The same week earlier this year when Humboldt residents were gawking quizzically at the patches of white on the ground, a superhuman decided he’d like a fast-forwarded version of the Lost Coast Trail experience. Why not?
On March 8, 32-year-old Dylan Bowman of Mill Valley traversed the 55-mile, sometimes-sandy, sometimes-rocky shoreline between Usal Beach in northern Mendocino County and the mouth of the Mattole River near Petrolia. According to a release from Red Bull, Bowman’s sponsor, the runner completed this trek in 11 hours, 12 minutes and 8 seconds, nearly an hour and a half quicker than the previous fastest known time (FKT). For our viewing pleasure, a video team accompanied him for a portion of his journey (watch above).
“I wanted to do this route from the moment I learned of its existence,” Bowman said. “Once the route was established, it seemed to me to have the potential to be one of the truly iconic FKT routes in North America.”
The longest stretch of undrivable coastline on the U.S. west coast, the Lost Coast Trail is a beloved escape for hikers, some of whom take nearly a week to complete it. There are numerous sections of the route that cannot be crossed during high tide. With those conditions in mind Bowman began his run before 3 a.m. in an attempt to give himself the best window for passage. Still, there were times when he thought he might have to scramble to higher ground to avoid the crashing waves.
“While soaking wet, tired and cold,” Bowman said, “that was a hard thing to consider after 11 hours of running.”
Think your legs have what’s required to tackle the Lost Coast terrain even faster? Very few people have even attempted the slog in this way and Bowman suspects it’d be possible for a hardcore athlete to best his time.
“Now that I’ve done it,” Bowman said. “I think a sufficiently motivated and fit runner could cover the Lost Coast in 9:15 to 9:30 with good conditions. I’d love to give it another try soon.”
Again, join Bowman on his speedy coastal tour in the clip above, or read even more on Red Bull’s website.