One of the most decorated ultrarunners ever, Scott Jurek, has set a new fastest-known time on the 3,522 km Appalachian Trail, finishing the thru-hike in 46 days, eight hours and seven minutes. He finished Sunday.
The trail runs from Spring Mountain, Ga., to Mount Katahdin, Maine. The Boulder, Co.,-runner bettered the previous mark by just over three hours, a very narrow margin given the length of the run. He covered about 80 km per day to finish in time.
The new time may be the last professional race of Jurek’s decorated career. He noted before beginning that he and his wife are planning to have a child after and the trail run could be his last competitive race. He’s won many of the toughest and most competitive ultramarathons, including Hardrock 100 and the Badwater Marathon. Jurek won the Western States 100 seven consecutive years.
The time won’t officially be recognized as a record, as the Appalachian Trail Conservancy doesn’t keep speed records of hikers, as is the case with many thru-hike and trails records. They are largely recorded and supported by the community who surround them and attempt them.
Jurek had originally planned to finish the trail in 43 days but suffered an injury early on which slowed him.