Monday, April 09, 2018

Ultrarunner Dylan Bowman Sets New Speed Record on Lost Coast Trail

Ultrarunner Dylan Bowman has set an impressive FKT (fastest known time) on the Lost Coast Trail in California.  The route runs along a remote and spectacularly beautiful section of the coastline that is popular with hikers and backpackers, but also presents some interesting logistical challenges along the way too.

Bowman completed his record setting run back on March 8, when he set out from the Usal Campground and ended at the Mattole River, covering the distance in 11 hours and 12 minutes. That beats the previous record by almost 90 minutes. Along the way he faced some seriously steep climbs and descents, rocky beaches,  and even the threat of rising tides, things that hikers face along the way too, although they're not usually trying to set a speed record along the wya.

The Lost Coast Trail gets its name because it is a stretch of the coast where California's famous Highway 1 is forced to turn inland. The area is so rugged, rocky, and difficult that the engineers building the road deemed it too challenging to overcome. Instead, an amazing trial emerged in its place, which is a draw to through-hikers – most of whom spend 3-4 days hiking it – looking for a unique place to trek and camp.

The 32-year old Bowman is no stranger to ultrarunning. He is the two-time defending champ of the incredibly tough Tarewera 100 in New Zealand and has finished in the top 10 at the Western States as well. The FKT on the Lost Coast Trail is an impressive new addition to his resume however, requiring a different kind of dedication and training.

The video below shares the experience with viewers and gives us a sense of what it is like on the Lost Coast. I've been fortunate to have visited it last year and can attest to how fantastic it is. We all can't speed-run it form end-to-end, but it is definitely worthy of being on your bucket list hikes.

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