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Frenchman Francois D’haene shatters Hardrock 100 record

Francois D’haene, shown in a file photo, won the 2021 Hardrock 100 endurance race, shattering a 2015 record.
Three runners from Durango compete in race

In his Hardrock 100 debut, French athlete Francois D’haene set new benchmarks in the endurance run this weekend by placing first in 21 hours, 45 minutes and 50 seconds.

D’haene broke the record for running counterclockwise – 23:28:00 – set by Kilian Jornet in 2015, by nearly two hours. D’haene’s time also beat Jornet’s overall record of 22:41:33, set in 2014. Jornet did not compete in the race this year.

Portland’s Dylan Bowman and Boulder’s Ryan Smith placed second (22:45:51) and third (23:24:29), respectively, in the 100-mile, high-altitude run.

Silverton’s Sabrina Stanley, meanwhile, scored the women’s title this year. Her winning time of 27:21:49 is the second-fastest overall women’s time in the race’s history, just four minutes slower than Diana Finkel’s record of 27:41:33 set in 2009.

Courtney Dauwalter of Leadville led for more than the first half of the race but dropped out with stomach issues with Stanley about 30 minutes behind her. Darcy Piceu and Meghan Hicks finished second and third in the women’s race.

D’haene, on the other hand, was in the lead, or at least the lead pack, most of the entire race.

The Frenchman distanced himself in the second half of the race to pull away and shatter Jornet’s record.

The runners began and ended the 100-mile endurance race in Silverton. Along the way, they ran to the top of Handies Peak (elevation 14,058 feet), took Engineer Pass and Bear Creek Trail to Ouray and then ran 16.2 miles up Camp Bird Road to Telluride. They then headed back to Silverton over Oscars Pass and Great Swamp Pass, climbing 33,050 feet in elevation and descending the same.

The race had 146 entries, but only nine had finished in the first 31 hours, while 28 dropped out and 112 finished in the 48-hour limit.

Three athletes from Durango competed in the race.

  • Drew Gunn finished 64th overall in 42 hours and 15 minutes.
  • Steve Collins finished in 107th overall, crossing the finish line in just over 47 hours at at 5:11 a.m. on Sunday.
  • Steve McClung, meanwhile, was one of the last competitors to get dropped. He completed 64.5 miles in the competition to place 116th.

This year’s race is the first one since 2018. Last year’s race was canceled because of the pandemic. Snow danger caused the cancellation in 2019.

This article was republished on July 19 to specify that Francois D’haene broke Kilian Jornet’s 2015 record for running clockwise, as well as his overall record.