Scott Jurek Sets New FKT Record for the Appalachian Trail

Jurek in 2012. Photo: Scott Draper/Competitor

After nearly seven weeks of running along arguably the most famous trail in the United States, ultrarunner Scott Jurek reached the summit of Mt. Katahdin in Maine on Sunday, and a post on his Facebook page showed him popping champagne from the official end of the Appalachian Trail.

Jurek set the Fastest Known Time (FKT) for the trail—by a nose. In all, he trekked 2,160 miles from Georgia to Maine in a little over 46 days and 8 hours. The previous FKT, by Jennifer Pharr Davis, was 46 days, 11 hours and 20 minutes. It was oh-so-close.

“We are so proud of Scott. He pushes his body to greater limits with each new adventure and he sets out to inspire runners along the way,” Brooks Sports Marketing Manager Jesse Williams said in a release. “Whether it’s the Western States 100, Badwater or the Appalachian Trail, Scott is always going to do something special.”

For a large portion of the journey, Jurek and his team regularly posted updates on social media. He posted a picture of himself with Mt. Katahdin in sight on Saturday, then the victorious picture of him popping bubbly on the summit on Sunday.

Jurek, 41, averaged about 47 miles a day on his journey, which started May 27th.

One of the greatest ultrarunners of all-time, Jurek has won the Western States 100 seven times, the Badwater 135 twice, the Hardrock 100 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.

Jurek, who has followed a vegan lifestyle since 1999, is also the author of the New York Times best-seller “Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness” and has been a sponsored athlete and technical shoe advisor with Brooks since 2004.

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