I asked my friend Julie to drive up to Colorado with me last summer, so I wouldn’t be alone with a six year-old and a nine month-old for 16 hours en route to the Leadville 100. Julie agreed because she is an extraordinarily compassionate person – and because leaving South Texas for the Colorado mountains in August trumps traveling 16 hours in a car with children (especially if you don’t have any children of your own and don’t know what you’re getting into.) Anyway, somewhere between San Antonio, Grand Junction, and my son’s last side-of-the-road vomiting stop, Julie pulled out her Kindle and asked if I wanted to hear Kilian Jornet’s book, Run or Die. I yelled, “YES!” so she could hear me above Ruby’s wailing. The following assessment of Kilian’s book is colored by the volume it had to be read at, the truck stop coffee I was guzzling, and the fact that Skyrunner’s Manifesto that starts the book off doesn’t really speak to me these days.
“….Because glory is the greatest, and you can either aspire to glory or fall by the wayside. You cannot simply not fight, not suffer, not die…. Now is the time to suffer, the time to fight, the time to win. Kiss or kill.”
Kilian Jornet is the best and most versatile mountain and ultra runner there is. He might be the best there’s ever been. One of my favorite Kilian quotes comes from Hardrock this year when he smashed the unbreakable course record and said something to the effect of “I was kind of tired the last three miles.” He’s in a class by himself.