We're in awe of Kilian Jornet and Courtney Dauwalter after their performances at last weekend's Hardrock 100

·2-min read
Photo credit: Daniel Petty
Photo credit: Daniel Petty

This year was a historic one for the Hardrock 100 endurance race in the San Juan Mountains, Colorado, after Kilian Jornet and Courtney Dauwalter showed why they are two of the best ultra-runners in the world. Both smashed the course records, finishing in 21:36:24 and 26:44:36 respectively.

The race is notorious for being one of the toughest endurance competitions in the world: it’s 102 miles long, but the factor that elevates it above other races is the altitude. The entire race takes place above an average of 3,400m, and features a total of 20,000m of elevation, meaning competitors have to battle storms, tricky terrain and altitude sickness as well as each other.

Spanish runner Jornet had competition from some of ultra-running’s biggest names, most notably Frenchman Francis D’Haene, who ran to victory last year. Also competing were Dakota Jones and John Kelly, who famously completed the Barkley Marathons in 2017 and held the Pennine Way FKT.

From mile 75, Jornet and D’Haene battled for the lead after running together for large parts of the race until that point. Jornet, who already has four Hardrock wins to his name prior to this year eventually took the lead at mile 93, where the real race started. He held on to kiss the Hardrock first (there's no finish line – instead, runners must kiss a rock painted with a ram’s head, marking the end of the race), making him the winner.

Dauwalter, meanwhile, had tweaked her nutrition strategy since dropping out of the race at mile 62 last year due to stomach issues, now concentrating on consuming more liquid-based fuel during races. The tactic paid off, as she won the race a comfortable seven hours ahead of Stephanie Case in second, putting herself into 6th place overall and setting a new women's course record in the process.

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