In a post on their Facebook page, the Baxter State Park has expressed disappointment over the conduct of the ultra marathoner and his support crew.
Their criticism of Jurek revolves not around his run as a physical accomplishment, of which they are very respectful, but rather around the exploitation of the park and the sport of trail running for the benefit of businesses.
Baxter Park is where the Appalachian Trail terminates, hence Jurek had his entire entourage with him and it served as the location for the celebration of the broken record. The park gave the following statement as reason for their disappointment:
Mr. Jurek and the corporate sponsors were careful not to mention in the media coverage that one of the unfortunate outcomes of the celebration party at Baxter Peak at the completion of the event were the three summons issued to Mr. Jurek by a Baxter Park Ranger for the drinking of alcoholic beverages in public places (BSP Rule 7 and Maine State General Law), for littering (BSP Rule 4.5) and for hiking with an oversize group (BSP Rule 2.2). In addition, media personnel were issued a summons for violation of a commercial media permit which prohibited filming within 500′ of Baxter Peak. Not much to be proud of there.
Jurek popped champagne after breaking the record, which one may assume is the alcohol in reference. Comments on the post are varied, but many seem to be of the mindset that Jurek’s run has done more good than harm to the public’s awareness of the beauty of the Appalachian trail.
What do you think? Was Jurek’s conduct disrespectful or beneficial to the park?