has been one of Jornet’s major supporters for more than a decade, will serve as the official timekeeper of the Phantasm 24 challenge.
For more information about Kilian Jornet’s 24-hour attempt, or for inquiries about Salomon, please contact Senior Account Manager Emily Banks at Emily.Banks@rygr.us.
About Salomon: Born in the French Alps in 1947, Salomon is committed to pushing the boundaries of mountain sports through the creation of innovative equipment that allows people to play, progress and challenge themselves in their chosen outdoor sports. The company produces and sells premium footwear, winter sports and mountaineering equipment, hiking equipment, and apparel specifically designed for all of those disciplines. Products are developed in the company’s Annecy Design Center, where engineers, designers and athletes collaborate to create innovative solutions that continually improve the outdoor experiences of those who see nature as a vast playground.
Contact: Emily Banks
970-924-0704 ext: 103