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Scott Jurek may retire after Appalachian Trail

Scott Jurek running in Colorado. Photo: blog.scottjurek.com

Popular ultrarunner Scott Jurek, at age 41, may retire from the sport he played a major role in popularizing after the conclusion of his ongoing attempt to break the fastest known time of the Appalachian Trail. The trail is a 3,500 km hiking trial running from Springer Mountain, Ga., to Mount Katahidin, Maine.

Jurke’s wife told Outside that when the attempt is over it seems likely he will retire from competitive training and racing, which he has been doing since the mid-1990s.

The ultrarunner broke the US 24-hour distance record and won the prestigious Western States 100 race seven times in as many attempts. His first win was his first attempt in 1999 and won each year until 2005. He also twice won the Badwater Marathon and was featured in the popular book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall about the Tarahamaru tribe in Mexico.

The record for the fastest known time Jurek is presently working to break stands at 46 days, 11 hours and 20 minutes, set in 2011 by hiker Jennifer Pharr Davis. He is currently on pace to break the record, recently passing into Vermont, and is scheduled to finish on July 6.