Jennifer Pharr Davis Sets Time Record For Thru-Hike On the Appalachian National Scenic Trail

It took a 60-mile day right near the end, but Jennifer Pharr Davis has succeeded in setting the speed record for a thru-hike of the 2,180-mile-long Appalachian National Scenic Trail.

The North Carolina woman, whose rise to thru-hiking fame grew immensely with the publication of a book recounting one of her A.T. hikes, ended her trek at 3:26 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday.

Her elapsed time of 46 days, 11 hours, and 20 minutes for the north-to-south hike eclipsed the old record of 47 days, 13 hours, and 31 minutes set by Andrew Thompson in 2005. To achieve her record, Ms. Davis needed a 60-mile day on Friday, followed by a 36.2-mile day on Sunday.

Mrs. Davis had consistent trail support from legendary ultra-runner and former A.T. and Pacific Crest Trail speed record holder David Horton, as well as veteran A.T. expert Warren Doyle and Davis’ husband, Brew Davis. Brew Davis has been documenting the hike with blog posts and photos.

The woman's memoir, Becoming Odyssa, came out last fall. In it, she described her first thru-hike on the A.T. back in 2005.

While Mrs. Davis set the speed record for an end-to-end A.T. hike, she was supported along the way, opening the door for other speed hikers to vie for the fastest unsupported hike.

Comments

Obviously, this lady is very athletic, but I can't help but think that this is a perversion of the outdoor experience.

Well, we already had the debate for and against speed hiking, and the general agreement was "not my thing, but she is respectful - more power to her".

At this point, rather than redebate the obvious, I'll just wish her well and congratulations.

We ALL have different learning curves. Maybe it's just a phase, lol! Congratulations on your achievement, really, but do come back and "enjoy" every step when you are ready. No disrespect (I know what drives you:).

To each their own. I think this is dumb, but if it makes her happy, why not?

Hi from GA. . .what an odd thing to do ! ! Hike the most beautiful path in the Eastern US and do it as fast as you possibly can. No side hikes to vistas ? No extra hours in the prettiest meadow or mountain you've ever seen, no. . .I don't get it ! But, her deal, not mine. God Bless, Craig

Everyone enjoys the outdoors differently. I'm often found at a scenic overlook with my back to the vista, straining to see a little brown bird that flew into a half-dead bush on the slim chance it's a bird I haven't seen before. Speed hiking sounds like hell to me, but I totally "get" Jennifer. And I envy her for what she must have felt at 3:27 p.m. on Sunday.

Guys - she has already done the leisurely look at the flowers trek on the trail. I get that this is more an athletic endeavor now, in a place she likes.

Jennifer Pharr Davis Sets Time Record For Thru-Hike On the Appalachian National Scenic Trail

I love to follow the adventures of those who set a goal, then do all they can to achieve it, whatever it takes.

"ONLY THOSE WHO RISK GOING TOO FAR WILL EVER KNOW HOW FAR THEY CAN GO!"

Next on to beat Horton's record (Dave won't mind), then the CDT after that. You Go Girl!

I'm gonna die on one of MY "quests," yet I'm lovin' every minute of it, 'cuz I'm livin', not dyin'

--> don't tell me I'm old; I'll have time enough for the rockin' chair when I can't walk/run any more!