Trail Runner Nation Hosts Exclusive Interview with Kilian Jornet
24 August 2021 – This past Friday, Trail Runner Nation podcast released a special-edition program with trail running legend Kilian Jornet. Episodes of Trail Runner Nation are downloaded more than 30,000 times each week. The program is ranked either first or second each week in the “All Time” category in North America, according to Apple Podcast, and is in the Top 10 in most other countries. Co-Hosts Scott Warr and Don Freeman created the program, which this year celebrates its tenth anniversary.
This special-edition podcast was guest hosted by noted trail runners Anna Frost, from New Zealand, and Stephanie Howe, from the Bay Area of California.
Jornet, 33, rarely grants podcast interviews. One of our generation’s greatest athletes, he is a six-time Skyrunner World Series champion, and has stood atop the podium at trail races around the world, most notably the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, Western States Endurance Run, and Hardrock Hundred Mile Run. Jornet has set the fastest known times on mountain peaks from the Matterhorn to Mont Blanc, and holds numerous ski mountaineering records.
The podcast is available from major podcast portals, and can be heard on the Trail Runner Nation website at trailrunnernation.com.
The episode features a behind-the-scenes look into Jornet’s life in a quiet Norwegian village with his partner, noted trail racer Emelie Forsberg, two daughters, a labradoodle, and a menagerie of farm animals.
I’m just a guy that runs. I run because it’s fun, and that’s all… Many times, we think sport is very important, but we need to put it in context. It’s something so small. It’s not to be humble, it’s being realistic. I love it and it’s my passion. When I do my workouts, of course, I’m 100% in.
I’m someone that needs a lot of solitude. I’m a big introvert. To be [in races] all the time… it was very fun– but it took a lot of energy. I needed to deal with [the] anxiety for a few years until I found a good balance… Moving to Norway was a big part of finding that balance. [I am just trying to] keep the joy of racing and competing. Mountains feel like home to me. When I am in a city, I feel like a stranger… I can spend time there, but I use so much energy. It’s not sustainable for me. When I am in the mountains, I feel at home… I feel I am in my place.
[Having children] hasn’t changed my approach. I think that’s because I try to be very rational. [In the mountains] I turn around maybe 50 or 60 percent of the time. But it has changed in other things. I used to do a lot of crazy stuff. When I raced Hardrock the last time, I dislocated my shoulder. I flew the next day to Barcelona, then I left the airport and drove to Norway. It was like 35 hours without sleeping. Now, I feel this kind of risk is unacceptable…. But in the mountains, I feel like I’m in a zone where I feel comfortable and don’t feel any stress. It’s been part of me for a long time. I think that’s because I am always analyzing the risk.
[On raising kids] Logistics have changed a lot. You need to plan. We need to be more efficient. If you plan well, there is time to do everything. It’s challenging. My favorite thing about my daughters is just to look at them. I learn patience and love from them, every day. It’s just beautiful to see them growing, and to get surprised about what they do… I’m more than proud. I think I’m just in love.
I love the mountains, and outdoors. I have cared about them since I was a kid. I have been doing individual actions, but at some point I thought I needed to do something more… I needed to use my voice. What’s the use of using social media to grow your ego? It doesn’t have any utility. The environment is a big subject we need to address. We are kind of the last generation that can do something. What’s the best way to use my voice to make an impact? Making a foundation… was the best way to reach people and do projects.
[Athletes] influence many other people… We should use this voice to address environmental problems and talk to people… This is what will make a difference. It’s about inspiring people and connecting people. If we are able to reach our community, then we can spread motivation and the information on how we can change. That’s where we have the power.
Jornet’s appearance on Trail Runner Nation came about thanks to guest host Anna Frost, a longtime friend and fellow elite trail runner. According to Frost, the two met a number of years ago, when she says, “Trail running was still just a passion project for both of us. We were traveling a lot, racing hard and playing hard.” Jornet, says Frost, “is one of the most humble and kindest people I know. He is happy to share his passion for trail running with people around the world.” Jornet isn’t a unidimensional athlete, however. “He’s passionate about our environment, bringing up his family and teaching future generations about how to keep our planet safe.”
Audio excerpts of these and other quotes are available for use.
For Trail Runner Nation partnership information and to receive a Trail Runner Nation Media Kit and Rate Card, please contact co-Host Scott Warr at Scott@trailrunnernation.com
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