Updated:
Original:

Minnesota native ultramarathoner breaks Appalachian Trail speed record

Author:

In one of the most impressive feats of endurance running, Minnesota native Scott Jurek became the fastest person to complete a hike of the entire distance of the Appalachian Trail - 2,189 miles - when he crested the summit of Mount Katahdin in Maine Sunday afternoon, 46 days after he began his journey.

The 41-year-old Jurek, who grew up in Proctor and attended college in Duluth, broke the previous record for a supported "thru-hike" by more than three hours, Runner's World reports. He is one of the most accomplished ultramarathoners in the country, according to the publication.

Jurek began his venture on May 27 at 5:56 a.m. at the southern end of the trail in Springer Mountain, Georgia. He averaged about 50 miles per day walking or running through wooded areas, trails, and mountains as he traveled through 14 states, according to Runner's World.

He finished the trek Sunday at 2:03 p.m. EDT when he reached the end of the trail on top of Mount Katahdin, and celebrated with crew members who had been supporting him throughout.

A sore quad and knee early on forced Jurek to take a slower pace than he wanted, so he ended up running three back-to-back all-nighters toward the end to make sure he would finish in record time, members of his support team said to Outside Magazine.

The previous record was set in 2011 by Jennifer Pharr Davis.

Runner's World describes Jurek as one of the most dominant ultramarathoners in the world. He's won many of the sport's most prestigious races, including seven consecutive Western States Endurance Runs, two Badwater Ultramarathons, the Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance run, and a runner-up finish in the Leadville Trail 100.

He said recently, though, that this challenge is likely his last competitive venture and he's contemplating retirement.

What, no trophy?

So what does a guy get for setting a new record on the Appalachian Trail? Besides sore muscles, his name will be added to the Appalachian Trail lore of fastest known times, or FKTs, Runner's World notes. The conservancy doesn't acknowledge speed records in any formal way; there are no trophies or medals, either.

“It is an amateur pursuit based on the honor system," the previous record holder, Davis, toldNewswire last week, "and that makes it pure and unique in our culture.”

Jurek graduated from Proctor High School and earned a bachelor's and master's degree from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, according to this bio. After college he moved to Seattle, and now lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Jurek wrote a memoir in 2012 called Eat & Run, about his life as an ultramarathoner and a vegan, which was a New York Times bestseller.

About the Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail is a public footpath that crosses the scenic and wild lands of the Appalachian Mountains in the eastern U.S. It was built by private citizens and opened in 1937.

The trail, known by many as simply the A.T, is managed by the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, numerous state agencies and thousands of volunteers.

It's quite a feat to simply finish hiking the entire trail - called a "thru hike." The conservancy recommends people take five to seven months to attempt a thru-hike. Jurek finished it in less than seven weeks.

Only a fraction of the people who start a thru hike successfully finish it. Last year, about 2,500 people began the long trek, according to the conservancy, and 729 of them completed it.

A few million others use the trail each year - some are serious hikers who complete long sections of it at one time, while others are casual users who come for day hikes.

Next Up

moose minnesota usfws - flickr

MN homeowner mistakes large tent for dead moose

They spotted two people on a security camera dragging the "moose" across a driveway.

Flickr - minneapolis police officer close-up belt camera - Tony Webster

What happens if Mpls. public safety question passes? City memo provides answers

The memo was sent to the mayor and council members Tuesday morning.

Wild

COVID-19 hits Minnesota Wild coaching staff

The Wild will be shorthanded for Tuesday night's game in Vancouver.

Anthony Edwards

Ant takes alpha role after bad loss: 'We need to lock the f*** in'

The Timberwolves' rising star was not happy after Monday's loss to the Pelicans.

parker eisinger

Lakeville football player diagnosed with cancer week before playoffs

The tenth-grader was diagnosed with a form of cancer most commonly found in people aged 65 and older.

University of Minnesota peeping tom suspect

Someone keeps trying to film showering women at U of M

The university has received three reports in the past two weeks.

john Fluevog shoes 1

John Fluevog Shoes closes its Uptown Minneapolis store

The brand could return to the Twin Cities one day.

sidecar drink

Sidecar — Town Hall's new cocktail lounge — is officially open in Minneapolis

It's the fifth Town Hall location, but the first to focus on cocktails.

Screen Shot 2019-07-18 at 9.10.30 AM

Here's where DFLers stand on Minneapolis' public safety ballot question

The question would create a Department of Public Safety and remove some requirements.

Arthur Kollie

Man pleads guilty to brutal murder of 14-year-old girl in Fargo

The 14-year-old girl was the victim of a random attack outside a Fargo strip mall.

Minneapolis Mayoral Candidates 2021 - jacob frey sheila nezhad kate knuth

Here's who has endorsed the frontrunners for Minneapolis mayor

Politicians and community groups are voicing their opinions.

Related

Minnesota motorcyclist breaks own speed record for electric bike

It's not official yet, but Lake Elmo's Kevin Clemens reports he shattered his previous speed record for an electric motorcycle by hitting 78 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. Clemens tells the Pioneer Press the only sounds he could hear were the wind and the crunch of the salt under his tires.

Minnesota exports break record in second quarter

Despite slowing economies in Asia and Europe, Minnesota exports broke a record in the second quarter, reaching $5.4 billion. The previous record was $5.3 billion in the same quarter last year. Minnesota increased exports to Canada, the state's largest foreign buyer, by 2.8 percent to $1.6 billion.

Near record breaking bundle

Michael Robert Calistro-Gomulak weighed in at 15 pounds, 7 ounces, and he was a week early. That's good enough for fourth-largest in Minnesota history. The parents say their newborn was larger than both of them combined when they were born.