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Thread: Kilian bg attempt

  1. #71
    Below is some background from Martin Stone that was in an email he sent out to this years LAMM competitors. Hopefully he won't mind he sharing it with the forum.

    I expect you have become aware that Kilian Jornet broke Billy Bland's 36 year record for the Bob Graham Round last Sunday. In case you were wondering what I might turn my attention to after the LAMM, I have a story to tell.
    I first met Kilian at the Glencoe Skyline Race that I was timing last September in Kinlochleven. I mentioned to him that if he needed help with his BG, I would be pleased to do what I could. We kept in touch randomly through the Winter while he underwent surgery on his shoulders and recovered from a broken fibula, sustained in a ski accident. He contacted me about 10 days ago to say that he was feeling surprisingly well recovered from his injuries and fresh, so was thinking of coming to the UK imminently. He arrived last Wednesday afternoon at our house and this was the beginning of the preparations, except that I had prepared a schedule and got some BG maps ready for him last Winter. Last Friday we met up in Keswick at the apartment he and his Catalan friend/agent Jordi had hired close to the Moot Hall, to discuss final plans and Kilian cooked tea for Debbie and myself!
    I setup the attempt for him, logistics, pacers, support and introduced him to Billy Bland two days before the attempt. It was my mission to keep the run under the radar, respectful, authentic and help to make it a similar experience to 36 years ago when I did the road support for Billy Bland. There was work to be done to ensure that Billy and everyone involved could see that Kilian isn't just a professional runner wheeled out by Salomon to promote their company. It was also important after all these years that the day should include Billy and that he should be part of the celebration so that folk would also have the opportunity to congratulate him for what he achieved so many years ago.
    There was one major complication. When I emailed potential pacers last Wednesday night, who were the fastest runners (especially for legs 1 – 3), no one replied to me. By Thursday evening with an attempt looming on Sunday I was beginning to panic. I decided it was time to get on the phone and by then it was about 9.30pm. It was fortunate that the first person I phoned was Rob Jebb as by complete coincidence he told me that he had been planning to do a fast BG last Saturday but had already cancelled it because of the expected heat. He hadn’t cancelled because of Kilian as he wasn't aware of Kilian's attempt when he cancelled. He was in two minds about Kilian's attempt and wasn't sure if he was comfortable being involved with it. I asked him whether if Kilian phoned him, he might agree to help? As soon as I came off the phone I contacted Kilian and explained the unfortunate coincidence. Kilian got straight on the phone to Jebby to discuss it and asked him if he would pace him. Jebby agreed and within an hour Jebby’s pacers were getting in touch with me to offer their services. Jebby’s decision to help Kilian had unlocked all the pacers who until then were loyal to him and didn’t want to offend him. Jebby and various other pacers then spoke to Billy to see how he felt about it. By then Billy and Ann Bland had met Kilian and been completely won over by his modesty and charm. Billy told everyone to do everything possible to make the day a success. Everyone was now onside and fully supportive of Kilian's BG attempt.
    It was a really nice touch that Martin Mikkelsen Barron who was pacing Kilian on leg 3 was the son of Pete Barron who paced Billy 36 years ago. It gave me the idea of trying to get Billy’s pacers together from 36 years ago so they could also be part of the celebration. I contacted Joss Naylor, David Bland, Pete Barron and Kenny Stuart, who all came along to the road crossings and the Moot Hall to meet Kilian & Billy, and to have a retrospective photo with Billy.
    We decided on a social media blackout until the event started and this allowed Kilian to have a peaceful day on the fells with his pacers, just as it would have been 36 years earlier. We kept the lid on the attempt until the last possible minute and the number of spectators at the road crossings went something like:

    • Start - 8
    • Threlkeld - 15
    • Dunmail – 50
    • Wasdale – 20
    • Honister – 50
    • Little Town – 15
    • Moot Hall - 1000

    Kilian was completely wiped out at the finish as he chased hard to beat 13 hours, just as Billy had chased hard to beat 14 hours many years earlier. Billy had struggled on Grey Knotts all those years ago and had to sit down for some minutes part way down the descent to Honister. The Curse of Billy Bland struck Kilian and by cruel coincidence he also sat down within metres of where Billy had bonked. This was very spooky.
    Kilian couldn’t stay too long at the Moot Hall, keeping the massive crowd entertained, as he started overheating and feeling dizzy. He wandered back to the accommodation, promising to return later to thank the pacers. About an hour later we walked to the apartment where he was staying, close to the Moot Hall and he was already recovering and kneeling in a fairly relaxed way on a chair eating ice cream. After nibbling a bit of a take away he wandered back to the Moot Hall where there were still about 50 folk waiting who wanted photos, autographs etc. This made us feel slightly uncomfortable but it is an unavoidable fact of life in the modern era of social media and celebrity. Although he was still feeling wiped out, Kilian made all these folk happy and chatted in the main street with pacers etc.
    I felt so privileged to be involved with the attempt and to have helped to keep it under the radar. All the pacers had an absolutely fabulous day and we will always treasure the memory of supporting this completely amazing but at the same time, deeply respectful and modest man.
    From every point of view, it appeared to me that the day had been the very best it could possibly be.

    On Monday evening, the night after the round, his friend and agent Jordi (also a Catalan) and Kilian invited the pacers and partners to have a beer and a meal with them at the George Hotel in Keswick. Every single pacer turned up and there were 22 of us – we had a great evening and it allowed Kilian a final opportunity to thank everyone for helping to make his day so special. At about 23:00 Jordi and Kilian left and headed off for Manchester Airport, ready for early flights on Tuesday morning to Madrid and Oslo respectively.
    You can read Kilian's first account and see the short film that was released yesterday. A longer film with aerial footage will be released in due course.

    I hope you enjoy the rest of the Summer and that the fabulous weather lasts until the Autumn.

    All the best

  2. #72
    Master ba-ba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Great account of the prep and day!
    So will Kilian be back in the lakes to pace his pacers on their future rounds?
    Nic Barber. Downhill Dandy

  3. #73
    Super Moderator Derby Tup's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    The Worth
    I wouldn’t want him dragging me back, loitering, taking pics and stopping for selfies etc . . .

  4. #74
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    South South Pennines
    He had a gps trace on his watch! Surely that makes the round illegal?

  5. #75
    Master PeteS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Mostly Worcestershire
    I suggest anyone doubting the legitimacy of Kilian's record, reads this article.

    Personally, I think the points raised previously regarding professionalism largely account for the huge amount of time taken off the old record. As pointed out in this article, regarding his training regime "Jornet has spent most of his life developing the physiology he needs for mountain terrain. Anything else was a waste of time."
    How many of us gave the dedication and luxury to be able to do that, not forgetting the raw talent in the first place.

  6. #76
    Senior Member djglover's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    OOo, cant wait to meet Kilian at Shap Wells Hotel next autumn when we both collect our certificates! I hope someone explained this part to him?
    Dan Wilkinson - Ilkley Harriers

  7. #77
    Master Bob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Darkest eckythumpland
    Quote Originally Posted by djglover View Post
    OOo, cant wait to meet Kilian at Shap Wells Hotel next autumn when we both collect our certificates! I hope someone explained this part to him?
    Yes, well not the bit about meeting you!

    Without me you'd be one place nearer the back

  8. #78
    Super Moderator Derby Tup's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    The Worth
    If anyone sees him tell him to be careful. Last time I went to the Wells I came home engaged to be married

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