Spanish mountain runner Kilian Jornet just raced in the Himalayas–but it wasn’t up Mount Everest. The new dad took some time away from parenting life, and on October 26 won the 14th annual Annapurna Trail Marathon in Pokhara, Nepal. The final event of the Golden Trail World Series, the 42K race gains over 3,500 metres in elevation. Jornet set a new course record in 4:45:05 alongside Judith Wyder in 5:42:03.
Jornet limited his 2019 racing calendar as a new parent, however, he prioritized the Golden Trail World Series and dominated. He raced four out of the seven in the series this year including Zegama, Sierre Zinal, and Pikes Peak. Despite rumours about his plans to return to Everest, Jornet’s success at the 2019 Golden Trail Series is loud and clear.
The Annapurna Trail Marathon is Nepal’s original ultra trail race. It commences with a 2,000 metre climb and traverses technical terrain through ridges and Nepalese mountain villages. Runners receive a red tikka on their forehead at 15K and a silky khata around their neck.
Davide Magnini from Italy and Sitian Angermund-Vik from Norway rounded out the men’s podium in second and third. Silvia Rampazzo from Italy placed second and Meg Mackenzie from South Africa third. Canadians Bryan Crane and Jean-Francois Aubin placed 54th and 87th.
The 2020 Golden Trail World Series will commence in June, kicking off with the Zegama-Aizkorri race in Spain (which Jornet has won nine times). It also includes Marathon du Mont-Blanc, Dolomyths Run Skyrace, Sierre-Zinal, Pikes Peak, King of Steall Skyrace, and the Annapurna Trail marathon.