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Project Carbon X: Breaking2, Hoka-style

Watch ultrarunners Jim Walmsley, Mike Wardian and Sabrina Little, among others, try to break the 100K world record in the new Hoka Carbon X shoe, which contains a carbon-fibre midsole plate, on Saturday

Jim Walmsley

Call it Breaking6: Hoka One One will is gambling that its new super lightweight, carbon-fibre-plate-enhanced shoe, the Carbon X, is fast enough to challenge the 100K world record of 6:09:14. It will test this theory in dramatic fashion this Saturday, May 4, when various Hoka-sponsored athletes will attempt to break the 100K road record in California while wearing the Carbon X.

RELATED: Mike Wardian’s Israel National Trail FKT: 100K per day for 10 days

Project Carbon X involves ultrarunning legends Jim Walmsley and Michael Wardian, 2016 100K world bronze medallist Patrick Reagan, 2:15 marathoner Tyler Andrews and two-time defending IAU 100K world champion Hideaki Yamauchi running from Folsom to Sacramento starting at 6:00 a.m., targeting Japanese runner Nao Kazami‘s 100K world record, set last year at the Lake Saroma Marathon in Japan. Meanwhile, runners Sabrina Little and Aiko Kanematsu will target the women’s record of 6:33:11, set in 2000 by Tomoe Abe.


Walmsley may also be attacking the 50-mile world record simultaneously.

The course involves running from Folsom to Sacramento (a distance of about 32K), and then five loops of about 12.8K.

Just ahead of the individual start, five 10-person mixed-gender teams will run a 10x10K relay on the same course, targeting the world record for that as well.

As Walmsley says in the video above, he needs to average 5:47 miles (just over 3:35 kilometres) for 62 miles to break the record. At 8.5 oz. (241 g), the Carbon X shoe is extremely light, and Hoka believes the combination of lightness, foam and the carbon-fibre plate make it unbeatable over long distances.

RELATED: How Jim Walmsley recovers from qualifying for Olympic Marathon Trials

2018 Barkley Marathons
American runners Mike Wardian and Jamil Coury chat about the changes to the Barkley Marathons course in 2018. Photo: Canadian Running

Athletes like Walmsley and Wardian, who have had success in both trail and road running, have many fans on both sides of the traditional trail/road divide, and by extension, so does Hoka. Walmsley broke the course record at Western States and the Lake Sonoma 50 Mile in 2018, and then qualified for the 2020 Olympic marathon trials in January 2019 with his 64:00 performance at the Houston Half-Marathon. Wardian followed up his FKT on the Israel National Trail this spring with a Boston-2-Big Sur.


You can watch the whole thing unfold live on the Hoka Facebook page, with commentary by ultrarunners Magda Boulet and Eric Senseman, among others.