Scott Jurek Breaks Appalachian Trail Record
By 3 hours, 13 minutes
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Ultrarunner Scott Jurek arrived at the summit of Maine's Mount Katahdin at 2:05 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday, July 12, breaking the record for the fastest run across the 2,160-mile Appalachian Trail. He finished in 46 days, 8 hours, and 7 minutes, beating the previous record by 3 hours and 13 minutes.*
Jurek set out from Springer Mountain in Georgia on May 27. He needed to finish the trail before 5:15 p.m. today to beat the record held by Jennifer Pharr Davis, who completed the trail in 46 days, 11 hours, and 20 minutes in 2011. Jurek ran three back-to-back all-nighters leading up to his finish, according to members of his support team.
“Scott continues to amaze and inspire in his ability to endure and push on,” Ricardo Balazs, sports marketing manager at Clif Bar, told Outside via text message on Sunday. Clif sponsored Jurek's run. “Just when the seeds of doubt begin to sprout, Scott crushes them all and finds the strength to finish. This accomplishment is mind-blowing.”
Jurek suffered setbacks on the trail, including a tweaked knee, a quadricep strain, and a stomach bug that set him back on his timeline. (He had initially hoped to beat the record by four or five days.)
From Mark Godale, one of Jurek's crew members: “It's tough to tell a friend to keep moving forward when he is suffering… For me it was one of my greatest experiences in ultrarunnning. The trail kicked our ass, step after step.”
Jurek's support team celebrated with him atop Mount Katahdin on Sunday, reflecting on “the point of it all,” said speed climber Timmy O'Neill, one of Jurek's crew members. “Perhaps the point is simply to undertake that personal journey.”
*Correction: A previous version of this story stated that he finished in 46 days, 8 hours, and 10 minutes.