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After 51 days of running, American runner breaks Appalachian Trail FKT

Liz Anjos covered the more than 3,500K between Georgia and Maine on the Appalachian Trail in 51 days, 16 hours and 30 minutes

Photo by: Instagram/pinkfeathers

After running for close to two full months, Liz Anjos of Portland, Ore., completed the 3,529K route along the Appalachian Trail between Georgia and Maine. Anjos started her journey on July 5 and crossed the finish line 51 days, 16 hours and 30 minutes later, setting a new women’s fastest known time (FKT) for the northbound running of the route. Her result is the second-fastest ever run on the trail, only behind fellow American Jennifer Pharr-Davis, who ran the southbound FKT of 46 days, 11 hours and 20 minutes in 2011. In an Instagram post before her run, Anjos said this challenge was “a dream in the making for a long time,” and she has finally turned it into a reality. 


More than a runner

Anjos ran at the collegiate level, representing Greenville College in Illinois. After graduating, she moved to Portland, where she started a career as a classical pianist that saw her tour around the world for five years. While globetrotting and performing, she still managed to train for marathons and other races.

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She owns a marathon PB of 2:51:34, which she ran at the Houston Marathon earlier this year, and she has qualified for the Boston Marathon 11 times. She founded the Rose City Track Club in Portland in 2017, and in 2019, she ran her first 100K at the Hellgate 100K in Virginia, where she was the fourth-place woman and 28th overall. Whether short or long distances or on the road, track or trails, Anjos has left a mark, and she added to her running resume with her new Appalachian Trail record


The Appalachian Trail 

In her pre-run post in July, Anjos wrote that she would be supported by various friends and family members along the route, and she had an experienced Appalachian Trail-goer with her throughout the run. She finished the run on August 27, when she posted her result on Instagram and expressed her “respect and admiration” for Pharr-Davis, who owns the overall women’s FKT on the route.

“I felt so confident and prepared going into it, but I don’t think anything could have prepared me for what I was about to endure, other than doing ‘the thing’ itself,” Anjos wrote in another post-run report. “I thought I knew, but I had no idea.” She closed her run recap by saying the Appalachian Trail is “a very special place, and it’s no surprise that so many people are completely captivated by the trail.” Throughout her time on the run, Anjos averaged about 67K each day while making her way north from Georgia to Maine. 

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