Famed ultrarunner Kilian Jornet won the Hardrock 100 for the 4th time this past weekend. What was notable about this particular victory, his slowest by far, was that he ran almost 87 miles of it with a dislocated shoulder.
Around mile 13, Jornet, a native of Spain, took a tumble as he was running through a steep patch of snow. According to this iRunFar post-race interview, Jornet said he was looking more at the surrounding scenery instead of the terrain beneath his feet. He dislocated his left shoulder during the fall, an injury he has dealt with multiple times. Using his other arm, Jornet was able to pop his shoulder back into place. Medics wrapped his arm in a sling at mile 42 due to the pain. In addition to the difficulty of running with only one functional arm, a hail storm slowed his progress during the race. His finishing time was 24 hours, 32 minutes and 32 seconds.
“Yeah, I didn’t think I could finish because at the beginning it was painful, then it was a bit better, but then when the storm started it became very painful,” said Jornet in his post-race interview. “It’s not easy. Yeah, I wasn’t sure at all.”
Following Jornet in second was American Mike Foote in 24 hours, 54 minutes and 54 seconds. Jornet and Foote exchanged leads until the final 11 miles. Colorado native Joe Grant was third in 25 hours, 37 minutes and 27 seconds.
The winner of the women’s race Caroline Chaverot of France, also faced difficulty on her way to victory. Chaverot almost dropped out when she and her pacesetter became lost two-thirds of the way through the race. She estimates that she spent 90 minutes lost in the dark, causing her to fall off course-record pace. Spotting another runner in the distance, she eventually made her way back on-course, finishing in 28 hours, 31 minutes and 18 seconds.
“It’s difficult to be motivated when you get lost,” said Chaverot in her post-race interview. “Then I said, Okay… my family is following and…so I was lucky enough to get one ticket, so I have to finish. It was really difficult. I tried to motivate myself.”
Darcy Piceu of Colorado was second in 29 hours, 21 minutes and 37 seconds. Nathalie Mauclair of France was third in 30 hours, 33 minutes and 50 seconds.
The Hardrock 100 is one of the most challenging ultramarathon courses. Runners face an elevation change of 66,100 feet over 100.5 miles. The race is run on a looped course that starts and ends in Silverton, Colo. Entry is only guaranteed to the previous year’s male and female winner. The rest of the 1,000 participants are drawn from a lottery. The 2018 race will take place next July.