In July 2016, inov-8 ambassador Yassine Diboun and fellow US ultra runner Scott Loughney set a Fastest Known Time (FKT) for a supported-run of Oregon’s section of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in the USA.
The pair ran and hiked 453 miles (more than 17 marathons), including 60,000ft of ascent (twice the height of Mount Everest). They pushed far beyond their physical and emotional limits, completing the journey in a time of 8 days, 12 hours and 5 minutes.
The epic adventure was filmed throughout by Pursuit Films. A five-minute version focussing on 38-year-old Yassine can be watched below, while the full 30-minute film, titled One Step At A Time, can be viewed via Vimeo On Demand.
Yassine recalls: “The 453-mile journey from the California/Oregon border to the Washington/Oregon border almost broke us down physically, mentally and emotionally. We constantly had to rally and lift our spirits as we traversed rugged terrain, snow and battled against vicious mosquitos. There were lots of trees blocking the trail and we also dealt with the worst sleep deprivation I’ve ever experienced. I cried almost every day on the trail – it was such a cleansing and primal experience.
“It was the ultimate test of just pushing the envelope and staying focused. Not at any time did I think ‘I’m going to stop.’ I knew that the only thing that was going to make me stop was my body failing me.
“The adventure taught us so much, brought so many people together for a great cause and challenged us to the brink. We couldn’t have done it without the support of our families and friends and all the donors. It truly was a team effort.”
Redemption on the Pacific Crest Trail
Yassine and Brian Donnelly attempted a ‘self-supported’ run of the Oregon PCT in 2013. Unfortunately an injury forced Yassine to pull out at about 150 miles. Brian continued alone and went on to claim a fantastic self-supported – and overall – FKT in a time of 7 days, 22 hours and 37 minutes. This record still stands as the fastest overall and fastest self-supported time.
Yassine said: “It was one of those things that left a bad taste in my mouth because I put so much anticipation into it – training and money – and I came way short. I dusted myself off, got back to life and went on with my racing. But still in the back of my mind I would think, I want to go back and try that again someday.”
The portion of the PCT that the Yassine and Scott ran started on the border of California and Oregon and finished at the Bridge of the Gods, on the border of Oregon and Washington. The full length of the entire Pacific Crest Trail is 2,659 miles, with its end points being on the borders with Mexico and Canada respectively.
The 2016 FKT attempt started with three runners on the start line, however Travis Liles dropped after 215 miles. Collectively they formed the Oregon PCT Running Project and used the FKT attempt to raise money for their chosen charities: The Alano Club of Portland, the Pacific Crest Trail Association and the Providence Cancer Center. You can discover more about the project and donate by visiting the Oregon PCT Running Project webpage.