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Before my attempt, Reinhold Metzger held the unsupported, unresupplied speed record for the 208 mile John Muir Trail at 5 days 7 hours. I hoped to best his time this September. After three valiant attempts, his record still stands.

I knew I wasn't necessarily the person best suited to break Reinhold's record, but I was drawn to the challenge and I thought it was possible. I'm not a gifted runner - I'm a passionate climber who began running approaches to free up more time for climbing. In fact, my approach to this challenge was more as a fastpacker than as a runner - a single push with no outside support, rather than a runner’s approach of resupplying at road crossings.

I explained my strategy and gear choices in my previous article. Here, I describe my three attempts at breaking the record. I hope that my account will inspire another Backpacking Light subscriber in a new attempt at the record, and serve as a "lessons learned" to increase his or her chances of success.


  • Introduction
  • Acclimating and Reconnaissance
  • First Attempt
  • Second Attempt
  • Third Attempt
  • Abandoning the Quest
  • Regarding Route Selection
  • Final Thoughts
  • About the Author

# WORDS: 3800

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