I know what you’re thinking. I forgot to name this piece ‘Eliud Kipchoge is the CITIUS MAG Male Athlete of the Year.’ The man lit Berlin on fire this year with his record-setting performance in the marathon. Most saw the writing on the wall before the race, but Eliud glided through 42 kilometers with more speed than expected and crossed the finish line in 2:01:39. It was beautiful. He is beautiful. But here I am, about to make people angry on the internet again.
Killian Jornet had a helluva 2018. The Spaniard stepped back into racing only in July after breaking his dang fibula in a skiing accident. This is a nice time to mention Jornet is not only a world-class runner, but a world-class ski mountaineer. By taking his skill set to multiple disciplines, it really bodes well for his case as the CITIUS MAG ENDURANCE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARD. (See what I did there? I changed the award. Hopefully Chris doesn’t pick up on this.).
After his bones healed up, Jornet tested them out at the Mont Blanc Marathon. He won the race in three hours, 55 minutes and 54 seconds. You might think, “Well, that’s not even a Boston Qualifier.” The race climbs 9,000 feet over the 26.2 miles. That’s like… a dump truck full of Heartbreak Hills
A week later, he tested his bones again during an attempt of the famed Bob Graham Round: a legendary 106-kilometer, 42-fell (read, hilltop) run. Again, his bones were nice and he set the fastest time on the route in 12 hours and 52 minutes.
From here, the list gets quite long and just please trust me that Jornet kept testing out that bone and kept on winning things and setting records. Had he not been stung by a bee before Ultra-Trail Mont Blanc, I’m going to assume he would have come away with the win. The man is too consistent to bet against, but he also happens to be allergic to bees. The bee always win.
He packed in an amazing year of racing in only a few months. Proving to the world he is the best endurance athlete we have the privilege of watching. He will never set the world record in the marathon, but he will always continue to push the limits of imagination with his running, skiing, and general alpinism. Congratulation to Killian Jornet on winning the CITIUS MAG ENDURANCE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARD.