Ultramarathoner Breaks Appalachian Trail Speed Record

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Scott Jurek cel­e­brates on the sum­mit of Mount Katahdin. Face­book photo.

The 41 year-old ultra run­ning leg­end, Scott Jurek, com­plet­ed the 2,168-mile Appalachi­an Trail in record time. He fin­ished the trail in 46 days, 8 hours, and 7 min­utes. That’s only 3 hours faster than the last record set by Jen­nifer Pharr Davis in 2011. He aver­aged near­ly 50 miles a day.

From Springer Moun­tain in Geor­gia to Mount Katahdin in Maine, he bat­tled through a torn quadri­cep, a stom­ach bug, and a severe­ly strained knee. His wife, spon­sors, and friends ran with him and sup­port­ed him along the way. For all he went through though, the Appalachi­an Trail Con­ser­van­cy does­n’t rec­og­nize speed records. There’s no tro­phy at the end. No offi­cial recog­ni­tion. The records are kept in the heads and jour­nals of hik­ers, and they add only to the lore of the trail.

Jurek, who first gained fame as a veg­an run­ner fea­tured promi­nent­ly in the best-sell­ing book Born to Run, is near­ing the end of his his­toric career, and this record may be his last.

Here are some shots of his sum­mit cel­e­bra­tion.