When most people thru-hike the Appalachian Trail it takes them anywhere from five to seven months. Renowned ultrarunner Scott Jurek plans to do it in less than 46 days. That’s 2,160 miles in 46 days.
Jurek is well-known as an ultrarunner, authoring the book Eat and Run and promoting a vegan diet. A reporter for The Sentinel in Pennsylvania caught up to Jurek as he passed the midpoint to the journey, during which people were showing up at every corner to run with him or cheer him on.
“That’s what pushes me to keep going farther,” Jurek said of the crowd. “Anybody has the ability to … do something they didn’t know they could do.”
If Jurek beats the 46-day record, he would surpass the time set by his friend Jennifer Phar-Davis. But Jurek had lost a day due to injury and was having to trek through the night at some points to stay on pace.
“I’ve always wanted to run one of the national scenic trails,” he told the paper while not breaking his stride. “I’m at a point in my career where it makes sense to do this. (Something like this) takes a toll on the body. It’s a really personal journey to see what my body can do.”
When Jurek finally does make it to the end of the trail at Mount Katahdin in Maine, one of the toughest sections of the trail, he said he plans to find a nice spot to rest for a while and not move.