One of the hiker/runner goals is to run/walk/hike the Appalachian Trail. It is a trail that runs from Maine to Georgia and is about 2,180 miles long. According to the Appalachian Trail website, 2-3 million people hike on the trail each year with about 1,800-2,000 attempting to do a “thru-hike” (hiking the whole length in a 12 month period).
The world record for the fastest, supported time to do the entire trail is 46 days, 11 hours, and 20 minutes. Ultramarathoning legend Scott Jurek is attempting to beat this and set a new world record in only 42 days. This schedule will have him running over 50 miles per day on a trail that has elevation that has gain that equals climbing Mt. Everest 16 times (according to the Appalachian Trail website for the elevation).
Appalachian Trail Day 4: Service was limited in Smokies and another long day on the trail. These mountains are making me earn it! Departed Yellow Creek Gap at 5:49am EDT, arrived at Newfound Gap, at 9:20pm EDT, 15:29:22. 48.8 miles, 13,694′ ascent and 11,702′ descent. Entered another state, Tennessee and did 40 miles in Great Smokies National Park. Had a rough 4 hours midday and was so sleepy. It’s been hard sleeping at night due to fatigue in the legs. Took a 20 minute nap near Spence Field Shelter and came back to life. Got up the observatory tower for 360 views of the Smokies. Very impressed with the mountains here! #SJAT15 #eatandrun #GeorgiaToMaine Photo: by @Luis Escobar, northbound from Clingman’s Dome
Scott Jurek has run some incredible races over the years winning many of the world’s toughest races. Being a trail with many technical aspects and the elevation, this could be his toughest yet. If the weather gets hotter than normal, that could have a big impact on his effort. But, if anyone can do it, Scott certainly has a great shot at it.
To follow this attempt, you can follow on his Instagram account for photos and reports of the day. He is hoping to have live tracking available soon for people to follow over the next 5 weeks. This will be a fun time for followers to see some great photos on this trail and follow this world record attempt.
HT: Runner’s World