After 10 hours and 83 miles of running during the Phantasm-24 challenge, Kilian Jornet was forced to halt his 24-hour running attempt due to the sudden onset of dizziness and chest pain. Jornet had been targeting this record attempt—completing as many laps as possible around a 400-meter track in Måndalen, Norway for 24 consecutive hours—for nearly a year and was setting a fast pace through the early stages of the race on November 27, quickly leaving his competitors behind despite freezing temperatures.
“I was feeling pretty good, with the normal ups-and-downs of a long race like this,” Jornet said. “My body felt good, my legs felt good and then, suddenly, I felt two intense pains in my chest and started to get very dizzy and very exhausted. The medical people came to me and checked me out, and said it was best to go to the hospital.”
Jornet ran the first 10km averaging 6:52-miles and finished the first 26.4 miles in 3:02:23. Halfway through his 338th lap around the track, 10 hours and 20 minutes into the run, Jornet suddenly became dizzy and was quickly attended to by race officials and medical personnel.
“In the hospital, they ran a number of tests to try to determine what it was and fortunately they don’t seem to think it is anything too serious,” Jornet explained on Saturday after being released from the hospital. “I wish the race went differently, but it’s still fun to explore different things and new projects.”
When Jornet presented his goal of running for 24 hours on a track at the beginning of the year, Salomon put together the Phantasm-24 Challenge with his team to help make it happen. Despite being postponed by nearly a month due to bad weather and a minor injury Jornet was working through during training, everything was looking good going into the November 27 race date. Temperatures were colder than expected (around 0 degrees C and below) during the 24 hours, but Jornet didn’t see that as a major hindrance.
“I want to thank Salomon and Suunto for supporting this project of mine and everyone who helped organize the event, from the track volunteers to the community in Måndalen and all of the people at the track club,” Jornet said. “I think it was colder for the volunteers than for the runners! Logistically, it was more of a challenge for the organizers, too, since they had to do things like put salt down on the track. Of course it was cold and the runners had to wear more clothes, but I prefer that over running when it is very hot anyway.”
Due to COVID-related precautions, the 24-hour race included only athletes living in Norway. In addition to Jornet, five Norwegians with top ultra-distance pedigrees toed the starting line at 11:00 a.m. Friday morning. Three of the six starters were able to complete the entire 24 hour challenge, with Harald Bjerke running 144.1 miles—or 580 laps around the track—to win.
“When Kilian came to us nearly a year ago with this project of running for 24 hours on a track, we understood the kind of challenge he was taking on,” said Bruno Laroque, Salomon’s global sports marketing manager. “Of course, the outcome is not what we hoped for him, but we trust Kilian and the months of preparation and research he puts into everything he does. We are proud of his efforts and the amazing determination shown by all the competitors in Norway. Thank you to all the people who made it possible and to the running community for all their support before and during the event.”
About Salomon: Born in the French Alps in 1947, Salomon is committed to pushing the boundaries of mountain sports through the creation of innovative equipment that allows people to play, progress and challenge themselves in their chosen outdoor sports. The company produces and sells premium footwear, winter sports and mountaineering equipment, hiking equipment, and apparel specifically designed for all of those disciplines. Products are developed in the company’s Annecy Design Center, where engineers, designers and athletes collaborate to create innovative solutions that continually improve the outdoor experiences of those who see nature as a vast playground.