Daniel Jung is known for conquering ultra running. His approach: slowing down uphill so he can speed up downhill. And slowing down before a race too. The week before an event he limits himself to a couple of jogs, or a less demanding hike or climb. The 35-year-old has taken the podium in the South Tyrol Ultra SkyRace, the World Ultra Trail Running Championship, and numerous other competitions. In 2018 he’s switching things up and taking on some shorter distances.
What’s been your biggest achievement in life? Or last week?
2016 was a pretty memorable year. I did 12 competitions. Sometimes, my performance wasn’t the best. It took a lot out of me. But I learned about my body. How much I can push it. Signs I’ve gone too far. And I got to experience new cultures along the way. I’m so lucky I can combine that with running.
What drives you to keep on getting out there time after time, to do more, to experience more?
Nature. There’s freedom there. Peace. I always have hard periods during races. All I need is to look around. It doesn’t make it easy, but it makes it worth it. When I was a mountain biker, that’s when I first learned the mountains. It’s not about riding them. Most people can do that. It’s about appreciating their personality. Their unpredictability.
Why do you use GORE-TEX gear?
Function. I need gear that works. Especially for longer races. Sometimes, I race for days with little to no sleep. Just the clothes on my back. Those clothes need to get me across the finish line.
In ten words or less, what would you say you’re “made for…“
Made for long distances – the longer, the better. That’s me I guess.
Sometimes, I like to run just for fun. Just go. And go. It’s a completely different feeling. I need gear that supports that. My GORE-TEX jacket is more than just a jacket to run in. It’s knowing that, when I’m out there, I can stay out if I want to. The weather can be as temperamental as it wants. I’ll be ready. If it rains, the water runs right off it. I can keep on going – nothing slowing me down, nothing holding me back.
- 3rd place: Glencloe Skyline, Scotland. 52km / 4,750m
- Tiroler Höhenweg 200km, 14,000m ascent
- 1st place: Ultra Trail Atlas Toubkal (UTAT), Morocco. 105km, 3,550m ascent.
- 2nd place: Hong Kong 100 at World Ultra Trail Running Championship. 100km, 4,500m ascent
- 1st place: GORE-TEX Transalpine Run: eight-days across Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy.
- 1st place, new trail record: Ultra SkyRace, South Tyrol, Italy. 121km, 7,554m ascent.
- 1st place, new trail record: Dolomiti Extreme Trail,Val di Zoldo, Italy. 103km, 3,800-meter ascent.