WE ARE ALL BORN TO RUN
When it comes to the UTMB, it’s easy to think that the kind of runners who can happily tackle a mountain range are a different species of human to the rest of us. But according to Jan Margarit Solé, one of the most talented young runners on the scene, we are all born to run.
For sure, some of us have to work harder to run, and some run faster than others. But life nowadays doesn’t allow us the opportunity to move our bodies as much as we should, but I believe we are all born to run”
Jan’s love of running is infectious to be around, and perhaps the thing that comes across most is how much fun he has, especially at his favorite shorter distances. Jan loves steep ascents and descents, and although he runs everything from 5km to marathons, his ideal race is under 2 hours. He loves a 20km race; he likes to start fast and stay with that momentum around the middle mark when he hits the most challenging part of the race. He loves moving at high speed on the trails, making quick decisions, and not having to carry too much gear.
You're all out from the very beginning. But at the same time, it's really fun. We're moving so fast through the trails you have to make decisions because you're racing against others, and the competition is fierce. Strategy can be important, but it's just all out, and you feel so happy when you cross the line”
Growing up in a sports and outdoors-loving family in Catalonia, he and his parents had always used our Original Multifunctional Neckwear, finding it to be the perfect accessory and one that they rarely left home without. So it’s been a familiar lifelong companion on his runs, but for him, the connections run much deeper.
It’s about sharing a passion for living life outdoors and for feeling truly alive in nature. That impulse to always be outside is part of why Jan spent a couple of years living in his van, thriving on the freedom of the open road. These days he is living in a beautiful valley in the Pyrenees, no longer in a van, but he still lives as simply as he can.
Running for me is the simplest way to connect to nature, and that's why I run to be outdoors and to move through nature. I think animals run naturally, and humans are just a kind of animal, so we should move through the forest, and the trails as the animals do”
Despite his love for his native Catalonia, when asked about his favorite race experience, the Basque country holds a special place in his memory, thanks to the crowds who line the route of Zegama, a town with just over 1,500 inhabitants every one of whom seems to turn out to cheer on the trail runners in its annual race. He admits with a smile that hearing all those people along the route cheering and shouting your name is a rockstar moment for any runner. In the end, Jan is the kind of athlete who manages to find joy in every run. Let’s hope we will get to see that winners smile in Mont Blanc.
I think I let my emotions flow when I run. For every race, you want to win it from the first second to the very last one. So you can never stop or relax a little bit if you want to be in front. You just need to be focused until the end to give your best effort. We all have pressures, but we should keep moving in our lives and try to move closer to nature. If we run, we will all be happier.”