It’s been a little while since we’ve seen Kilian Jornet racing. That’s because the legendary trail runner and mountaineer has been launching busy NNormal – an outdoor sports brand created in partnership with footwear company Camper.
But on Sunday, he returned in winning form taking the top step at the prestigious Zegama-Aizkorri alpine marathon in Northern Spain for the 10th time – the first race of the Golden Trail World Series (GTWS). Happily, he was donning a pair of NNormal trail shoes.
Ahead of the race, the official NNormal Instagram account shared that the race was an opportunity for it to test a prototype of its new trail shoes ‘against the best competition’ – and it certainly delivered.
The race, which starts from the small village of Zegama in the Basque Country and climbs an eye-watering 5,472m of elevation, notoriously attracts some of the world’s best male and female athletes, and this year was no different, with the likes of Rémi Bonnet, Davide Magnini, Courtney Dalwater and Nienke Brinkman lining the startline.
Jornet battled with Italy’s Davide Magnini on the 42km loop that takes runners up four of the highest peaks in the Basque Country: Aratz, Aizkorri, Aitxuri and Andraitz. They ran neck and neck for over half of the race, until Jornet pulled away around the 16-mile mark. He finished two and half minutes ahead of the 24-year-old in 3:36:40 – breaking the course record by nine minutes. Dutch trail and road athlete Nienke Brinkman won the women’s marathon in 4:16:43, breaking the course record by 18 minutes. You can watch full coverage of the race in the player below:
Jornet left long-standing sponsor Salomon at the end of last year to set up NNormal, which is focused on creating sustainable products. Afterward the race, the brand's Instagram account shared that shoe ‘testing had gone well’.
Fellow NNormal athlete and Jornet’s partner Emelie Forsberg also ran in a pair of NNormal shoes, winning the 3km VK race the day before the marathon, which consists of a 1,015m climb ending at the top of the Iraule peak.
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