Every so often a competitor comes along with super hero abilities. Scott Jurek is just that person. The ultra-runner has broken the record for thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail in 46 days. For most people, covering the 2160 miles takes between five to seven months, but Jurek covered the route from Georgia-to-Maine trail with an average 46-per-day pace. That’s nearly two marathons per day!
As we reported earlier, Jurek was attempting to break the record set in 2011 held by his good friend, long-distance runner Jennifer Pharr Davis.
Across the country and worldwide, people took to social media to cheer Jurek on for the last leg of his journey. He crested the summit of Mount Katahdin at 2:03pm EST, ending a run that began at Springer Mountain, Georgia on May 27. Along the way, Jurek crossed 14 states and traversed 515,000 feet of elevation change, averaging nearly 50 miles every day.
Following his completion, Jurek and friends celebrated with champagne at the summit of Mount Katahdin, which drew the ire of local park officials.
Jurek said that he’s “always wanted to run one of the national scenic trails” and felt that the Appalachian Trail would be the ultimate test and a real personal journey to see what his body could do. During his run, he lost a full day due to injury and had to trek at night in order to stay on pace.
The Appalachian Trail record isn’t Jurek’s first: in 2010 he set the U.S. record for the most miles run in 24 hours – 165.7 miles.
Now with what he calls his “masterpiece” successfully accomplished, the 41-year-old Jurek has simple plans. He’ll find a nice spot and rest for a while.