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tenn_hiker
05-02-2012, 22:49
I was planning a 75 day unsupported AT thru-hike.. then I looked up the record and it is 60.5 days.
I haven't decided if i'm going to go for it or not. I REALLY want too!

Slo-go'en
05-02-2012, 23:10
Just go out and do what you can do.

leaftye
05-02-2012, 23:24
Hike it a couple times, and then go for the record.

map man
05-03-2012, 00:39
The guy who hiked the AT unsupported in 60.5 days, Ward Leonard, had done a TON of miles on the AT beforehand -- he hiked the trail three times just in that one record setting year! The guy who owns the unsupported record for the Pacific Crest Trail, Scott Williamson, was hiking it for the umpteenth time when he did it. The woman who just set the record for a supported AT hike, Jen Pharr, was thru-hiking the AT for the third time. The guy who had the record before her, Pete Palmer (edit: the person I was trying to describe here is Andrew Thompson, not Pete Palmer, as LW pointed out in a subsequent post), had made at least two attempts before he set that record. I hope you see the trend here. Treat your first long hike on the AT as an enjoyable learning experience.

fiddlehead
05-03-2012, 01:10
The guy who hiked the AT unsupported in 60.5 days, Ward Leonard, had done a TON of miles on the AT beforehand -- he hiked the trail three times just in that one record setting year! The guy who owns the unsupported record for the Pacific Crest Trail, Scott Williamson, was hiking it for the umpteenth time when he did it. The woman who just set the record for a supported AT hike, Jen Pharr, was thru-hiking the AT for the third time. The guy who had the record before her, Pete Palmer, had made at least two attempts before he set that record. I hope you see the trend here. Treat your first long hike on the AT as an enjoyable learning experience.

^ Because it will make a difference! ^

Lone Wolf
05-03-2012, 06:27
The guy who hiked the AT unsupported in 60.5 days, Ward Leonard, had done a TON of miles on the AT beforehand -- he hiked the trail three times just in that one record setting year! The guy who owns the unsupported record for the Pacific Crest Trail, Scott Williamson, was hiking it for the umpteenth time when he did it. The woman who just set the record for a supported AT hike, Jen Pharr, was thru-hiking the AT for the third time. The guy who had the record before her, Pete Palmer, had made at least two attempts before he set that record. I hope you see the trend here. Treat your first long hike on the AT as an enjoyable learning experience.
pete palmer got the record in his first attempt. andy thompson took a few attempts

Malto
05-03-2012, 07:32
I was planning a 75 day unsupported AT thru-hike.. then I looked up the record and it is 60.5 days.
I haven't decided if i'm going to go for it or not. I REALLY want too!


"Want to" and can are two completely different thing. Just out of curiosity... What is your longest distance day and elevation gain?

The Solemates
05-03-2012, 10:51
HUGE difference between a 75 day hike and a 60 day hike

tenn_hiker
05-03-2012, 11:25
And now I remember why I usually don't post things on here..

leaftye
05-03-2012, 12:04
And now I remember why I usually don't post things on here..

Well, you could have announced that you were going to do it closer to your start and said you thought you had a good chance because you're in really good shape and/or have a lot of willpower. Then the rest of us would sit back and wait for signs of your inevitable failure to break the record. That usually happens on day 1. You'd be one of many that hit the trail without the experience that are doomed to failure.

The record is very tough to beat right now, and I don't believe any amount of physical fitness or willpower can allow the record to be broken without a good deal of experience. Now if you don't necessarily have to have that experience yourself, but it means having a really good support team that can give you tips on how to waste the least amount of time in camp/town, carry the least amount of weight, how to cope with closures and fires, deal with illness or injuries and all the other things that come with a great deal of experience. You can't afford to make many small mistakes.

TNman
05-03-2012, 14:01
The A.T. speed record is about 47 days and completed by Jennifer Pharr Davis, trail name Odyssa. I think that was her third attempt but not sure.

Blissful
05-03-2012, 14:27
Hers was supported. This is unsupported.

matthew.d.kirk
05-03-2012, 15:58
Tenn_Hiker,

No need to get too discouraged by the feedback you read on this forum. A lot of this is sound advice and can be treated as warm-up practice to combating the inevitable negative voices encountered inside one's head after yet another 36+ mile painful rain-soaked day on the trail...

The reasons for quitting are nearly infinite: any new unsupported/self-supported record will be recognized by only a small minority of those who care about these records in the first place. The tremendous feat of thru-hiking the trail in sub-60 days is destined to always be a footnote to the higher-profile FKT (which I believe will remain a supported record).

Your interest in this 20 year old record admirable and should be pursued. Just please be sure to document your attempt. There are some good suggestions for doing so on Peter Bakwin's FKT site.

-Matt

stranger
05-03-2012, 19:12
I think a good benchmark for the unsupported record would be to hike to Pearisburg in 25 days, which is an average of 25 miles per day. If you can reach Pearisburg in 25 days, you have a shot...go back to Springer and start north.

The jump from 25-36 would not be nearly as bad as the jump from training to 25 per day in my view, plus you would get your trail quirkks worked out, like blisters, shin-splints, etc...take a week off and do some light maintenence training and go for it! Furthermore, the run to Pearisburg would prepare you for this feat, you might find after averaging 25/day you are no longer interested in going for Ward's record.

Good luck, a guy called Gailee Man from Israel came very close recently on his first hike, very close, he has a trail journal you can read.

CrumbSnatcher
05-03-2012, 19:21
is Gailee man the one that stoled someones hat at carter notch hut? someone ran him down and ask why he took it, and he replyed "cause i needed one" i apoligize if it was someone else.
on another note i followed his record attempt the best i could, i thought he was well off the pace and then the journal entrys came less often and his mileage picked way up in new england, im probably wrong but something seemed a little off. please correct me if im way off base, i was writing down his daily milage from his journal, if someone has his itinerary please post it. i don't remember actually seeing the day to day progress after vermont or something like that, just that he finished and it was like 10 days less than i thought it would be. sorry if im wrong! no yellows or blues on a record attempt please :-)

T.S.Kobzol
05-04-2012, 10:26
You might have company. This guy is going to try to break the supported record. http://www.sportiva.com/live/live-archive/running-lounge/sean-blanton-at-speed-record-attempt

tenn_hiker
05-04-2012, 11:33
Tenn_Hiker,

No need to get too discouraged by the feedback you read on this forum. A lot of this is sound advice and can be treated as warm-up practice to combating the inevitable negative voices encountered inside one's head after yet another 36+ mile painful rain-soaked day on the trail...

The reasons for quitting are nearly infinite: any new unsupported/self-supported record will be recognized by only a small minority of those who care about these records in the first place. The tremendous feat of thru-hiking the trail in sub-60 days is destined to always be a footnote to the higher-profile FKT (which I believe will remain a supported record).

Your interest in this 20 year old record admirable and should be pursued. Just please be sure to document your attempt. There are some good suggestions for doing so on Peter Bakwin's FKT site.

-Matt

Thanks for the advice, I'll be sure to look at that sight. I'll comment back on this post when I know for sure if i'm going to try it or not.. and I know that no one really cares about the record.. it's more of a personal thing, to see what I can do and push my self a little bit. If I fail, then I fail.. no big deal to me

Malto
05-04-2012, 14:14
is G-man the one that stoled someones hat at carter notch hut? someone ran him down and ask why he took it, and he replyed "cause i needed one" i apoligize if it was someone else.
on another note i followed his record attempt the best i could, i thought he was well off the pace and then the journal entrys came less often and his mileage picked way up in new england, im probably wrong but something seemed a little off. please correct me if im way off base,

Must be someone else. I was a PCT thru last year, trailname Malto. And take my face off the wanted poster, I have plenty of hats.

tenn_hiker,
No offense meant in my remarks. There have been so many "record attempter" over the last couple of years that don't have a prayer of even finishing a trail let alone carry a pace like they have planned in their excel spreadsheet. I was giving you an opportunity to share why you should be taken seriously when so many before you have been delusional. There were many that told me that my PCT fast hike wasn't possible and that I better have a plan B. That just increased my motivation to prepare and train and may have been the difference between success and failure. Regardless of whether you are doing a record attempt or not I documented a lot of the learnings that I had from my training and actual hike here:

http://postholer.com/journal/viewJournal.php?sid=866ea8ce36f76728b3fff609d95a24 b7&entry_id=20018

There may be a couple of useful nuggets in there for you.

tenn_hiker
05-04-2012, 15:23
I think a good benchmark for the unsupported record would be to hike to Pearisburg in 25 days, which is an average of 25 miles per day. If you can reach Pearisburg in 25 days, you have a shot...go back to Springer and start north.

The jump from 25-36 would not be nearly as bad as the jump from training to 25 per day in my view, plus you would get your trail quirkks worked out, like blisters, shin-splints, etc...take a week off and do some light maintenence training and go for it! Furthermore, the run to Pearisburg would prepare you for this feat, you might find after averaging 25/day you are no longer interested in going for Ward's record.

Good luck, a guy called Gailee Man from Israel came very close recently on his first hike, very close, he has a trail journal you can read.


Must be someone else. I was a PCT thru last year, trailname Malto. And take my face off the wanted poster, I have plenty of hats.

tenn_hiker,
No offense meant in my remarks. There have been so many "record attempter" over the last couple of years that don't have a prayer of even finishing a trail let alone carry a pace like they have planned in their excel spreadsheet. I was giving you an opportunity to share why you should be taken seriously when so many before you have been delusional. There were many that told me that my PCT fast hike wasn't possible and that I better have a plan B. That just increased my motivation to prepare and train and may have been the difference between success and failure. Regardless of whether you are doing a record attempt or not I documented a lot of the learnings that I had from my training and actual hike here:

http://postholer.com/journal/viewJournal.php?sid=866ea8ce36f76728b3fff609d95a24 b7&entry_id=20018

There may be a couple of useful nuggets in there for you.
cool, thanks for the link!

tenn_hiker
05-04-2012, 15:24
Idk why it quoted that other guy too..?
:-?

Bearpaw
05-05-2012, 10:11
You might have company. This guy is going to try to break the supported record. http://www.sportiva.com/live/live-archive/running-lounge/sean-blanton-at-speed-record-attempt

He won't make it. His comments show how little he knows about the trail.

Example. The Green and White Mountains are the hardest part. I'd say at least of those who have hiked the trail would give the nod to the Mahoosucs of Maine. Someone who has only read books would parrot the Whites and I don't know where he got the idea of Vermont.

More telling - he says no one has broken the record northbound. Completely false. Most of the earlier records were northbound.

He obviously has some skill and ability, but that is not enough to set the supported record. He'll need endurance of a scale far beyond that of a any endurance race. He'll need luck with weather, and an experienced support crew, which he does not have, at least in regard to the AT. At this point, it sounds like he has less experience than a typical thru-hiker planning a six month walk.

Like many have said already, he should walk the trail first and really learn the trail's idiosyncrasies. Then he should consider whether he wants to shoot for a record.

Odd Man Out
05-05-2012, 12:42
You might have company. This guy is going to try to break the supported record. http://www.sportiva.com/live/live-archive/running-lounge/sean-blanton-at-speed-record-attempt

This makes me sad in so many ways:

His grammar is very poor (doesn't Sportiva proofread his stuff?).

He was convinced he could run 50 miles per day on the AT because he got beat up on a Everest trek (a trip that thousands of people of all abilities take every year) and then failed to run the 50 miles from Lukla to Jiri in one day (a well-trodden trail at lower elevations that has been used for hundreds of years).

"My goal was not to beat this but to shatter (sic)." (in reference to the record)
Where have we heard this before?

"I'm sure you could shoot and or stab most ultra runners and they would still finish the run. Why? Because it makes for a cool story and that feeling you get from doing something that difficult (sic)."
This is almost unreadable.

"But because she was a women it made such huge news." (in reference to Jennifer Pharr Davis' record).
Now I'm really getting upset. http://adventure.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/adventurers-of-the-year/2012/jennifer-pharr-davis/

"My thing is this. Speed is relative, fun is not."
ug?

I have no problems with trail running, setting records, etc. HYOY! I am not predicting he won't set the record. He is obviously a fine athlete. I wish him the best of luck as I do all thu hikers. Let's just say I probably won't be routing for him as I was for JPD.

"Everyone I ever meet hiking or running is amazing. Everyone their own story (sic). I love it. 2,184.2 miles of smiles. I will however be packing heat just incase (sic)."
I'm getting sic

"I hope that I can go out there and entertain people while I put myself through hell. I want people to be so inspired they donate money to the American Cancer Society." I'm not feeling inspired or entertained, sorry. Neither is my wife (cancer survivor - 10 year).

"I guess this comes back to the word endurance. People misuse this as a word for stamina. This is not true."
Actually it is true. Look it up.


Sportiva, Cliff, and Petzel have all chipped in free stuff to sponsor Mr. Blanton.

Samson
05-05-2012, 13:14
I skimmed through that guy's blog. I think he would get more pats on the back if his own hand wasn't in the way. Three things come to mind when I try to read that poorly written drivel. 1.) What a tool sack. 2.) The joke with the young bull and the old bull standing on top on the hill looking down at all the cows. 3.) A saying that we had at a past employer of mine, "you can run, but you'll only die tired".

nehiker
05-05-2012, 14:08
This makes me sad in so many ways:

"But because she was a women it made such huge news." (in reference to Jennifer Pharr Davis' record).
Now I'm really getting upset. http://adventure.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/adventurers-of-the-year/2012/jennifer-pharr-davis/



Isn't there some truth to this though? Did the previous record breakers make it into the NYT and the National Geographic?

The woman who broke the unsupported record last year seemed to be actually enjoying the hike, not just going for some speed record for the sake of the record by relying on dozens of other people. A lot of professional marathon runners could easily break her record if supported by a couple of dozen people and could make money from doing so. They run a marathon in 2 hours. I doubt they would have much trouble doing a marathon in 3-4 hours in the morning and another in the evening, even with some elevation gain; this would be more than enough to break the supported record.

Rocket Jones
05-05-2012, 15:18
Isn't there some truth to this though? Did the previous record breakers make it into the NYT and the National Geographic?

The woman who broke the unsupported record last year seemed to be actually enjoying the hike, not just going for some speed record for the sake of the record by relying on dozens of other people. A lot of professional marathon runners could easily break her record if supported by a couple of dozen people and could make money from doing so. They run a marathon in 2 hours. I doubt they would have much trouble doing a marathon in 3-4 hours in the morning and another in the evening, even with some elevation gain; this would be more than enough to break the supported record.

Maybe, but can they do it day after day after day after day after...?

leaftye
05-05-2012, 16:01
Maybe, but can they do it day after day after day after day after...?

It'd be more like twice a day, day after day, etc.

nehiker
05-05-2012, 16:45
Maybe, but can they do it day after day after day after day after...?

I am not one of them, but I would think so. Many people who hike quite a bit could manage 4 miles in an hour, but I suspect most would find this pace unsustainable, while being able to sustain about 2 miles an hour for 10+ hours (perhaps 4 and 2 should be 3 and 1.5; it does not really matter for my point). Likewise, if one can cover 26.2 miles in 2 hours with 100% effort, it seems covering the same distance in 4 hours, even over slightly hillier terrain, would be no big deal for them, just like walking 8 (or 6) miles in 4 hours for many of us, and it is something that can be done twice a day, day after day. With a good a support team, they would not need to carry anymore than they do on their actual marathons.

The current supported record is certainly very impressive, but I think it is something that a professional marathoner could easily beat and ``professional" is an appropriate comparison to make in this case, given the support crew. For this reason, I find unsupported records more remarkable than supported ones.

HeartFire
05-05-2012, 17:00
This is the guy who emailed me (at LightHeart Gear) looking for donations for his socks, 20 something pairs of shoes, a GPS watch and an MP3 player

max patch
05-05-2012, 17:31
I find unsupported records more remarkable than supported ones.

I agree with you. I have no interest in how fast someone can run the AT when they helpers cooking their meals and giving it to them when they pass a trailhead or have their tents set up for them when they arrive or crash in a comfy RV. But if you carry your own gear and actually hike the trail and cook your own meals and set up and break down camp then you've got my attention.

tenn_hiker
05-05-2012, 23:49
This is the guy who emailed me (at LightHeart Gear) looking for donations for his socks, 20 something pairs of shoes, a GPS watch and an MP3 player
Who?

And just so everyone knows I will be going for the unsupported record, no guarantees, but I'm going to try!

nehiker
05-06-2012, 00:27
Who?

And just so everyone knows I will be going for the unsupported record, no guarantees, but I'm going to try!

I think she meant the sportiva guy going for the supported record.

Good luck with your attempt. Since you are young, you should have no joint issues slowing you down, but over 35 mpd, for 60 days straight, in downpours and in 100-degree heat, no matter the terrain, is still hell of a lot.

Malto
05-06-2012, 08:00
Likewise, if one can cover 26.2 miles in 2 hours with 100% effort, it seems covering the same distance in 4 hours, even over slightly hillier terrain, would be no big deal for them, just like walking 8 (or 6) miles in 4 hours for many of us, and it is something that can be done twice a day, day after day. With a good a support team, they would not need to carry anymore than they do on their actual marathons.



I would completely disagree this. Let's look at a slightly different comparison. Marathon running vs. ultra trail running. I doubt even the most elite marathon runners would be competitive in say a 100 mile ultra. They are just too different. If there was a pool of folks that could be competitive with the supported record it would coming out of trail running crowd not the marathon runners.

As far as Jennifer Pharr Davis only getting the press because she is women..... That is a bunch of BS. She got the attention because it was a huge accomplishment to do what she did. I believe Skurka won that honor doing a long fast hike but JPD accomplishment is at least equal to Andrew's. I doubt there are many folks out there that have done multiple 40+ mile days that wouldn't agree that she deserved the recognition.

Finally about Mr Sportiva Running Man, He has done nothing yet, just declare a bunch of foolishness. He should be a bit more humble until he "walks the walk" Reminds me of Sam Fox that was going to shatter the PCT last year. Great athlete but completely clueless on the nuiances needed to break a record. I suspect the unsupported record will go down in the next couple of years, the supported I believe will last a while.

Del Q
05-06-2012, 10:36
Find it pretty amazing that people can lay down these kind of miles on the AT. I am 53, in decent shape, weigh 230 - with a 30lb pack that is 260lbs for every step. My average is 12 miles and as we all know, you earn every step. That is one of the cool things, to me, about backpacking, especially on the AT.

When you hit those nice easy spots, embrace them, they will soo end.

Arnold Palmer says that golf is 100% mental.........ditto most things in life, but on the AT there also a huge physical piece - the human body was not built to go at this pace for 40, 50, 60+ days in a row. Anyone who thru hikes has my total respect, trail runners I would bow down to!

Good luck to anyone who goes after something like this................ran into a guy at Partnership Shelter in March, 63 miles from Damascus, he got these in 2 days, took me 5. To each his own.

JJJ
05-06-2012, 21:38
Good Luck, see ya in Damascus 10-15 days from the start if everything goes well.
Let me know if you need anything.

tenn_hiker
05-06-2012, 22:54
I think she meant the sportiva guy going for the supported record.

Good luck with your attempt. Since you are young, you should have no joint issues slowing you down, but over 35 mpd, for 60 days straight, in downpours and in 100-degree heat, no matter the terrain, is still hell of a lot.


Good Luck, see ya in Damascus 10-15 days from the start if everything goes well.
Let me know if you need anything.

If I get to Damascus in 10-15 days I will be making some pretty good miles!! I'm going SOBO haha.

JJJ
05-06-2012, 23:03
Sorry I thought I'd read you were going north, or maybe you've changed your mind.
Well, start plus 35-38 about right to hit Damascus?

ChinMusic
05-06-2012, 23:49
Sorry I thought I'd read you were going north, or maybe you've changed your mind.
Well, start plus 35-38 about right to hit Damascus?

I view it as a good thing. He knew where Damascus was. That is better than some.

Papa D
05-07-2012, 08:13
I agree with you. I have no interest in how fast someone can run the AT when they helpers cooking their meals and giving it to them when they pass a trailhead or have their tents set up for them when they arrive or crash in a comfy RV. But if you carry your own gear and actually hike the trail and cook your own meals and set up and break down camp then you've got my attention.

I also tend to be more respectful of the un-supported style too but everyone has some support. It might be someone sending packages from home, cell phone to shuttle service into towns, a campground night, a slack-pack (which I don't do btw) - - the question becomes where do you draw the line because it's not so clear. If you have a chase vehicle and a local "crew" then you ARE clearly supported but how much support can you receive and still check the "un-supported" box? - - I really don't know - - maybe it's just a "hike your own hike" thing .....

matthew.d.kirk
05-07-2012, 17:32
the question becomes where do you draw the line because it's not so clear. If you have a chase vehicle and a local "crew" then you ARE clearly supported but how much support can you receive and still check the "un-supported" box? - - I really don't know - - maybe it's just a "hike your own hike" thing .....

Papa D, this is indeed a very good question.

I believe that the new standard for an "unsupported" thru-hiker speed record should be set in a similar "no vehicular support style" such as what's been upheld by Scott Williamson and Adam Bradley on the PCT:

‘I will NOT have anyone following, or otherwise meeting me in prearranged manner to give me support. I plan to do this hike as a backpacker, carrying all of my food, equipment, and water between resupply towns. I will walk into supply towns to pick up mailed, prepackaged food boxes or to purchase food, then walk back to the trail via the same route I came in on. I will not be getting into a vehicle for any reason during this attempt, or skipping any section of trail. If I receive a lift from any vehicle or skip a portion of trail (no matter the distance) the attempt is off. I will be following the official PCT route, taking no detours, road walks or alternates of any kind.’

I think this would be a good way to set the new standard for future attempts on the AT because clearly hitch-hiking can be a slippery slope into prearranged shuttles, which can be a slippery slope into an even more supported attempt.

In case anyone is interested, map man did a great job of working out the logistics of just such a hike (in a southbound direction):
http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?78577-Strongest-AT-Record-Contender&p=1229946#post1229946

CrumbSnatcher
05-07-2012, 20:34
a unsupported record attempt is just the same as a traditional thruhike, just alot faster!
pre-arranged rides are a no-no and i think the cell phone thing should be frowned upon !
hitch hiking is part of a thruhike, you might get a ride in minutes or maybe an hour, but calling someone on your cell phone just made it a supported hike IMO
get creative and rides can happen :-)

tenn_hiker
05-07-2012, 22:54
So hitching a ride isn't considered being supported?

rocketsocks
05-07-2012, 23:01
So hitching a ride isn't considered being supported?
If you feel it is supported,then it's supported,if not,then..... :-?I don't know that there is a governing body,maybe there ought be?Me I could care less,but am in support of your supported or unsupported hike.But I think they are two very different things.:)

ScottP
05-07-2012, 23:07
Umm..check out Leor's results:

http://ultrasignup.com/results_participant.aspx?fname=Leor&lname=Pantilat&age=0

Lots of first places in ultras. don't know if these are good/competitive ultras, but the guy looks legit. 50 mile trail run at a 7:14 min pace. He's running 50 miles faster than JPD was running 50k. If he's got a decent support crew he'll probably do the trail supported very quickly.

ChinMusic
05-07-2012, 23:18
So hitching a ride isn't considered being supported?

From what I have read, no, if it is not prearranged. In other words if you come to a road and stick out your thumb that is fine.

rocketsocks
05-07-2012, 23:23
Umm..check out Leor's results:

http://ultrasignup.com/results_participant.aspx?fname=Leor&lname=Pantilat&age=0

Lots of first places in ultras. don't know if these are good/competitive ultras, but the guy looks legit. 50 mile trail run at a 7:14 min pace. He's running 50 miles faster than JPD was running 50k. If he's got a decent support crew he'll probably do the trail supported very quickly.
Yes,and when big money gets involved,we could expect to see a definite governing body.

Pedaling Fool
05-08-2012, 08:11
So hitching a ride isn't considered being supported?Just like what constitutes a thru-hike, there's no written official rules on what constitues supported vs. unsupported. What you see when these discussions come up is simply personal opinion and how one looks at this. Some will even tell you that simply getting food from towns is support...

T.S.Kobzol
05-08-2012, 09:16
Hmm. Now that you mention this. I would like that :-) Can I do the AT and have catering for the entire hike?


I agree with you. I have no interest in how fast someone can run the AT when they helpers cooking their meals and giving it to them when they pass a trailhead or have their tents set up for them when they arrive or crash in a comfy RV. But if you carry your own gear and actually hike the trail and cook your own meals and set up and break down camp then you've got my attention.

WingedMonkey
05-08-2012, 09:24
There are no records for hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Lone Wolf
05-08-2012, 09:27
There are no records for hiking the Appalachian Trail.

and nobody has ever "thru-hiked" the AT

Violent Green
05-08-2012, 13:39
Papa D, this is indeed a very good question.

I believe that the new standard for an "unsupported" thru-hiker speed record should be set in a similar "no vehicular support style" such as what's been upheld by Scott Williamson and Adam Bradley on the PCT:

I will NOT have anyone following, or otherwise meeting me in prearranged manner to give me support. I plan to do this hike as a backpacker, carrying all of my food, equipment, and water between resupply towns. I will walk into supply towns to pick up mailed, prepackaged food boxes or to purchase food, then walk back to the trail via the same route I came in on. I will not be getting into a vehicle for any reason during this attempt, or skipping any section of trail. If I receive a lift from any vehicle or skip a portion of trail (no matter the distance) the attempt is off. I will be following the official PCT route, taking no detours, road walks or alternates of any kind.

I think this would be a good way to set the new standard for future attempts on the AT because clearly hitch-hiking can be a slippery slope into prearranged shuttles, which can be a slippery slope into an even more supported attempt.

In case anyone is interested, map man did a great job of working out the logistics of just such a hike (in a southbound direction):
http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?78577-Strongest-AT-Record-Contender&p=1229946#post1229946

Everyone can wait on Sportiva Man to take his shot at one of the AT records. I'm waiting on Matthew.D.Kirk.

Ryan

JJJ
05-08-2012, 13:54
+1 on Kirk.

jersey joe
05-08-2012, 16:18
And just so everyone knows I will be going for the unsupported record, no guarantees, but I'm going to try!
Good luck on your hike! Do you know when you are heading out and if you will be posting a journal or updates online for us to follow?

ChinMusic
05-08-2012, 16:36
And just so everyone knows I will be going for the unsupported record, no guarantees, but I'm going to try!

Those are words worthy of rooting for.

The odds are strongly against you. If it doesn't work out, the experience will help you for subsequent attempts.........if you still have the bug.

k2basecamp
05-08-2012, 16:37
Prediction

This guy will never break any record. He spends too much time on the computer talking about it.
Take a lesson from last years female unsupported record holder-just start hiking and when you get to maine then post again.

Lone Wolf
05-08-2012, 17:07
Take a lesson from last years female unsupported record holder-just start hiking and when you get to maine then post again.

she was fully supported

rocketsocks
05-08-2012, 17:17
she was fully supported
and she was SOBO

ChinMusic
05-08-2012, 17:31
rocketsocks and Lone Wolf - k2basecamp's reference was to Snorkel's unsupported female record last year: http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=360042

rocketsocks
05-08-2012, 17:33
rocketsocks and Lone Wolf - k2basecamp's reference was to Snorkel's unsupported female record last year.:o.........thought it was a referance to JPD's

rocketsocks
05-08-2012, 17:49
:o.........thought it was a referance to JPD's
But then you already knew that.

k2basecamp
05-08-2012, 18:07
she was fully supported


No she wasnt i am NOT talking about JPD's supported record but the 80 ish day female unsupported record.

John B
05-08-2012, 18:17
Umm..check out Leor's results:

http://ultrasignup.com/results_participant.aspx?fname=Leor&lname=Pantilat&age=0

Lots of first places in ultras. don't know if these are good/competitive ultras, but the guy looks legit. 50 mile trail run at a 7:14 min pace. He's running 50 miles faster than JPD was running 50k. If he's got a decent support crew he'll probably do the trail supported very quickly.

A 7:14 pace would be a 3:10 min marathon, which is damned fast. That pace over 50 miles on a trail is incredibly fast.

Mikey Appleseed
05-09-2012, 11:02
A certain "unsupported record" that is out there, also included donations from outsiders, yet in there eyes this is also not support. Preplanning a resupply or even taking a cube of butter from a friend is also considered non support, the whole thing stinks. As ive said before, unless grandfathered in to the big three, the records cannot have a governing board! What about blood doping? Steroids? Its all an honor system ideal anyway, a way to sell books,etc..... It also seperates you from others, to stand out and say, "Im better than you" This thinking disturbs me. For those who seek personal gradification I really respect it, but why would you feel the need to justify it to the world(gps tracking,etc...). Just knowing it in your heart should fufill that desire, but we must stand on top of mountains and shout to the world, " Im the best!" Maybe im wrong, please enlighten my mind.

rocketsocks
05-09-2012, 11:26
A certain "unsupported record" that is out there, also included donations from outsiders, yet in there eyes this is also not support. Preplanning a resupply or even taking a cube of butter from a friend is also considered non support, the whole thing stinks. As ive said before, unless grandfathered in to the big three, the records cannot have a governing board! What about blood doping? Steroids? Its all an honor system ideal anyway, a way to sell books,etc..... It also seperates you from others, to stand out and say, "Im better than you" This thinking disturbs me. For those who seek personal gradification I really respect it, but why would you feel the need to justify it to the world(gps tracking,etc...). Just knowing it in your heart should fufill that desire, but we must stand on top of mountains and shout to the world, " Im the best!" Maybe im wrong, please enlighten my mind.
+1 Mikey ,leave it to us humans to say "Hey we have these places we call wild,lets preseve them,use them,catagorize them,and kill them.We are all gulity to an extent.

ChinMusic
05-09-2012, 11:30
-1

If such an attempt bothers one, the solution is real simple...........ignore it.

Mikey Appleseed
05-09-2012, 12:59
Did I say it bothered me? Heck, id love to make a run at records and I assure I could. Its the whole unsupported, supported notion with no rules, judges, testing or anything that just makes me sick, that others should follow false rules that dont even excist, to appease who? Point A to point B should be enough right? Oh wait, jump through this hoop first. Just examine the word support, now do the fricken math in your head, support is everywhere, its in the stream we drink from. Oh well, maybe im wrong and should start attempting records, then I can sell books and put myself above others, anyone want to support me? Only if you kiss my feet and stand in awe when im done, because ill be better than you, thus happier and full of knowledge, A legend! Dramatic and anti climatic, thats the future of speed records and attempts. Peace.

ChinMusic
05-09-2012, 14:02
Did I say it bothered me?


Its the whole unsupported, supported notion with no rules, judges, testing or anything that just makes me sick....

Just to be clear. It doesn't bother you but it makes you sick?

rocketsocks
05-09-2012, 14:30
Just to be clear. It doesn't bother you but it makes you sick?
I'm not hot 97.5 i run low,and I'm not sick, but if I was to go take a hike day,and was told "You can't hike here today because"- some organization was having a race today,I'd not only be sick,I'd be ticketed for failure to observe,but then following direction has always be a bit of a down fall for me.Honestly Chin,I don't really care that people race for these records,but I sure don't want to see it get so "big bueiness"as some have suggested over time.When corporate sponsership gets involved,$$$and there is money to be made,then it wont be long until the TV stations start fling in with camera crews,then vendors start selling goods,all them little cylume flashy things the kids wear around there wrist.I'll stop here causejust don't want to see it get to that level, rant over I'm done.

John B
05-09-2012, 14:40
I'm not hot 97.5 i run low,and I'm not sick, but if I was to go take a hike day,and was told "You can't hike here today because"- some organization was having a race today,I'd not only be sick,I'd be ticketed for failure to observe,but then following direction has always be a bit of a down fall for me.Honestly Chin,I don't really care that people race for these records,but I sure don't want to see it get so "big bueiness"as some have suggested over time.When corporate sponsership gets involved,$$$and there is money to be made,then it wont be long until the TV stations start fling in with camera crews,then vendors start selling goods,all them little cylume flashy things the kids wear around there wrist.I'll stop here causejust don't want to see it get to that level, rant over I'm done.

Kinda like being told that you can't run here today because it interferes with the big business of hiking -- REI, Campmor, innumerable shoe and clothing manufacturers, hostels at every road crossing, shuttles, and hiker feeds -- and dozens of movies, documentaries, YouTube clips, and books about hiking through the "wilderness" on the AT.

I think the AT is big enough to allow trail runners to speed by. They won't bother you -- by the time you hear them coming, they'll already be past and out of sight.

ChinMusic
05-09-2012, 14:51
I sure don't want to see it get so "big bueiness"as some have suggested over time.When corporate sponsership gets involved,$$$.

I'm not enamoured with the sponsorship thing either. I guess in the case of a NASCAR attempt (supported) it just goes with the territory. Too often it reminds me of the Truman Show where product placement is king.

Feral Bill
05-09-2012, 15:23
A certain "unsupported record" that is out there, also included donations from outsiders, yet in there eyes this is also not support. Preplanning a resupply or even taking a cube of butter from a friend is also considered non support, the whole thing stinks. As ive said before, unless grandfathered in to the big three, the records cannot have a governing board! What about blood doping? Steroids? Its all an honor system ideal anyway, a way to sell books,etc..... It also seperates you from others, to stand out and say, "Im better than you" This thinking disturbs me. For those who seek personal gradification I really respect it, but why would you feel the need to justify it to the world(gps tracking,etc...). Just knowing it in your heart should fufill that desire, but we must stand on top of mountains and shout to the world, " Im the best!" Maybe im wrong, please enlighten my mind. You're not.

rocketsocks
05-09-2012, 15:28
I'm not enamoured with the sponsorship thing either. I guess in the case of a NASCAR attempt (supported) it just goes with the territory. Too often it reminds me of the Truman Show where product placement is king.
I have not only never seen the Truman show,I did not knot what it was till I look it up.Hey I am guilty all over the place in being enamoured with the trail.I probably own 18 no 19 Books that deal directly with the AT and or Travel narratives and maybe another 20 or so that are all about the things we find in the woods or on mountains.Even recently bought JPD's book on Nook Books Cause I really wanted to read it,and now I find myself wanting to read her husband Drew's book to get his take on the whole supported thing albeit bias.There is a common thread with all who finish the trail,a drive,maybe even a genetic marker will be found one day.We all b___h about wanting to have a more serene time in the woods,and sometimes it just seems like a lost cause,even though we all no computer hiking is a far cry from actually being out there where in fact the woods are large plenty of room for all.But some times at populated areas it just gets so ridicules.I just looked up the word serene(to make sure I spelled it right)and it says;Clear and free of storms and unpleasant change,I think that word fits here rather nicely here,though I do love a good storm.

Mikey Appleseed
05-09-2012, 17:37
O.K. Chinmusic, maybe it does bother me, but not the attempt like you said, just the "rules" and the difference of support and non supported. Were all supported by mother earth and I refuse to ignore her problems as well. We better change the book of all records to include support and not, Barry Bonds supported(the juice) homerun king!

matthew.d.kirk
05-09-2012, 19:50
I understand this argument that we are all supported. Perhaps the words "supported," "self-supported" and "unsupported" are not the best terms to use. Here are some definitions (as written by Peter Bakwin and recognized by many on the proboards community:
http://pbakwin.home.comcast.net/~pbakwin/FKT.html ):

"Supported, self-supported, unsupported? What does it mean?
Supported means you have a dedicated support team that meets you along the way to supply whatever you need. This generally allows for the fastest, lightest trips, and for an element of camaraderie and safety, since someone knows about where you are at all times.
Self-supported means that you don't carry everything you need from the start, but you don't have dedicated, pre-arranged people helping you. This is commonly done a couple different ways: You might put out stashes of supplies for yourself prior to the trip, or you might just use what's out there, such as stores, begging from other trail users, etc.
Unsupported means you have no external support of any kind. Typically, this means that you must carry all your supplies right from the start, except any water that can be obtained along the way from natural sources. This approach has also been termed "alpine style". The longest trip I'm aware of using this style is Coup's 20-day thru-hike of the Colorado Trail. For most people, carrying enough food for more than a few days to one week will be prohibitive."

The terms themselves seem to be the cause of controversy on Whiteblaze whereas the differences between definitions remain (at least to me) quite clear.

Many people on Whiteblaze use the term "unsupported" to describe what is actually a "self-supported" attempt. To help clarify the difference, Andrew Skurka once proposed an unsupported record attempt on the AT, but to my knowledge no one has seemed to have yet followed through with it: http://andrewskurka.com/adventures/how-far-how-fast-challenge/overview/

I'd be interested to hear if anyone knows how far a hiker has traveled on the AT unsupported.

tenn_hiker
05-09-2012, 22:28
Good luck on your hike! Do you know when you are heading out and if you will be posting a journal or updates online for us to follow?
I will be starting between may 27th and June 1st at the latest.. I will be keeping a journal at:
http://trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=13163
Keep in mind, I am not going out there to set the record.. I'm going out there to have fun, and enjoy my self.. and if I find that I can keep the pace to break the record then so be it! My hike will be under 75 days max


Prediction

This guy will never break any record. He spends too much time on the computer talking about it.
Take a lesson from last years female unsupported record holder-just start hiking and when you get to maine then post again.
Who? Me? or the Sportiva guy?

tenn_hiker
05-09-2012, 22:32
And for everyone arguing about Supported or Unsupported.. I will be having food sent to towns, but i will most likely not be arranging rides. I'm gonna' walk or hitch into town.. call it supported or unsupported.. idc, I won't be blue or yellow blazing.. They say hike your own hike, and this is mine.

Airman
05-09-2012, 22:33
What's the Point?

rocketsocks
05-09-2012, 22:35
I will be starting between may 27th and June 1st at the latest.. I will be keeping a journal at:
http://trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=13163
Keep in mind, I am not going out there to set the record.. I'm going out there to have fun, and enjoy my self.. and if I find that I can keep the pace to break the record then so be it! My hike will be under 75 days max


Who? Me? or the Sportiva guy?Go for it Tenn_hiker
,hope ya make it,and I'll be checking your progress via your journal.Peace

Biggie Master
05-09-2012, 22:49
What's the Point?

Some folks don't know how to let the chocolate melt in their mouth.

tenn_hiker
05-09-2012, 23:01
What's the Point?

of....? Hiking fast?
What's the point of hiking slow? You enjoy that, I enjoy hiking fast.. You guys on WB preach about HYOH.. so why ask a stupid question like that?

tenn_hiker
05-09-2012, 23:07
Go for it Tenn_hiker
,hope ya make it,and I'll be checking your progress via your journal.Peace
Thanks man!

rocketsocks
05-09-2012, 23:31
Thanks man!
Anytime,start slow,finish big and may all your dreams come true,mind never did.HeHe.....:sun

Pedaling Fool
05-10-2012, 08:35
And for everyone arguing about Supported or Unsupported.. I will be having food sent to towns, but i will most likely not be arranging rides. I'm gonna' walk or hitch into town.. call it supported or unsupported.. idc, I won't be blue or yellow blazing.. They say hike your own hike, and this is mine.When you express an interest in breaking some record you lose a little bit of "your hike". It's just a fact of life and it's not unique to the hiking world. If you want to set a record in the marathon you must abide by certain rules. The only real difference here are that the rules are not set in stone for a hike, kind of why (at least one reason) these threads become so controversial.

If you don't want to be part of the controversy, then don't advertise.

tenn_hiker
05-10-2012, 10:51
And for everyone arguing about Supported or Unsupported.. I will be having food sent to towns, but i will most likely not be arranging rides. I'm gonna' walk or hitch into town.. call it supported or unsupported.. idc, I won't be blue or yellow blazing.. They say hike your own hike, and this is mine.When you express an interest in breaking some record you lose a little bit of "your hike". It's just a fact of life and it's not unique to the hiking world. If you want to set a record in the marathon you must abide by certain rules. The only real difference here are that the rules are not set in stone for a hike, kind of why (at least one reason) these threads become so controversial.

If you don't want to be part of the controversy, then don't advertise. I simply stated that I might attempt it.. This thread isn't about the difference between supported and unsupported.
Thanks.
Have a nice day.

Pedaling Fool
05-10-2012, 15:26
When you express an interest in breaking some record you lose a little bit of "your hike". It's just a fact of life and it's not unique to the hiking world. If you want to set a record in the marathon you must abide by certain rules. The only real difference here are that the rules are not set in stone for a hike, kind of why (at least one reason) these threads become so controversial.

If you don't want to be part of the controversy, then don't advertise.


I simply stated that I might attempt it.. This thread isn't about the difference between supported and unsupported.
Thanks.
Have a nice day.
I understand that and that's why I said, "When you express an interest in breaking..." , as in a possibility... It just invites input and like it or not the definition of what constitutes supported/unsupported hike gets injected, simply because there are questions about the definitions, especially with respect to unsupported.


As someone already said, this forum is good practice for developing a thick skin, which you need when you make such claims, even if you claim it's just a possible stab at the record.


I'm just expressing reality, but my opinion about your hike is indifferent, just go hike for all I care.

Mags
05-10-2012, 17:59
of....? Hiking fast?
What's the point of hiking slow? You enjoy that, I enjoy hiking fast.. You guys on WB preach about HYOH.. so why ask a stupid question like that?

Most guys on here, and many outdoor forums, are really preaching HMHDI. :)

Google it.... ;)

John B
05-10-2012, 18:12
Most guys on here, and many outdoor forums, are really preaching HMHDI. :)

Google it.... ;)

You, sir, are 100% correct.

Furthermore, if you read runners forums, they're doing the RTWIRDI (run the way I run damn it). They should merge into one group, the DWIDs (do what I do!).

Blissful
05-10-2012, 19:55
Keep in mind, I am not going out there to set the record.. I'm going out there to have fun, and enjoy my self.. and if I find that I can keep the pace to break the record then so be it!

Sounds good. Happy trails.

gram cracker
05-11-2012, 09:59
Best of luck on your efforts. Whatever happens, have fun.

ScottS
05-11-2012, 15:46
Are there any trailjournals or blogs of people attempting this year?

Del Q
05-11-2012, 18:40
Spreadsheets lie!!!!!!

I absolutely mean NO DISRESPECT....................but

Numbers are numbers

Miles are miles

.................so I thought, not sure who does the measuring of "miles" on the AT ...........my experience, a mile is NOT A MILE on the AT, how does that work?

Best laid plans.............what Odessa did to me is amazing, and started from Maine?

As a wise Mobster said, forgettaboutit.

47 miles a day, every day, on the AT?

Nature Boy / Willy Syndram was on pace to crush the unsupported record until he got "Willied" outside of Waynesboro, I pass no judgement on how anyone chooses to "hike" the AT..........fast, slow, crawl, run, hop, at night, blind, with or without hiking poles, whatever.............

...............its the same trail, however one chooses to approach this journey is their choice.................to me it should be aligned with one's thinking, fun, enjoyable, records, achievement, solace, deal with your "baggage", whatever it might be.

If it becomes a "job", we would all agree that is not good.

So...........does the core issue become if you are out to set a record and fall behind to the point where it will not happen, do you stop of continue the journey?

rocketsocks
05-11-2012, 18:49
Spreadsheets lie!!!!!!

I absolutely mean NO DISRESPECT....................but

Numbers are numbers

Miles are miles

.................so I thought, not sure who does the measuring of "miles" on the AT ...........my experience, a mile is NOT A MILE on the AT, how does that work?

Best laid plans.............what Odessa did to me is amazing, and started from Maine?

As a wise Mobster said, forgettaboutit.

47 miles a day, every day, on the AT?

Nature Boy / Willy Syndram was on pace to crush the unsupported record until he got "Willied" outside of Waynesboro, I pass no judgement on how anyone chooses to "hike" the AT..........fast, slow, crawl, run, hop, at night, blind, with or without hiking poles, whatever.............

...............its the same trail, however one chooses to approach this journey is their choice.................to me it should be aligned with one's thinking, fun, enjoyable, records, achievement, solace, deal with your "baggage", whatever it might be.

If it becomes a "job", we would all agree that is not good.

So...........does the core issue become if you are out to set a record and fall behind to the point where it will not happen, do you stop of continue the journey?maybe you don't leave the trail,but rather take it down a bit,if the record is unatainable.

brew
05-11-2012, 20:47
Hey guys. I've never posted on White Blaze- I guess means I'm no longer a White Blaze virgin- but I wanted to mention a few things from this thread...

First, Map Man, everything I've ever read of yours is gold, pure gold (what you posted last summer on Jen's hike and everything else I've read). They should make you mayor of Whiteblazeville or something. Can we vote on that? Or propose a motion or something?

Second, Tenn Hiker, good luck however you do it. I'm no expert on hiking the AT, but I guess I can call myself an expert on crewing and based on that, I would agree with what the others have said: experience is important.

Third, speaking of supported vs. unsupported, what does everyone think of Ms. Van Deren's supported attempt of the MST? I wish her the best, but it's really bugging me that no one that I've seen (which is only the outdoor company and the big newspaper [I think it was the Raleigh one], but still) has mentioned that she's doing it supported and Matt's record is self-supported and there's a big friggin' difference. Right?! I just want Matt to get his props.

Fourth, can those of you who mentioned how tough Maine is delete your posts or something? I mean, not really, but if Sean thinks VT is tougher than Maine, can we not leave him with that notion? Please!?

Fifth, three things about Jen... 1. to my knowledge, she's never run a 50k that slow (7:14). 2. from what I've seen, a very big part of ANY sort of thru-hike is mental, and that's especially true of a record attempt. 3. Jen definitely did not enjoy all of the trail last summer, but she enjoyed it most of the time, and in general she's infatuated with hiking. When it comes to trails, she's like an omnivore. She enjoys doing all kinds all different ways. Hence the trail running, fast packing, and supported hiking.

Sixth, whoever it was thinking about buying my book should definitely do that. It's incredible. Really. It is.

Anyway, random stuff, but it was all on my mind.

matthew.d.kirk
05-12-2012, 09:26
Hey guys. I've never posted on White Blaze- I guess means I'm no longer a White Blaze virgin- but I wanted to mention a few things from this thread...

Third, speaking of supported vs. unsupported, what does everyone think of Ms. Van Deren's supported attempt of the MST? I wish her the best, but it's really bugging me that no one that I've seen (which is only the outdoor company and the big newspaper [I think it was the Raleigh one], but still) has mentioned that she's doing it supported and Matt's record is self-supported and there's a big friggin' difference. Right?! I just want Matt to get his props.



Brew, Good to see your post. Regarding the third thing on your mind: my MST fastpack did begin self-supported. Although I went probably 3/4th of the way self-supported, I ultimately accepted support from my wife and family out east. I therefor consider my hike "supported." Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I posted a clarification on the FKT proboards forum.

It's true that there is no governing body for this kind of stuff. So those who choose to pay attention to FKTs rely on the integrity of the individuals attempting them. To me, this is fine. Most every person I know who has seriously attempted an FKT has been serious about upholding a high level of honesty and transparency. This is partly out of self-preservation (of his/her own record) and partly out of respect for those who've come before.

Regarding the 20-year-old self-supported record on the AT, Ward Leonard deserves the utmost respect.

PS- Brew, welcome to the vortex of whiteblaze.

brew
05-12-2012, 11:22
Brew, Good to see your post. Regarding the third thing on your mind: my MST fastpack did begin self-supported. Although I went probably 3/4th of the way self-supported, I ultimately accepted support from my wife and family out east. I therefor consider my hike "supported." Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I posted a clarification on the FKT proboards forum.

It's true that there is no governing body for this kind of stuff. So those who choose to pay attention to FKTs rely on the integrity of the individuals attempting them. To me, this is fine. Most every person I know who has seriously attempted an FKT has been serious about upholding a high level of honesty and transparency. This is partly out of self-preservation (of his/her own record) and partly out of respect for those who've come before.

Regarding the 20-year-old self-supported record on the AT, Ward Leonard deserves the utmost respect.

PS- Brew, welcome to the vortex of whiteblaze.

Yeah, Jen reminded me after my post that you'd gotten help toward the end. So I guess the paper and outdoor store were right. My bad. This will probably be the first of many mistakes by me on White Blaze.

ScottS
05-12-2012, 15:39
Brew, I recently sent Jen a message on facebook (I didn't know the best place to contact her), but did you or her ever post the distances covered each day last year, where she stopped each night?
I checked the tumblr and blue ridge sites, but didn't see it.

rocketsocks
05-12-2012, 17:00
Hey guys. I've never posted on White Blaze- I guess means I'm no longer a White Blaze virgin- but I wanted to mention a few things from this thread...

First, Map Man, everything I've ever read of yours is gold, pure gold (what you posted last summer on Jen's hike and everything else I've read). They should make you mayor of Whiteblazeville or something. Can we vote on that? Or propose a motion or something?

Second, Tenn Hiker, good luck however you do it. I'm no expert on hiking the AT, but I guess I can call myself an expert on crewing and based on that, I would agree with what the others have said: experience is important.

Third, speaking of supported vs. unsupported, what does everyone think of Ms. Van Deren's supported attempt of the MST? I wish her the best, but it's really bugging me that no one that I've seen (which is only the outdoor company and the big newspaper [I think it was the Raleigh one], but still) has mentioned that she's doing it supported and Matt's record is self-supported and there's a big friggin' difference. Right?! I just want Matt to get his props.

Fourth, can those of you who mentioned how tough Maine is delete your posts or something? I mean, not really, but if Sean thinks VT is tougher than Maine, can we not leave him with that notion? Please!?

Fifth, three things about Jen... 1. to my knowledge, she's never run a 50k that slow (7:14). 2. from what I've seen, a very big part of ANY sort of thru-hike is mental, and that's especially true of a record attempt. 3. Jen definitely did not enjoy all of the trail last summer, but she enjoyed it most of the time, and in general she's infatuated with hiking. When it comes to trails, she's like an omnivore. She enjoys doing all kinds all different ways. Hence the trail running, fast packing, and supported hiking.

Sixth, whoever it was thinking about buying my book should definitely do that. It's incredible. Really. It is.

Anyway, random stuff, but it was all on my mind.Brew,your book is on my wish list,and I look forward to reading it.

map man
05-12-2012, 19:24
Brew, thank you for the very kind words.

ScottS, here is a link to an attempt I made at the end of Jen's hike last year to show her itinerary. It is based on my reading of Brew's entries on their web site. If I made any mistakes on locations or mileages they are purely my fault and not Brew's:).

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?71708-Supported-AT-Speed-Record-Attempt-Jennifer-Pharr-2011&p=1190134&highlight=#post1190134

brew
05-13-2012, 16:54
Brew, thank you for the very kind words.

ScottS, here is a link to an attempt I made at the end of Jen's hike last year to show her itinerary. It is based on my reading of Brew's entries on their web site. If I made any mistakes on locations or mileages they are purely my fault and not Brew's:).

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?71708-Supported-AT-Speed-Record-Attempt-Jennifer-Pharr-2011&p=1190134&highlight=#post1190134


I'd have to go back and look through our datebook to find the exact spots (and I'm not sure where the datebook is off the top of my head). I do remember looking at Map Man's itinerary right after the trip (when everything was fresher in my mind) and thinking it was really accurate. I have a hard time remembering the names of all those places. Jen's much better at that than I am.

But the one exception I noticed on Map Man's list was we didn't stay at ME 27 (Stratton) on the fourth night. We stayed on some remote road that we never would have found without Warren because Jen wanted to stop short of the last road of the day. Warren and I hiked in on a dirt road and then on the old AT and he showed me the worn blazes. It was pretty incredible, although I was worried most of the hike (one mile or so) that I would hurt my knee because I hadn't done anything on a trail since my surgery.

Anyway, I'm guessing Jen will put something like that in her book. We never posted anything anywhere. I think Warren kept track of it because he'd call us every few days and check on where we'd stayed.

Rocketsocks, thanks for wanting to buy the book. I was joking, obviously, when I said it's incredible, but for AT junkies it's nice to reminisce.

rocketsocks
05-13-2012, 17:54
I'd have to go back and look through our datebook to find the exact spots (and I'm not sure where the datebook is off the top of my head). I do remember looking at Map Man's itinerary right after the trip (when everything was fresher in my mind) and thinking it was really accurate. I have a hard time remembering the names of all those places. Jen's much better at that than I am.

But the one exception I noticed on Map Man's list was we didn't stay at ME 27 (Stratton) on the fourth night. We stayed on some remote road that we never would have found without Warren because Jen wanted to stop short of the last road of the day. Warren and I hiked in on a dirt road and then on the old AT and he showed me the worn blazes. It was pretty incredible, although I was worried most of the hike (one mile or so) that I would hurt my knee because I hadn't done anything on a trail since my surgery.

Anyway, I'm guessing Jen will put something like that in her book. We never posted anything anywhere. I think Warren kept track of it because he'd call us every few days and check on where we'd stayed.

Rocketsocks, thanks for wanting to buy the book. I was joking, obviously, when I said it's incredible, but for AT junkies it's nice to reminisce.Hey Brew,certainly nothing wrong with tooting your own horn,it shows you care and that you feel you did a good job,I was pretty sure you were just being funny also,Jen seems like a very genuine person and I didn't think she'd be married to someone who is a jerk,and or full of themselves.peace

Odd Man Out
05-13-2012, 23:48
You might have company. This guy is going to try to break the supported record. http://www.sportiva.com/live/live-archive/running-lounge/sean-blanton-at-speed-record-attempt

So who had money on "No Way"? From his FaceBook Page 21 hrs ago: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Run-Bum/111120335623670

"to everyone who has helped and who has believed in me i am sorry after puking and the other thing everywhere for the last couple of hours from what must have been from drinking some bad water... I am officially throwing in the towel for the Appalachian Trail after 6 days of heaven and hell. A long story to come. It was the best of times it was the worst of times. PS I NEVER WANNA SEE A MOUNTAIN TRAIL AGAIN ha! I will say I am now a different and better person for this. Thanks to all who helped I can't thank you enough!!!!!!!!"

Bearpaw
05-14-2012, 14:39
So who had money on "No Way"? From his FaceBook Page 21 hrs ago: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Run-Bum/111120335623670

"to everyone who has helped and who has believed in me i am sorry after puking and the other thing everywhere for the last couple of hours from what must have been from drinking some bad water... I am officially throwing in the towel for the Appalachian Trail after 6 days of heaven and hell. A long story to come. It was the best of times it was the worst of times. PS I NEVER WANNA SEE A MOUNTAIN TRAIL AGAIN ha! I will say I am now a different and better person for this. Thanks to all who helped I can't thank you enough!!!!!!!!"

Welcome to the Appalachians. Sounds like something got shattered, but it wasn't the record.

T.S.Kobzol
05-14-2012, 16:33
Funny stuff

Sent from my GT-N7000 using Tapatalk 2

leaftye
05-14-2012, 17:46
6 days, 200 miles. Hell, I could probably do that. Walking. Unsupported. Anyone want to sponsor me? ;)

Odd Man Out
05-14-2012, 18:15
6 days, 200 miles. Hell, I could probably do that. Walking. Unsupported. Anyone want to sponsor me? ;)

Sure, I'll send you a bottle of protein wonder powder nutrient supplement for power and vitality (aka non fat dry milk).

leaftye
05-14-2012, 18:38
Sure, I'll send you a bottle of protein wonder powder nutrient supplement for power and vitality (aka non fat dry milk).

Awesome. That's one.

Judy@Lightheart, how about an mp3 player?

ChinMusic
05-14-2012, 18:48
Judy@Lightheart, how about an mp3 player?
Chortle ...

tenn_hiker
05-14-2012, 19:50
So the sportiva guy is done already??

Mikey Appleseed
05-14-2012, 20:17
Dramatic and anti-climatic. Too much Monoamine Oxidase A! Next contestant please. Let me provide motivation, you will never ever beat Ward Leonards record, but maybe Happy Gilmores hockey records can be matched. Im working on my own record, how many smalltimers can I piss off.

JJJ
05-14-2012, 20:24
Dramatic and anti-climatic. Too much Monoamine Oxidase A! Next contestant please. .... Im working on my own record, how many smalltimers can I piss off.
.
With only 37 post?!!?
You'd better git hoppin'.

Mikey Appleseed
05-14-2012, 20:30
Dont worry JJJ, I got the confidence of youth on my side, plus its the quality of the post that I REALLY enjoy. Add the support of many, were talking shattering records and selling books, WHOO HOO!

HeartFire
05-14-2012, 20:33
Awesome. That's one.

Judy@Lightheart, how about an mp3 player?
Coming right up - do I get a pair of socks??

ChinMusic
05-14-2012, 20:47
Im working on my own record, how many smalltimers can I piss off.
The important question is: What donations will you require?

Malto
05-14-2012, 20:50
So who had money on "No Way"? From his FaceBook Page 21 hrs ago: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Run-Bum/111120335623670

"to everyone who has helped and who has believed in me i am sorry after puking and the other thing everywhere for the last couple of hours from what must have been from drinking some bad water... I am officially throwing in the towel for the Appalachian Trail after 6 days of heaven and hell. A long story to come. It was the best of times it was the worst of times. PS I NEVER WANNA SEE A MOUNTAIN TRAIL AGAIN ha! I will say I am now a different and better person for this. Thanks to all who helped I can't thank you enough!!!!!!!!"

This is no fun, he announced with all the fanfare then snuck out to the trail in the dead no night without a peep. I am actually impressed that he announced he was quitting. I would have been too embarrassed after going on how pain and adversity wasn't going to stop him. Further, I love his comment that it wasn't his muscles that did him in, yeah he's right, his muscles didn't allow him to maintain even the unsupported record and his mind caused him to throw in the towl. Does he think he's the first to deal with these problems?

But what I find incredible is that he had such a poor performance given what can be called a pretty impressive trail running resume. Now, compare his level of fitness to some others who also think they will beat a record on a couple of trails this year. Just shows how out of touch many are to both their capabilities and the challenges of a fast hike.

Bearpaw
05-14-2012, 21:23
6 days, 200 miles. Hell, I could probably do that. Walking. Unsupported. Anyone want to sponsor me? ;)

At my best, with a pack, I could have managed 200 miles in 8-10 days, so I would say what he managed was pretty impressive. Except that he set his expectations so unrealistically high and got sponsors for a record attempt. What would would impress me is if he took some time to recover, then went back out to do a supported run/hike and get a feel for the trail. Then he would be in position to form a realistic plan for a record hike.

Ball's in his court.

fiddlehead
05-14-2012, 21:34
This is no fun, he announced with all the fanfare then snuck out to the trail in the dead no night without a peep. I am actually impressed that he announced he was quitting. I would have been too embarrassed after going on how pain and adversity wasn't going to stop him. Further, I love his comment that it wasn't his muscles that did him in, yeah he's right, his muscles didn't allow him to maintain even the unsupported record and his mind caused him to throw in the towl. Does he think he's the first to deal with these problems?

But what I find incredible is that he had such a poor performance given what can be called a pretty impressive trail running resume. Now, compare his level of fitness to some others who also think they will beat a record on a couple of trails this year. Just shows how out of touch many are to both their capabilities and the challenges of a fast hike.

I believe he got hit with that stomach problem that seems to be prevalent on the trail this year in the south.
That would slow anyone way down it seems.

If he really wanted to succeed, he should wait till he gets over the intestinal problems and start over.
But it sounds like his heart is no longer in it.

It's more head than heel.

Mikey Appleseed
05-14-2012, 22:12
Hey Chinmusic, I require hot women support and unlimited web access to complete my mission. If I were to try a record speed hike, id require a 24 hour medical support team, cause id kill myself trying, and maybe I could beat some records, but I dont feel the need to be the known best hiker ever. I guess I got the already know im a badazz gene, how would I live with myself if I couldnt fit my ego in a car anymore?

Odd Man Out
05-14-2012, 22:28
Coming right up - do I get a pair of socks??

Yep, Silnylon!

leaftye
05-14-2012, 22:28
I believe he got hit with that stomach problem that seems to be prevalent on the trail this year in the south.
That would slow anyone way down it seems.

Except the experience and knowledge of better walkers probably would have prevented that illness from happening in the first place.

ScottS
05-15-2012, 01:19
Mapman, thanks a lot!
I'm laughing at some of those stops and thinking back to how long it took me getting through them. This is really cool.

Too bad for the run bum guy. Maybe he was intentionally starting out at a lower pace and looking to break out in the middle. His running experience makes me think he knows a thing or two about pacing.

rocketsocks
05-15-2012, 01:24
I believe JPD had those stomach issues,she finished.....46 days!

rocketsocks
05-15-2012, 01:28
I believe JPD had those stomach issues,she finished.....46 days!Oops that was a supported hike.....yeah think the microbes new.;)













Did I just wink at myself?....I believe I did!

samgriffin4
05-17-2012, 12:20
Good luck!

jos2thehua
05-25-2012, 08:35
Yep, JPD had those stomach issues and nearly threw in the towel but was stopped by the encouragement and understanding of her husband. Go read Sean's blog post about the hell of a first day he had while out there on the trail. I'm not giving him leeway for excuses but if any of us had run into the mistakes he had we would all be hurting. It isn't like he doesn't understand that but it hasn't shaken him one bit. He's back on the horse and achieving other goals he has had in mind while most of y'all are putting in more posts than miles.

Cheers.

rocketsocks
05-25-2012, 09:05
Yep, JPD had those stomach issues and nearly threw in the towel but was stopped by the encouragement and understanding of her husband. Go read Sean's blog post about the hell of a first day he had while out there on the trail. I'm not giving him leeway for excuses but if any of us had run into the mistakes he had we would all be hurting. It isn't like he doesn't understand that but it hasn't shaken him one bit. He's back on the horse and achieving other goals he has had in mind while most of y'all are putting in more posts than miles.

Cheers.If you please,inlighten (with regard to the type of horse),cause I won't be going back to that site anymore,but if you would like to list said life goals,I might read it,if not.....then go take a big cyber hike!:p

jos2thehua
05-25-2012, 11:53
First of all, I believe it's "enlighten" :p.

Secondly, it's not within my objective to tantalize you with the ability to have respect for another human and simply let be, be. I just ask that instead of bashing people's choice to do what they very well please on a trail that welcomes it, you hike and let run/hike/walk/stroll/skip/crawl or whatever anyone else wants to do.

Sure, I agree it's annoying each season to see many arrogantly proclaim that they'll "shatter" said speed record. However, it's equally as annoying to see people on the interwebz debate this. I mean seriously, without y'alls debating they wouldn't even get the coverage they are getting. Their proclamations would go unheard and these forums would be used for what they are intended for: helping people with advice on a variety of hiking/outdoor subjects. I don't think I need to explain that though to someone who has logged over 2,179 posts which is as nearly as many miles on the AT.

Good day sir.

WIAPilot
05-25-2012, 12:05
First of all, I believe it's "enlighten" :p.

Secondly, it's not within my objective to tantalize you with the ability to have respect for another human and simply let be, be. I just ask that instead of bashing people's choice to do what they very well please on a trail that welcomes it, you hike and let run/hike/walk/stroll/skip/crawl or whatever anyone else wants to do.

Sure, I agree it's annoying each season to see many arrogantly proclaim that they'll "shatter" said speed record. However, it's equally as annoying to see people on the interwebz debate this. I mean seriously, without y'alls debating they wouldn't even get the coverage they are getting. Their proclamations would go unheard and these forums would be used for what they are intended for: helping people with advice on a variety of hiking/outdoor subjects. I don't think I need to explain that though to someone who has logged over 2,179 posts which is as nearly as many miles on the AT.

Good day sir.

I believe that you have made several good points, but I think you need to hear this: You are 20 yrs old. Even though you think that you may have the wisdom of the universe, you do not. The day will come when you are at your computer-posting, rather than hiking lots of miles. Rocketsocks has contributed a lot to this site and for that, he deserves your respect. I do not always agree with him, but no one can say that he doesn't make WB a better place.

When you get older, sometimes you just lose patience and have to call a "blowhard" - a blowhard. It's like quit with all the websites and medals and patting yourself on the back before you are even out the door - and just do it.

I don't agree with everything, but I do defend his right to his opinion. The truth is that people who make these big announcements look pretty silly when they can't follow through.

rocketsocks
05-25-2012, 12:12
First of all, I believe it's "enlighten" :p.

Secondly, it's not within my objective to tantalize you with the ability to have respect for another human and simply let be, be. I just ask that instead of bashing people's choice to do what they very well please on a trail that welcomes it, you hike and let run/hike/walk/stroll/skip/crawl or whatever anyone else wants to do.

Sure, I agree it's annoying each season to see many arrogantly proclaim that they'll "shatter" said speed record. However, it's equally as annoying to see people on the interwebz debate this. I mean seriously, without y'alls debating they wouldn't even get the coverage they are getting. Their proclamations would go unheard and these forums would be used for what they are intended for: helping people with advice on a variety of hiking/outdoor subjects. I don't think I need to explain that though to someone who has logged over 2,179 posts which is as nearly as many miles on the AT.

Good day sir.OK.........and en my world it's inlighten.And your boy didn't just post his inttinteons he got his own website.And I could care less,I really couldn't my posts were just an obsevation,and that is all.I checked his website,didn't see much going on,and posted what I thought,I think I was fare.....you on the other hand have taken hero to a whole new level,why is anyones guess.Ba as in Ba bye.

Mags
05-25-2012, 12:27
Keep it to Private Messaging (PMs) please...thanks! :)

Posts amounts, who is a blowhard and grammar correction are topics that really aren't about speed hiking/trail running. ;)

rocketsocks
05-25-2012, 12:31
Keep it to Private Messaging (PMs) please...thanks! :)

Posts amounts really aren't about speed hiking/trail running. ;)Aye............

Sly
05-25-2012, 12:50
So I don't have to read 7 pages... any serious attempts happening this year, supported or unsupported?

Mags
05-25-2012, 13:09
So I don't have to read 7 pages... any serious attempts happening this year, supported or unsupported?

On the AT? I don't believe so. At least nothing known on the FKT and hiking boards:
http://fastestknowntime.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=midatlantic&action=print&thread=6



On the PCT, Tuna Helper. First report was recent:
http://mailman.backcountry.net/pipermail/pct-l/2012-May/059844.html

leaftye
05-25-2012, 17:31
Tuna Helper might delay his start by a couple days due to a fire ~75 miles from the border.

jos2thehua
05-26-2012, 23:13
Keep it to PMing. --Mags

rocketsocks
05-27-2012, 01:36
Keep it to PMing. -Mags

jersey joe
06-12-2012, 13:36
So, i might be off but it seems like tenn_hiker has done 114mi in 10 days?!?

http://trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=381490

Not sub 75 days and surely not record pace.
It looks like the realities of the trail have set in. Zeros and such.

Despite this, I do wish him luck on his hike!

The Solemates
06-12-2012, 14:11
So, i might be off but it seems like tenn_hiker has done 114mi in 10 days?!?

http://trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=381490

Not sub 75 days and surely not record pace.
It looks like the realities of the trail have set in. Zeros and such.

Despite this, I do wish him luck on his hike!

appears that way to me. typical.

WingedMonkey
06-12-2012, 14:36
Made it to Stratton, ME and I decided to head home. After a couple days debating if I wanted to spend the rest of my summer in the woods I decided I didn't want too. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the trip, and I'm kind of sad that I'm going home but at the same time I'm not.. I would love to do the whole trail all at once. But I want to have plenty of time too do it. I could do the trail in 3 months but I wouldn't enjoy it.. sorry I failed. I will upload the pictures I took though.

http://www.facebook.com/HikingTheAtIn60DaysOrLess

rocketsocks
06-12-2012, 14:52
http://www.facebook.com/HikingTheAtIn60DaysOrLessThis kid when he started said right from the get go,"If I feel like going for it,I will,if not I won't" I for one appreciated and liked his candor,and found it refreshing,instead of the usual huffing and puffing,and I'm the best anyones ever seen attintude.....

Captain Blue
06-12-2012, 15:12
I'm sick of people asking why I want to hike the trail so fast. I don't ask you why you want to hike it so slow. It's obvious I want to hike it fast because I enjoy going fast, just as you enjoy going slow.... So quit asking dumb questions.

This is a quote from his May 9, 2012 Trailjournals.com entry. Maybe it wasn't such a dumb question after all.

rocketsocks
06-12-2012, 15:34
I will be starting between may 27th and June 1st at the latest.. I will be keeping a journal at:
http://trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=13163
Keep in mind, I am not going out there to set the record.. I'm going out there to have fun, and enjoy my self.. and if I find that I can keep the pace to break the record then so be it! My hike will be under 75 days max


Who? Me? or the Sportiva guy?


This is a quote from his May 9, 2012 Trailjournals.com entry. Maybe it wasn't such a dumb question after all.


Who?

And just so everyone knows I will be going for the unsupported record, no guarantees, but I'm going to try!These are the posts I was talking about.Not looking for a pissing match here, just,wanted to support my posts,even though I got the words wrong,the sentiment is there I think,anyway,these quotes are why I wrote what I did.

Moose2001
06-12-2012, 15:43
Give the guy a break. He's no different than 90% of the hikers who start and say they are going to hike all the way to the other end and nothing will stop them or make them quit!

atmilkman
06-12-2012, 16:12
What's the record for the half gallon challenge as far as who, when, and what is the record time?

atmilkman
06-12-2012, 16:23
What's the record for the half gallon challenge as far as who, when, and what is the record time?
I meant to say unsupported record - no one holding the spoon for someone else.

Pedaling Fool
06-12-2012, 19:39
After having a little discussion with the kid on page 5 I knew he was too immature for a thru-hike, let alone a shot at any record.

rocketsocks
06-12-2012, 20:03
After having a little discussion with the kid on page 5 I knew he was too immature for a thru-hike, let alone a shot at any record.Yep,I felt he was not understanding you were offering help,advice,and just stating it as an observation and not criticism.Many times on this site,comments get taken out of context,or thought as digs,snarky,and insults,a lot of times they are,and many times they aren't.

tenn_hiker
06-13-2012, 18:23
As promised I have come back to admit my failure.. all though I notice you guys have already noticed. I had a great time on my hike, but due to some personal reasons I decided to come home. As for me being to immature for a thru-hike, that is completely wrong. If I had enough time to hike the trail I could. I quickly found out that even if I could hike the trail that fast I wouldn't enjoy it nearly as much as if I took 6 months to hike the trail. Go ahead and say whatever you want. I don't care. I had a good time and that's what matters, right?

I think I've done a lot more than people my age, I've done over 400 miles of the trail and I will continue to hike it.
have a good day,
Tenn_hiker

Rocket Jones
06-13-2012, 18:38
Speed doesn't matter, enjoying the hike does. You learned something that will help you on future hikes. Sounds like a successful trip to me.

ChinMusic
06-13-2012, 18:46
I think it says a lot that posted. I think the word "failure" is harsh.

hikerboy57
06-13-2012, 19:00
As promised I have come back to admit my failure.. all though I notice you guys have already noticed. I had a great time on my hike, but due to some personal reasons I decided to come home. As for me being to immature for a thru-hike, that is completely wrong. If I had enough time to hike the trail I could. I quickly found out that even if I could hike the trail that fast I wouldn't enjoy it nearly as much as if I took 6 months to hike the trail. Go ahead and say whatever you want. I don't care. I had a good time and that's what matters, right?

I think I've done a lot more than people my age, I've done over 400 miles of the trail and I will continue to hike it.
have a good day,
Tenn_hiker
there are no failures, only lessons .congrats on your successful speed section hike.its supposed to be fun.you still have a few years ahead of you to see if you want to reattempt the whole thing. im sure you learned a lot that will help should you choose to give it another go.

Pedaling Fool
06-13-2012, 19:39
Kum ba f'king yah :)

scree
06-13-2012, 19:47
Welcome home! I hope you enjoyed your experience and get a chance to finish up if you want to.

hikerboy57
06-13-2012, 20:38
Wonder what happenex to matthew huffman.does anyone know if he ever got on the trail?

rocketsocks
06-13-2012, 20:53
Kum ba f'king yah :)I just spit cherry cola from my nose,dam johnny!,thats was pretty gault darn funny!hehehehe

rocketsocks
06-13-2012, 21:00
As promised I have come back to admit my failure.. all though I notice you guys have already noticed. I had a great time on my hike, but due to some personal reasons I decided to come home. As for me being to immature for a thru-hike, that is completely wrong. If I had enough time to hike the trail I could. I quickly found out that even if I could hike the trail that fast I wouldn't enjoy it nearly as much as if I took 6 months to hike the trail. Go ahead and say whatever you want. I don't care. I had a good time and that's what matters, right?

I think I've done a lot more than people my age, I've done over 400 miles of the trail and I will continue to hike it.
have a good day,
Tenn_hikerWhatever dude,don't sweat it,"Come back tomarrow,and try again"I am remined of a saying,"walk and learn,we all walk and learn~postcard.You gave it a shot,as many have,some return to try again,and others say "hey,it wasn't for me"again whatever,doesn't really matter in the big sceem of things,ya know!....just hang out,kick back,and relax,it's all good.

Wombat Farm
06-13-2012, 22:50
TennHiker...you're anything but a failure...especially when lots of people your age (never mind older ones too!) can't even get out of their own way! Awesome job! Getting out to enjoy nature and taking care of your body by using it, is NEVER a failure - even it's only for a few hours. :sun

tenn_hiker
07-01-2012, 13:52
Wonder what happenex to matthew huffman.does anyone know if he ever got on the trail?
Who is that?

Sarcasm the elf
07-01-2012, 14:00
Who is that?

He's this guy

http://cumberlink.com/news/local/article_6851372c-fe34-11e0-9861-001cc4c03286.html

Enola man attempts to shatter Appalachian Trail recordRedemption.
That's what Matthew Huffman will be chasing when he embarks on a bold endeavor to "not break but shatter" the Appalachian Trail speed record.
The 25-year-old Enola resident plans to depart from the trail's northernmost point in Mt. Katahdin, Maine, early next month - probably on Nov. 10 - in an attempt to complete the trail, which snakes through 14 states from Maine to Georgia, in record time. Just this August, hiker Jennifer Pharr Davis managed to motor through the approximately 2,181 miles of the trail in 46 days, 11 hours and 20 minutes, according to records at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.
Until Pharr Davis hiked along, Andrew Thompson's 2005 record of 47 days 13 hours and 31 minutes hadn't been touched since he established it in 2005.
"I don't just want to break it," Huffman said of Pharr Davis' record in a recent interview. "I want to shatter it. It's kind of a statement for me."
Huffman's plan is to carry his 32-pound pack by himself, and he will only receive two food drops, courtesy of his younger brother, 22-year-old Adam Huffman - the first in Shippensburg and the second in Harpers Ferry, W.Va.
"I'm zoning the world out. I don't want anyone taking me in," Huffman said. "It's supposed to be raw. It's supposed to be me and nature and wilderness, not me living it up."
He doesn't want to jinx himself, but admits he's gunning to break Pharr Davis' record by three days.
That kind of speed averages out to 60 miles a day.
A statement
If crushing Pharr Davis's record is a statement, what, exactly, is he saying to the world?
On the surface, it's a simple message about pushing the human body beyond normally accepted limits.
"People are capable of far more than they give themselves credit for," he said. "They say psychologically we only tap into 10 percent of our potential and I think it's the same physiologically, too. It's about getting your head past what your muscles are doing."
Oh, and "good nutrition" is equally crucial, he says, which is why he's packing plenty of tuna, Power Bars, tortillas and his own hand-blended kind of granola bars bursting with almonds and peanut butter.
Delve a little deeper into Huffman's motivation and the 5-foot-8-inch, 160-pound Navy veteran will tell you he wants to heal a heart that's right now in smithereens while resurrecting some self-respect.
He had a job as a maintenance technician. But he and a former employer recently parted ways due to irreconcilable differences.
He was on the cusp of getting married. But he and his fiancee broke up two months ago.
The way he saw it, he could allow himself to plummet into a pit of despair or he could set his sights on a tangible - albeit Herculean - goal.
"I felt like my life was crumbling around me," Huffman said. "I almost picture myself like Forrest Gump when he just starts running and doesn't stop. I'm not me anymore. I lost my motivation, I lost my push."
Huffman said that instead of brushing aside failure and forging on, as he's done in the past, for the first time, he began soaking it in and believing that if he failed, he was a failure.
Going for the AT speed record is a way of getting that "push" back, of "starting [himself] from the ground up" again. He might finish his college degree in legal studies or become an outdoors adventure guide when he gets off the trail.
"This is about proving to myself, more than anything else, that I am what I know I am," he said.
He's promised himself he won't worry about what's ahead.
"Never get too far ahead of yourself is how you have to do it," he said, "so I'm going no more than 100 feet at a time, to to that rock, or whatever."
‘Honor system'
Bob Sickley, trail resources manager at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Visitor Center in Boiling Springs says he encounters people like Huffman "almost never."
"Most people want to complete it [the Appalachian Trail] and have a wonderful, meaningful experience," Sickley said. "We don't officially recognize speed records. The trail is out there for contemplation and enjoyment. The only recognition is completion."
It's not that the conservancy is opposed to keeping speed records, but doing so is often a thorny task, added Brian King, a spokesman with a branch of the conservancy based in Harpers Ferry, W.Va.
"It's on the honor system for everybody," King said. "It's not that we're against it. It's just really difficult thing to verify and prove." The AT conservancy's main objective is to preserve and manage the trail so future generations can enjoy a sacred space in which the human spirit can connect with nature, according to its website.
Mounting obstacles
Huffman will be bolting through that sacred space at breakneck speed during the southbound season - the time during which it's suitable to start in Maine and hike to the trail's south terminus in Springer Mountain, Ga. Both AT Conservancy spokesmen indicated that Huffman has the odds stacked against him.
For one, there's some "really, really horrific weather" in New Hampshire's White Mountains right now, Sickley said.
"Mount Washington used to have the highest record wind speed of anywhere on the planet," Sickley said of the highest point in the northeastern United States. "There's the potential for some really bad weather, but the greatest challenge now is that the network of support services that exists for hikers tends to be skewed to the northbound [hikers]," he said.
Declining hours of daylight and Huffman's determination to be completely self-sufficient also register as serious obstacles, King said.
Pharr Davis, who basically "power-hiked" the trail, didn't carry her own pack and had assistance setting up and breaking down camp every night.
"Jennifer and most of the other people trying to do this are out during June, July, August in a lot of daylight with a lot of support," King said. "They weren't carrying 30-pound packs. He's [Huffman] set up a lot of challenges for himself."
But the way Huffman sees it, he's got plenty of stuff on his side - his age, a long stride and an unbreakable will.
"I've been to the wall before and I've gotten past it," he said, reflecting on will-testing trials he weathered in Navy boot camp and beyond.
And as the Tom Petty song goes, Huffman won't back down.

"Unless I'm hallucinating, I'm not calling for help," he vowed. "When other people start giving up, I love it because I'm the one that isn't giving up. Your legs feel like Jell-O, but who cares? My family always tells me when I set my mind on something, I can accomplish it. Nothing's going to stand in my way. Not even my own head."

hikerboy57
07-01-2012, 14:01
heres the original WB link:http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?78007-new-record-attempt&highlight=huffman.
if you read the entire thread, youlll understand the skeptics here.

Sarcasm the elf
07-01-2012, 14:12
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