Scott Jurek Sets New Appalachian Trail World Speed Record
Scott Jurek, legendary ultra runner and Ultimate Direction-sponsored athlete, has succeeded in setting a new world record for a supported thru-hike of the 2,185-mile Appalachian Trail. The new record now stands at 46 days, 8 hours, and 7 minutes, a full 3 hours and 13 minutes faster than the standing record.
For the past month and a half I dreamed of getting to the top of Katahdin. After 46 days, 8 hours and 7 minutes it was a reality and the feeling was unlike anything I’ve experienced. The path takes us places we never imagine. Photo: @luis_escobar @brooksrunning @clifbarcompany @protecathletics @ultimatedirectionusa #SJAT15 #EatAndRun #GeorgiaToMaine #scottjurek
Starting at Springer Mountain in Georgia on May 27, Jurek endured heat, rain, injury, and thousands of miles of rugged terrain on his way to Maine’s Mt. Katahdin.
“We couldn’t be happier for Scott and his accomplishment,” said Buzz Burrell, Ultimate Direction Brand Manager. “100 milers are really hard, multi-days are even harder, and long trail thru-runs are, well, there’s a reason why very few people attempt something like this. Just thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail is an accomplishment. Doing it while averaging close to 50-miles each day for over 40 days is incredible.”
Scott has a long history of ultrarunning accomplishments under his belt, including wins at the 153-mile Spartathlon, the Hardrock 100, the Badwater 135-mile Ultramarathon, the Miwok 100K, and the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run. Given the overall distance and the continuous, daily effort, this is likely Scott’s biggest accomplishment. Under ideal conditions, thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail in record time is an incredible feat. Scott, however, had several hurdles to overcome including a knee injury and strained quad muscle in the Smoky Mountains, the rainiest June in Vermont in 130 years, and a stomach bug in Northern New England. Along the way, Scott enjoyed the company of many of his supporters – including well-known trail runners Karl Meltzer and Rickey Gates – who ran alongside of him for a few miles. Scott’s wife, Jenny Jurek, supported this world record attempt, helping to keep Scott fueled, supplied, and motivated throughout the journey.
Despite the hardships, through his instagram feed he made it look easy as only Jurek can do.
“Without [Jenny] this journey would be impossible,” said Jurek. “She is my lifeline and makes sure this ship keeps heading north. Jenny inspires me to keep putting one foot in front of the other when it seems impossible.”
Scott considers this run to be his ‘masterpiece’ and has talked of retiring from competitive running now that he holds this world record. This afternoon Scott did an interview with Robert Siegel for All Things Considered on NPR. Listen to the interview below.