The Adrenalist

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Skyrunning the Alps



Man is more tortoise than hare. Case in point: The North Face Ultra Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB), a grueling 103-mile trek up and around the tallest mountains in Europe. The course begins and ends in Chaminox, France, where 2,300 ultra-marathoners amassed last Friday night. At 11:30pm Central European time, they took off into the dark, passing through a cold front that brought rain, ice, snow and braving a shower of rocks; this year, a rock avalanche forced the extension of the trail by two miles. 20 hours, 26 minutes and 43 seconds after the air horn sounded, Catalonian Kilian Jornet crossed the finish line – his third career win in the event. Less than half the field made it across the finish.

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