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Scott Jurek bows out of FKT on Appalachian Trail due to injury

Less than one week into his FKT attempt, Jurek has been forced to stop

In 2015, ultrarunning legend Scott Jurek broke Jennifer Pharr Davis’s supported record on the 3,500 km Appalachian Trail by three hours and 12 minutes. Three years later, Belgian ultrarunner Karel Sabbe broke Jurek’s supported record by five days, covering the trail in 41 days 7 hours and 39 minutes. On Aug. 2, Jurek set out to become the fastest person to cover the distance and unfortunately, after just one week on the trail, he had to end his Appalachian Trail FKT attempt due to a nagging injury. 

Photo: Andrew Bernstein

RELATED: Karel Sabbe nabs Via Alpina FKT in Alps

After his last attempt, Jurek believes he left something out on the trail: “Last time it felt like a project,” he said in a press release. Now, with more experience, Jurek believed he could shave six days off his previous attempt. “With this attempt, I hope to inspire people to exceed their expectations and strive to achieve their goals, no matter where they are in life,” says Jurek.

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In his prime, Jurek was one of the top ultramarathoners in the world, winning the Western States 100 six years in a row. Now 47, Jurek has had to deal with injuries and, in particular, a quad issue in the early stages of his FKT attempt. Unlike his previous injuries, he was unable to push through the pain. After several hundred kilometres near the Maine-New Hampshire border, Jurek’s journey came to an end. 

Photo: Andrew Bernstein

RELATED: Scott Jurek to guide Western States’ first legally blind racer

This is tough news as Jurek sought to become the first person to complete the Appalachian Trail in less than 40 days. We wish Jurek a speedy recovery and hope to see him out chasing more FKT’s soon.