Sunday August 11 will see a rare meeting of two of the trail running world’s biggest names: Kilian Jornet and Jim Walmsley. The two haven’t faced each other since UTMB (Ultra Trail de Mont Blanc) 2018, where neither man ended up winning the race that was billed as a showdown between the two trail superpowers.
The runners will race the fifth race of the Mountain Running Association World Cup at the iconic Sierre-Zinal in Switzerland. The Swiss race has assembled one of the best-ever elite fields in mountain running. With such a strong field, there’s potential for Jonathan Wyatt’s men’s race record of 2:29:12, set in 2003, to fall.
Jornet, of Spain, has won the race a shocking six times and will be looking to make Sunday his seventh win. In 2018, Jornet finished within striking distance of the course record, in 2:31:39. The course is a grueling 31K with 2,200m of ascent and 1,100m of descent.
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It took a village to pull off Project Carbon X last weekend. I am so thankful for the heart that so many people put into this event and I feel full knowing that I was able to put my best foot forward to do my part to help out the team. Huge support from @hokaoneone, @adventure.moore, @theresabford, the entire Hoka Family, @jbrazeau, my parents for surprising me, @baldwinning580, @bguijarro, @coconinocowboys, my new friends from Japan @hideakiyamauchi1216 @yoshiki._._.yoshiki and so many more. Most photos courtesy of @christian_adam_ 📸 Resting up this week and motivated as ever to start getting after @wser training, FINALLY!!! #seeyouinsquaw #bangbang #timetofly #carbonX 🤠💥💥
Walmsley, the American, is in good shape and coming off an extremely impressive performance at the 2019 Western States Endurance Run, breaking his own course record of 14:30:04, set just last year, by a shocking 21 minutes. Walmsley came across the line in 14:09:28. The runner also holds the 50-mile world record, which he set in May 2019.
Sierre-Zinal goes Sunday at 9:45 a.m. local time.