François D’haene breaks the John Muir Trail record in U.S.


French trail runner finishes 210.4-mile trail in 2 days, 19 hours and 26 minutes.

Ogden, UTAH (October 17, 2017) – François D’Haene succeeded in breaking the John Muir Trail record just five weeks after winning the 103-mile UTMB for the third time. The 210-mile trail in California has 47,999 feet of positive elevation across a multitude of mountains, with a maximum altitude of 14,505 feet and an uninterrupted succession of ascents and descents. Having left Whitney Portal, D’Haene reached the finish in Happy Isles in 2 days 19 hours and 26 minutes, improving on the established record set in 2012 by the American Leor Pantilat by more than 12 hours.

The sense of having experienced a great adventure

D’Haene, a member of the Salomon France Elite team, was excited to break the record upon finishing, but even more pleased to have shared the adventure with close friends. He said: “I feel like I’ve had a great adventure, been lost in the middle of nowhere in stunning landscapes. When I knew, I was ahead of time, the priority became managing to run the race. Even if you had to be run fast, it is completely different from an ultra-trail because you are running over several days. It is more of a race against yourself without a rival against you.”

Overall, the body and mind have adapted well

D’Haene, who has extensive experience racing for thirty hours, including victories on the most prestigious ultra-trails and his record on the GR20 in Corsica, was entering the unknown in California. “Overall my body and mind have adapted well. I went slower, on the muscle front all was good, but am very tired right now.” In total, he rested for about six hours.

The record of a team

Throughout the John Muir Trail adventure, team members took turns setting the pace and accompanying François. “They were the key people to my success and sometimes walked five hours on foot from their car to join me on the course and then the same back. I have spent a year preparing for the record attempt with a united team.”

The camaraderie shared made the difference and explained the desire Francois had to be on the trail. Besides the company of his pacers, François took advantage along the route of some of the hikers and runners such as Tim Tollefson, who finished third at the UTMB 2017. Tollefson came to run and encourage him over the course of a few kilometers.

Salomon Footwear and Apparel Used by Francois D’haene

D’haene wore a prototype version of the Salomon S/LAB Sense Ultra 2, a shoe he helped develop with the company that will be available at retail in early 2018. He also wore Salomon S/LAB Modular apparel, S/LAB running jackets and a S/LAB Sense Backpack (running vest).

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Photo credit: Damien Rosso

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About The Author

Jen has been doing triathlon for several years. She is a former bobsled pilot for America Samoa and has a passion for the outdoors; especially winter mountaineering. At home she is wife to a mountain obsessed husband and mother of three girls, but here at EnduranceReview, she is an author, Managing Editor and token chick.