Ultrarunner Sets New Speed Record on John Muir Trail


A couple of weeks back I posted a story about ultrarunner Darcy Piceu setting a new speed record on the John Muir trail. She had managed to cover the 211-mile (339 km) route in a speed 3 days, 4 hours, and 12 minutes, lowering the mark from the previous record by a full 11 hours. But, it turns out that record didn’t even stand for a month, as another endurance athlete has bested her time.

According to Gear Junkie, French ultrarunner Francois D’Haene, fresh off his win at the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, has now completed the John Muir Trail as well, and set an impressive new speed record in the process. D’Haene was able to run the entire route in an astounding 2 days, 19 hours, 26 minutes, lowering the bar dramatically for any challengers to follow.

To put this speed record into perspective, Gear Junkie notes that most hikers take somewhere between two to four weeks to hike the length of the JMT. D’Haene completed the trek with only six hours of total rest along the way. He did use some prototype gear from his sponsor Salomon along the way, including shoes and running clothes, that won’t be available to consumers until next year.

This becomes just the latest speed record to be obtained by ultrarunners and fast-packers in recent months. In addition to Piceu’s record a few weeks back, we’ve also seen new speed records on the Appalachian Trail and Kilimanjaro recently. Seeing these athletes push the boundaries of what is possible in the mountains is truly impressive. I can’t wait to see how far and fast someone will go next.

Kraig Becker