Scott Jurek Attempting Appalachian Trail Speed Record

Scott Jurek has won numerous ultra-distance races from 50 miles to 153 miles and formerly held the U.S. record for 24-hour running (165.7 miles). Photo: Scott Draper | Competitor

Scott Jurek has accomplished plenty in his ultrarunning career, but he’s in the middle of one of his most ambitious adventures yet.

Jurek is attempting to achieve the fastest known time on the Appalachian Trail, the famed 2,160-mile path that spans from Georgia to Maine. According to the Fastest Known Time online community, the speed record for the Applachian Trail is 46 days, 11 hours and 20 minutes, set by Jennifer Pharr-Davis (who went from Maine to Georgia, opposite Jurek’s trek).

Jurek started his journey on May 27 in Georgia, and is keeping a detailed log on his Facebook page. He’s averaging about 52 miles a day so far, running for 13 hours each day as he treks through the Great Smoky Mountains.

The Appalachian Trail is one of the most famous trails in the United States and considered one of the country’s “Big Three” hiking trails along with the Pacific Crest Trail on the west coast and the Continental Divide Trail on the spine of the Rockies.

One of the greatest ultrarunners of all-time, Jurek has won the Western States 100 seven times, the Badwater 135 twice, and numerous other long-distance races. In 2010, at the 24-Hour World Championships in Brive-la-Gaillarde, France, Jurek won a silver medal and set a new American 24-hour record, averaging 8:42 a mile and covering 165.7 miles.

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